What Should IT Do about the Cloud?

What Should IT Do about the Cloud?
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Ideas to help how your organization solve the cloud computing puzzle.

Ideas to help how your organization solve the cloud computing puzzle. Ideas to help how your organization solve the cloud computing puzzle.

The word of the day is “Cloud.” Nearly every software and hardware vendor out there has a product and shiny marketing to help their customers go “to the cloud.” Every IT trade rag has seemingly unique, seemingly agnostic advice on how their audience can take advantage of cloud computing. Standards bodies have published authoritative descriptions of cloud computing models.

If you’re an IT decision maker or influencer, you’re in luck!

Many reputable players in the industry have published reams of information to help you on your journey to take advantage of cloud computing. Pick your poison: Public, Private, Hybrid, Community, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, even XaaS (anything as a service).

On-premises, off-premises or even “on-premise” if you want!

Starting with an on-premises private cloud of your own seems like a sensible choice. A cloud environment of your own, that you can keep cool and dry inside of your own data center. Architects can design and build it with the components of their choice, management can have the control that they’re used to, and administrators can manage it alongside every other system. Security issues can be handled deftly by your consultant or cloud-champion – after all, your cloud is internal and private.

Another perspective is to skip out on a cloud strategy, forgo some early benefits, and wait for all of the chips to fall before making any investments. This is the respectable “do nothing” alternative, and it’s a valid one.

Yet another perspective is to take a close look at cloud concepts and prepare your company to act, when appropriate. Prepare, act, appropriate time. Sounds like a strategy brewing.

What Is Cloud Anyway? C’mon, What Are the Real Benefits?

What are the benefits of cloud computing? We should define benefits in terms of increased revenue or reduced costs for the organization overall.

“Better manageability” alone is not a benefit. “Better manageability” is a benefit in that it leads to reduced costs in the form of fewer people, if the manageability truly is better. How about improved time to market? Isn’t that a benefit? Sure, only insofar as it leads to the deployment of revenue-generating or cost-reducing applications to production sooner than before.

Nearly all of the benefits of using cloud computing are associated with reduced operating expense.

John DixonJohn DixonJohn Dixon , senior solutions architect at GreenPages Technology Solutions, has more than ten years of IT experience working in various positions including systems design, applications development, systems support, project management, and consulting. His experience includes support of mission- and business- critical applications, as well as development of new systems, and IT service management design. John, who writes for GreenPages Journey to the Cloud blog,  is an expert in the areas of virtualization, IT service management, and cloud computing. Positions have included assignments in industries from nonprofit and state/local government to Fortune 100 enterprise.

(Shutterstock cover image credit: Chef)

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