Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shall you Enjoy the ‘Cloud’ Day

The moon could be either full or wax; the day could be either sunshine or rain; enjoy the Cloud scenes.

While a lot of organizations are already reaping the benefits from Cloud, many of the other folks may still not be comfortable with Cloud, but you need to like it anyway. Cloud computing as hot technology trend also attracts numerous debates; a basic question exists that is fueling all this debate - Has the cloud gained popularity to meet the needs of  business or to fill the vacuum created by the failure of business and IT collaboration?

First of all, strategic clarity: You need to ask: What is the strategy for sourcing for which services and how prepared are you as an organization to exploit the third party provided services (Cloud and other) whilst maintaining governance/security and service levels to your customers and staff? Technology is evolving exponentially and the cloud can make life easier if used in the right way for the right reasons. However, too many organizations see "cloud" as a panacea to drive down costs, improve service and "export" risk to other organizations; the reality is that without the appropriate planning, all benefits are likely to be in jeopardy as technical and integration challenges, service process gaps and GRC misalignment result in failed cloud initiatives.

Collaboration: Most cloud services at the corporate level are to fill needs from marketing, sales, etc. to cover niches that in-house IT is not able to fulfill on-time. This certainly eases the urgency of having results, but in the medium/long term, the other aspects shown above (security, privacy, governance, risk management etc) may not be covered and, worse, may compromise the project. Thus, Cloud does need more collaboration between business and IT, not less, as IT that acts as internal consultative adviser could provide the whole picture, better evaluate pros & cons and decide the trade-off according to your business needs...

The pros and cons of Cloud Computing? Cloud is based on the philosophy that focuses on your business. Let the expert handle the rest for you. Like in every other purchase/contract, one needs to identify requirements (which should include security, availability, and others) to find the right supplier and go with it. Cloud has been there in one way or other in the past, as well it may be with a different name. Here are some pros and cons of Cloud Computing:
 -Buying Cloud is faster. - If one can buy it, provider can bill it
- Limited or no upfront cost; the possibility of paying as you need or use. 

-scalability is assured and simplified. 
- organizations infrastructure maintenance is simplified, outsourced, and supported (good or bad )
Some reasons for not buying cloud services too:
- Data availability to further business purpose 
- Data privacy 
- System integration with in-house system 
- Risk at services provider reliability
- All depends on the services level agreement. You need to pay extra money for any changes.

Overcome the obstacles: Innovation spurred by Cloud might be halted due to lack of cooperation, perceived loss of jobs or control, bureaucratic reasons, lack of understanding, lack of funding, unwillingness to change/deviate. Innovation is often stopped at the executive level due to lack of understanding or unwillingness to change/deviate from the “status quo”. Only looking at the immediate cost versus the long term cost save. Next, assuming you get past item #1 your next obstacle could be the one impacted by down-level teams / management. Major innovation like Cloud Computing generally impacts multiple teams –thus, cross-functional collaboration is the key.

Enjoy the Cloud day, it’s the day with the better plan ahead, the right tools available, the great talent trained, and it could be the day for reaping the big business harvest with either sunshine or rain. 


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