Generally speaking, I think we can all agree that there are many common reasons why the Cloud is so appealing. Benefits around improved IT productivity and cost savings are the first that come to mind. From there, however, the Cloud becomes a kaleidoscope as we all begin to see it in many different ways to meet each of our specific business needs.
What differentiates our thinking here largely depends on our unique business models and what we plan to do with the Cloud once we’ve got it.
That said, Mike Vizard’s article, “Finding the Right Level of Cloud Computing,” takes a look at some interesting questions around how organizations approach Cloud computing, and the struggles around deciding which applications to run on your Cloud architecture.
While it’s true that it's easy to get caught up in the basic build-out and shared infrastructure aspects of Cloud computing, John Treadway, director of cloud services and solutions for Unisys, says that many organizations lose sight of the two things about Cloud computing that provide the most benefit to organizations: the elastic nature of applications in the Cloud and the ability to create self-service portals. From the article,
Treadway notes that when it comes to cloud computing, too many organizations are overly focused on the shared infrastructure aspects of cloud computing, rather than the benefits of the elastic nature of applications in the cloud and the ability to create self-service portals. It's those two aspects of cloud computing that ultimately provide the most benefit to the organization; otherwise, cloud computing is little more than tantamount to replicating a traditional symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) environment using inexpensive x86 servers.
One of the key differences between traditional IT infrastructures and Cloud-based environments is the ability to automatically respond to requests. This means that Cloud consumers will need a self-service mechanism for requesting services and IT will need tools to automate deployments.
What this really means is that IT must plan ahead in order to deliver resources on demand. IT needs to proactively plan for capacity based on current utilization trends and future business priorities. This is a paramount shift for the IT organization but is a must-do in order to realize speed to market benefits.
If your Cloud Computing infrastructure is not capable of handling on-demand resource requests, your ability to fulfill the needs of the agile enterprise will be limited. To truly accelerate cloud computing adoption, IT must look past the initial infrastructure building and understand the steps and tools necessary to successfully operate for the long term.
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