Setting Yourself Up for Successful Cloud Computing: What Needs to Change First
In a recent Cloud Survey report, published by consulting firm KPMG International, a number of businesses say cloud computing challenges are harder and more costly than they originally thought. Moreover, the reason for the difficulty was the cost of making the internal changes to IT required to leverage public cloud computing and private cloud computing resources.
A full one-third of those surveyed said the cost of moving to cloud-based platforms was higher than expected. Core to the cost overruns were the higher costs around the changes to existing business and IT architectures required to accommodate the use of cloud-based resources. Clearly, those leveraging cloud-based platforms for the first time did not see this coming.
Common problems they encountered included failure to address changes that were needed in:
- Business-process redesign
- IT management capabilities
- Systems integration
- Infrastructure management
- IT configurations
Most cloud computing insiders have known for years that you must put a plan in place that includes changing existing IT assets before you move to cloud-based resources. Those who avoid making changes now are forced to perform the changes later at greater costs and risks.
While one could argue that moving to cloud computing drives a systemic change in internal IT assets, the focus is on a few key areas that include: Business processes, management, infrastructure, and integration.
Business processes have to change to encompass cloud-based resources, including leveraging these resources when required to drive the business. The addition of a SaaS cloud, for example, comes with pre-built business processes and thus your business processes must be changed around the use of a SaaS-delivered application. This is no different than if you purchased most enterprise applications, such as SAP.
Management has to change to include cloud-based resources. Just as we manage IT assets in traditional data centers, cloud-based resources that could be remotely hosted, need to be monitored and maintained. The idea is to provide a management infrastructure that’s able to see and manage all core systems that exist inside of the enterprise, or, perhaps, on public clouds. Thus, there is some planning that needs to occur, and some new technology to leverage.
Infrastructure refers to network and other resources that deal with the movement of information within the enterprise, as well as between the enterprise and the public clouds. Most enterprises don’t have the infrastructure to support the movement to cloud computing, and thus the infrastructure should be upgraded and improved to meet the new requirements.
Integration refers to the ability to synchronize system data that resides in the public cloudswith systems that exist within the enterprise. The ability to deal with the integration requirements around the use of public cloud computing requires a great deal of planning, and perhaps some new integration technology specifically designed to deal with the integration of cloud-base platforms to on-premise systems.
Most of these issues can be easily overcome. What’s key here is that those in enterprise IT moving to cloud computing need to make sure that these changes are on their radar well ahead of moving processes and data to the public cloud. The costs and risks involved with fixing these issues after deployment to cloud-based platforms are just too high.
So, next time you reach out to a cloud service provider, check for references of customers that were migrated from physical infra to cloud. That should imply or serve as a strong indicator as to how a service provider can play a role in assisting the change. Questions??? Do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let our experts guide you and plan the move to the cloud.
Nitin Mishra heads the product management and solutions engineering functions at Netmagic Solutions. During his nine years with the company, he has been responsible for conceptualizing and packaging hosting and managed services focused on IT infrastructure requirements of Internet and Enterprise applications.