Cloud computing has moved into mainstream and is gaining significant traction among companies. Businesses are realizing that the ability to respond quickly, efficiently, and strategically to market dynamics is heavily dependent on innovation driven by IT management.
Whats most relevant about it is its catalytic effect on IT organizations, as they seek to become more resilient, responsive in enabling new and existing services, and minimizing capex and opex costs. According to data compiled by IDC, global revenue for public and private clouds is expected to reach $9.4 bn by 2015.
Cloud provides on-demand, real-time network access to shared resources that can be physically located anywhere across the globe. Like any disruptive technology, cloud computing is an evolving landscape and providers are responding to customers need with varying degrees of success.
One of the most important concerns for many web businesses is how cloud adoption will impact their end user. This raises 2 critical questions for technology executives:
- How will adopting the cloud impact my end users web experience?
- Will the cloud give me more or less control over the performance of our web apps?
Understanding End-user Views
Take an outside-in, customer-point-of-view approach to web performance monitoring and testinghow the end user experiences your website may be the most important aspect of your business. So once you know your customers and their tendencies, also take the outside-in approach when youre evaluating cloud providers and building your apps.
Leading organizations can predict application performance from the outside and they continue to monitor and test throughout the lifecycle of a web application to improve response times, enhance the end-user experience, and preempt surprise availability issues.
Most analysts agree that performance and availability are 2 of the key inhibitors to the widespread adoption of cloud computing. As per IDC survey in Q3FY09, 87% rated security, 83.3% rated availability, and 88.6% rated performance as the top 3 concerns for cloud adoption. But with more awareness and clarity about the services and benefits of cloud, coupled with the economics of it, cloud computing has got both large and small enterprises move over the concerns on data security, compliance, and SLAs to adopt this new world. As against popular perception, it provides a much secure IT environment as compared to the in-house IT systems.
It provides greater flexibility by allowing enterprises not only to leverage existing apps in the cloud (Software-as-a-Service), also allows the enterprise to deploy apps on a service providers servers (Platform-as-a-Service), but to leverage the availability of processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources owned by service providers (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). When provided across various deployment models, including private, public, community, and hybrid cloud, it can help businesses respond to changing market scenarios and manage an increasingly complex and diverse delivery chain.
Demanding Web Performance SLAs
Organizations that have engaged or are considering the cloud, whether public, private, or hybrid clouds are the early adopters. They are in a strong position to dictate the future of cloud offerings and the guarantees that will accompany them. If more clients demand web performance SLAs, vendors will be compelled to include them. So ask for guarantees that apply to your companys specific needs. If elasticity is your primary reason to use cloud services, then get guarantees on capacity and velocity. Of course, the larger the client the more response youll get from a provider, but always ask for an SLA with teeth, one that matches your companys needs.
But the crux is that there is no 1 or 2 ways of looking at cloud. It is important to understand that cloud works differently for different enterprises. A lot depends on the reasons that prompts an organization to opt for this technology. Organizations need to see it from an end-user and business requirement perspective before choosing the services and model that will work for them.
Other than the cost and agility factor, cloud technology plays a bigger role in bridging the digital divide. It works as a business enhancer and leveler for small, medium, and large businesses across domains. It gives organizations an opportunity to use IT to take their business to the next level.
The government also understands the crucial role cloud can play in delivering better service and improving the IT infrastructure of the country, and is making huge headway into the cloud computing space by conducting various awareness programs for its IT departments.