Cloud or Not to Cloud?

There has been lots of talk about cloud computing and shifts of the technology moves from so called traditional ways of dedicated IT services within most organisations to sharable, flexible and agile computing services to meet business growth and demand. This arguably offers a better cost based model to the traditional established IT in-house computing resources where high investments are made by the organisation with diminishing returns (ignoring dedicated skilled staff).

Here I have put down my thoughts based on my personal opinions and experience, also not to be associated with any organisation or behalf of any promotional activities. If you do not agree with my views then please remember; everyone has their own experiences and built up their views whilst working on specific projects or assignments that probably are not relevant to you or vice versa however, I am open to your views and comments.

Cloud technology, in my opinion is technically viable that is shifting traditional in house computing to the vast computing resources offered by many well-known service providers who have the experience to provide cloud variants, such as IAAS, PASS or SAAS and their implementations. The Chargeable Cost Model has been matured and is further evolving for effectively offering the computing resources services that may be tailored to client requirements. The Service Model is flexible and offer organisations with building blocks to either move partially or entire IT resources to the cloud services.

Making technology shift in my opinion should not be made without taking major decisions as highlighted below.

  • Data -Data is important for companies to distinguish between sensitive and insensitive data. For sensitive data – ensure that data privacy rules applied and how you protect this when moving to the cloud. Data Services provided may be in a different location than local location. For example, in Switzerland, data must not be accessible outside Swiss regions. Have you ensured that regulatory requirements compliant with local and cross border regulatory bodies?

  • Service protection -Evaluate and consider the procedures for security, risk mitigation, incident and disaster management.

  • Governance – Review and ensure accountability for all activities, audit log trailing, risk management and service level agreements.
  • Operational – Review and assess how support, maintenance, scalability of solution, incidents are managed and most importantly, quality of service. For example, does this provide the same level of services or better than in-housed IT services? Not to forget, in-house staff are highly trained, have experience of supporting business and have an understanding of the environments. Subsequently they are well equipped to address an issue very quickly.
  • Selection of Service Provider – Consider cost price model, suitability of meeting key commercial and technical requirements, suitability of the technical solution. There is not a single service provider (or at least I am aware of) that has the Holy Grail to meet all of an organisation’s requirements and constraints. All the major service providers have their strengths and weaknesses therefore have an exit plan in place if you require switching to new supplier.

in Summary

Cloud computing gives us a new paradigm for computing resources for organisations to spread their wings and offers flexibility to adopt new services, dynamic adjustments to resources on demand and services procurements within short periods when business needs to shift due to strategic change of directions.

Cloud computing is not just a technology shift but a concept of how IT resources may be exploited to help businesses be more adoptable, meeting future demands and platform for strategic product development. As a result of this, IT staff needs to be abreast with new skillsets, more innovative to deliver value added services to the business , quick to adopt and learn in this constantly changing world.

I am learning and gaining experience of the cloud technology so how about you? Are you ready for change?.

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