Adopting cloud computing is no longer a matter of whether or not to adopt, but rather when and with what intensity and speed it should be adopted. This pace will depend, among other factors, the degree of maturity of the company and its IT department, its positioning strategy in the market, the degree of adherence to innovations and, of course, also external aspects such as availability and capacity communications infrastructure that meets the company requirements. The IT department must lead this process and, therefore, analyze the risks involved at your own risk. The success or failure of adoption of cloud depends on how well it is designed and executed.
A few years ago, cloud was curiosity and it is natural that the cloud providers themselves are still in various stages of evolution and maturity. As the word cloud has become a hype, any service provider began to show the market as a provider or expert in cloud offerings. Thus, hosting and colocation providers, from one day to another, become cloud providers, changing only the advertising of their offerings. The cloud offered by them is still hosting or colocation. Companies on-premise software become SaaS providers simply creating instances of your application on an external data center. It is the old ASP (remember?) Masquerading as SaaS. So while cloud is an inevitable trend, the path to it can be a bit rocky …
How IT should act? To Draw a cloud strategy, is a key. This involves defining which applications will go to the cloud, following their migration, and whether these are private or public clouds, or even if both solutions coexist interoperating. The strategy should define where to start. For minor applications? Or for that are more independent and do not require interoperability with other? Or by seasonal applications? Finally, each organization should define its own strategy.
For example, an ERP is a lot of demand characteristic interconnection with various other applications. Take it to the cloud means that these interconnections have to work satisfactorily. And where are these applications? In the same cloud ERP or other clouds? Or continue on-premise? An important and often almost forgotten factor is that, most often, we look at the very low processing costs offered by cloud providers, but the costs of connection (communications) can be high if the volume of data exchanged to maintain interoperability between various applications in cloud and on-premise is very high.
This is a scenario that most medium and large companies will have to endure for long. It will be very difficult to migrate to cloud computing in the Big Bang model. It is a gradual process and therefore the coexistence of this complex and interoperable environment must be considered in the migration strategy.
Migrate to a public cloud does not mean giving of IT governance. This, however, becomes more important. The IT department no longer worry about issues such as installing new operating system release, but must keep track of the level of service performed by the cloud provider. The roles and responsibilities exist today in IT should be redesigned to be distributed and shared between IT and provider.
The choice of cheap cloud server hosting is another important variable.
- What degree of maturity it has?
- What level of training it has?
- What level of security, availability and privacy does it guarantees?
- An interesting aspect: what is its DNA?
- Corporate or face the end user?
Hardly a company born and raised by B2C optical can turn into a successful B2B.
The cloud strategy should involve other areas beyond IT. Risk Management, audit and legal are some examples. Issues such as sovereignty of the data, ensuring adherence to industry regulations which the company operates, the issues of audit trail, issues concerning migration of data and applications in case of exchange of the cloud provider, are among factors that IT will need much support. There are also legal issues regarding the use of current licenses for on-premise software in external clouds. The contract with the provider’s own demand variables, the on-premise model, need not be considered.
An example: If you terminate the contract with a cloud provider, your data will still be stored in it. What conditions and technologies it offers so you migrate to another provider? Or the provider changes, without notice, its data from a best data center located in your country to another country, creating a regulatory inquiry. Anyway, are variables that the IT department does not have enough to act autonomously expertise.
The migration process is an important element. Will be treated as any flaws in the operation? Who will be responsible? What is the role of the provider and its IT in every aspect of migration? An important and should be carefully analyzed aspect is to capitalize on the potential of certain public clouds, you will be required to use specific technologies and APIs, which can create a lock-in and substantially delay or any change of provider. Some cloud providers keep under wraps its technology and access to their data centers. This can create complications in case of need for forensic investigations and audits.
Cloud computing is not magic. You, adopting a public cloud, is transferring its hardware to software. You will only see virtual servers. But these virtual servers need the data centers of the cloud provider. Your limit is the limit of the provider. Generally, this limit is infinitely greater than what most companies have in their data center, but even so, some care must be taken. Do not forget that a cloud provider, for profit, need to share the most of their physical resources among its customers. Eventually, you may encounter bottlenecks arising from this share, as interference from other customers who cohabit the same physical servers that make up your virtual or sharing of storage and networks that connect these server machines applications. And the ever-present bottleneck, here in India, the limitations of our broad bands.
Therefore, the IT department has a very important role in the design of cloud strategy. Should lead the process and not be driven by it. Otherwise, when problems arise (and always appear), will be forced to chase the game. Thus, it is fitting that the lead and creating policies and practices of adoption and use of cloud computing.
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