To Cloud Or Not To Cloud – Is This The Question?

“To cloud or not to cloud” — is this the question?

We hear a lot of talk these days about clouds: Private clouds, Public clouds, Enterprise clouds, Shared clouds, Hybrid clouds — the list goes on. You only have to search popular Internet blogs to see many active debates over the issue of “to cloud or not to cloud.” There are many arguments and lively debates about the suitability of different application types (e.g., Enterprise Back Office, eCommerce) and the ability of the different cloud technologies to support them.

Some of the debates have gotten quite heated. Without mentioning any names, there are quite a few CEOs of tech companies battling it out with analysts, consultants and, unfortunately, end consumers.   Some of these debates sound like used car sales pitches gone wrong. (I was promised the Rolls but got the Beetle!)

Surely, as private cloud ‘experts,’ we have a ‘duty of care’ to focus on what the client doesn’t know versus focusing on the end technologies. Arguably, these technologies are table stakes that any reputable cloud services provider should have. If they don’t, then you should be seriously wary of doing business with that company, unless of course you are willing to pay the price later.

Frankly, it worries me that we are too focused on the end technology and not the end result, especially when so called managed services companies are touting public clouds as the ultimate solution to any business problem on the planet.

Ultimately, we should be asking our clients and prospects about their business requirements for the online service.  Any company coming to market with new (cloud) services should be sharing SLA objectives and liabilities for not meeting targets with the new partner —  asking the services provider for their help in architecting the right services mix and cloud technologies to meet the SLAs rather than saying that a cloud technology will meet all business requirements from the get go.

It’s our responsibility as managed services providers and private cloud experts to begin educating our clients and prospects on the importance of business requirement openness and transparency when discussing new projects. Without a true understanding of these, we can’t possibly hope to design solutions that meet expected service levels and help to lessen project risk for the client.

In summary: let’s not start our client/prospecting conversations with my cloud technology. Start with the non-technical requirements and work back to a technical (cloud) solution. I know it sounds like common sense but for many managed services providers out there — it isn’t!

Guest Post Provided By Tenzing

Founded in 1998, Tenzing is a managed hosting company trusted by leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers and Ecommerce systems integrators to deliver business critical applications to some of the world’s largest companies and most recognizable brands. Tenzing’s mission-critical hosting infrastructure, mature IT Service Management (ITSM) practices, and comprehensive application-level Service Level Agreements (SLAs), enable the reliable, secure, and scalable delivery of complex SaaS and Ecommerce applications. Tenzing is ISO 27001 and SAS 70 Type II certified with data centres in Toronto, Vancouver and Kelowna, B.C. For more information, visit www.tenzing.com.

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One Response to To Cloud Or Not To Cloud – Is This The Question?

  1. Cloud is a reality. What type is based upon the needs and maturity of the enterprise in question. How you manage the cloud is the big question.

    As IT decision makers discuss these issues, several key questions can emerge;
    • Does our current service desk or ITSM solution provide us with the flexibility to manage new systems, services and assets?
    • How do we extend our current best practices approach to encompass new areas such as cloud computing and new services delivered via SaaS (software-as-a-service)?
    • Will we be able to manage all these various systems and services from “one pane of glass”?
    When organizations move to embrace services and solutions delivered via SaaS, or cloud based infrastructures they normally encounter new management challenges for those specific services such as how do we measure the technical effectiveness of the new service, how do we report the cost advantages to the business, and how do we integrate those services with data, applications, infrastructure components that are still located on premise.

    And when it comes to support, how do we integrate the new SaaS / cloud solutions into our core IT service management functions such as Incident & Problem Management, Change & Release Management, Asset, Configuration and Inventory Management? Without this integration, many organizations are concerned that they may lose the holistic “life-cycle” control they have established and revert back to fragmented management covering only part of the IT operation.

    We recently produced an article with some of our thoughts and featuring some key research from Gartner. We hope you will enjoy these. You can get these here; http://bit.ly/gCuBkH

    For more information on our ITSM solutions please visit us at http://www.bmc.com/itsm. We look forward to talking to you soon.

    The ITSMguy @BMC Software

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