CIOs of today are squarely faced with a key decision that they have to make for their Enterprise -- the extent of Cloud Computing adoption. The decision is not necessarily black and white -- all or no cloud. Instead, it requires a well-balanced combination of the traditional, private and public clouds. IT customers have viable alternatives that did not exist in the past. Therefore, the CIO as the leader of the business of IT has to be more creative than ever. CIOs of today are forced to give serious consideration to The Cloud as a deployment option when they are challenged with a very simple question -- Why not Cloud Computing?
A decade back, the CIO’s environment was conducive to exercising control over the behavior of the IT customers. Today, that is no longer true. The Cloud has evolved to be an option that has to be considered and adopted as and when applicable. Thus, the world of the CIO is – shall we say -- Partly Cloudy. There are various forces that drive the Cloud as being a viable option. For every force that drives a CIO in the direction of the Cloud, there is an opposing force. Let us see how:
Effective usage of the available resources with the cost incurred being driven by the resource consumption rate.
Less control over solutions deployed in the Cloud raising concerns around their overall reliability
A prevailing mind-set that promotes a more open information sharing model, making it imperative that CIOs extend this mind-set to the enabling infrastructure as well
Security vulnerabilities that apply to the data resident within the cloud-based computing, network and storage resources. See Applications Security Testing
Cloud-based deployments are usually more cost-effective. Capital expenses in the traditional environment tend to become operational expenses in the Cloud.
Data privacy concerns coupled with federal regulations and compliance laws especially when the internal and external customers’ data is stored in the Cloud.
The Me-too mind-set to jump on the Cloud bandwagon. Everyone else is doing it. Therefore, it must be right.
Cloud is not necessarily the right environment for all applications. See Cloud Transformation Bill of Rights.
When it is done right, cloud offers ambitious server to admin ratios like 10,000 to 1.
Service Level Requirements can be adversely impacted because of limited availability of experts to address technical problems encountered.
CIOs of today need to factor in all these considerations to establish the optimal balance. The answer is not the same for every environment. In most cases, the outcome is likely going to be a healthy distribution of the solutions across traditional, private and public cloud environments. Hence, the underlying characteristic of the outcomes in most cases is partly cloudy.
What is the weather like in your environment? How cloudy is it? What are some of the forces or counter-forces that drive your environment and your decisions regarding cloud computing?