With all the noise in the market about cloud, how do you know where to begin? By understanding the underlying service-related delivery requirements, a CIO can take full advantage of cloud so that he can improve service delivery to the business. Here are some questions to help get the process started:
- How do I determine and implement the right cloud computing strategy for my organization?
- What services should I offer via the cloud to my customers?
- Which services should I source externally versus build internally?
- How are my service levels being managed?
- How do I protect my investment now and in the future?
- How can I manage the cloud environment?
Cloud computing is evolutionary and is enabled by existing technologies like virtualization, automation, and self-service portals. With cloud, dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the internet. Users dont need to have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the cloud that supports them. On the IT side, cloud computing can increase the speed of IT responsiveness to business needs, while reducing the cost and use of the infrastructure, platforms, and applications.
Which Cloud is Right for Your Organization?
There are 3 types of cloud environmentspublic, private, and hybrid. Public clouds are attractive to organizations that dont want to own or maintain their own infrastructure or applications.
If you have confidential/proprietary applications, you may not want to risk putting it public therefore a public cloud may not be able to meet the stringent regulatory compliance requirements like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Payment Card Industry (PCI).
Some enterprises are building their private cloud to improve IT responsiveness to business needs and reduce costs. Private clouds also appeal to enterprises looking for elastic, dynamic computing capacity.
Other enterprises may choose to implement a hybrid cloud, consisting of multiple internal or external providers providing the cost-saving benefits of public cloud services with some of the control and compliance required for private clouds.
In a dynamic environment how does IT maintain control to ensure quality of service, responsiveness, and cost savings promised by cloud computing? The answer is the same as it is for your physical and virtual infrastructurecareful planning and choosing tools that provide best practices service level management.