Cloud Computing has been here for some time now. Enterprises cover the spectrum on the extent to which they have presence in the cloud. The question comes up -- as it should -- if enterprises are in the right type of cloud for the right reasons. It is all about striking a balance. That is the thought that is foremost in my mind as I think about the panel on cloud adoption at a conference conducted by one of the largest independent IT integrators in North America. I am one of the speakers on the panel along with a speaker from Intel and other market-leaders in the cloud landscape. Anticipating a thought-provoking brainstorming discussion on the implications of being in the cloud, I collect my own thoughts in advance and would welcome you to share your comments as well. All right then, let us get started.
Going to the Cloud is fundamentally a business decision. Enterprises must start with the overall business objectives that would drive the definition of the future state of their business environment. Multiple business initiatives would serve as the path to get to this future state in a cost-effective, timely manner with appropriate governance in place. These business initiatives need to be enabled by the corresponding IT initiatives which is where discussions about the presence in the Cloud are likely to commence. And when doing so, choices emerge about being in the public, private or hybrid cloud.
There are several criteria that go into the determination of the cloud that is appropriate for various components of the IT infrastructure. These can be summarized into the three C’s of cloud transformation.
1. Confidence. It is important that Enterprise IT has a high degree of confidence in the cloud-based solutions. It is best to start with application components that enable the business functions that matter to the enterprise. For each set of application(s) that enable these business functions, the appropriate cloud environment must be identified along with the transformation approach that makes the most sense. Some applications are best left alone whereas others may have to be re-written to be more aligned with the cloud presence. It is all about the confidence in the ability of these transformed components to deliver on the business needs in the given cloud - public, private or hybrid.
2. Control. Enterprise IT does not have as much control over the solutions deployed in the Cloud as it used to in the traditional environment. However, this does not mean it is a free-for-all cloud deployment model. It is a world of co-opetition rather than competition where the CIO must drive Enterprise IT to be an orchestrator of the services deployed in the cloud. The need for Cloud Governance has only been magnified in the world of BiModal IT. Appropriate guidelines must be in place to address compliance issues for the data that is present in the cloud. Needless to say, security always comes up as an area of concern as well. Controlled orchestration with collaborative governance is in order.
3. Culture. The culture of Enterprise IT at large plays a key role in cultivating a cohesive ecosystem for cloud based solutions. A culture of collaborative leadership and governance is fundamental to getting easier buy-in and consensus into the cloud deployment model that best meets the business needs of the enterprise. The State of Enterprise IT is Open -- from multiple dimensions -- Architecture, Standards, Technology, Innovation and Culture. An open approach overall is vital to the having a healthy environment where the right solutions get deployed to the right type of cloud. Culture matters when it comes to the Cloud.
Those, then are some of my initial thoughts. Confidence, Control and Culture -- the three C’s that drive the right Choice for Cloud adoption.
Once I attend the conference and share my thoughts live on the panel and hear out what other speakers have to say, I will have a lot more to share on this topic.
Meanwhile, please consider this to be an Open Panel of sorts where you are welcome to share your own thoughts by adding your comments. It is a panel where everyone of you can be a speaker!!
Let the panel begin !!