Cloud and Decoupling the Business Benefit

Cloud and Decoupling the Business Benefit

Cloud and Decoupling the Business Benefit

I think we’ve talked before about what it means to be a cloud technology, or, more precisely, what people mean when they call things cloud technologies, cloud-like, or even just grossly label some form of computing “the cloud.”  In this post, I want to take a few minutes discuss the way we at GreenPages look at this space and how we define and describe cloud technologies and the rising ecosystems that surround them.

This conversation is going to have 2 distinct but well integrated sections:

  • Why cloud? Why now?
  • Decoupling the business benefits from the operation of compute assets

Why Cloud? Why Now?

 At its very basic instantiation, “cloud” is a label affixed to a whole host of interrelated (and completely separate) technologies and concepts that have been in widespread use throughout the IT community for years.  I often hear from customers that they’ve been doing cloud since before it was called utility computing—and I don’t doubt that they think they have done so—but what they’ve been doing is not really even close to what cloud computing is capable of doing today…which is why I need to first explain how we got here.

It’s all about maturity and the convergence of 3 main factors that have put cloud computing on its present course.

  • Maturity in IT Governance
  • Process Maturity
  • Technology Maturity

IT Governance

Maturity in IT Governance means that the “people” systems that are associated with IT have gotten to a point where the investment and business requirements for specific system components (and entire systems) are now examined and compared to other system components (et al) as far as precedence and priority.  The people who run IT no longer fund the first project that shows up to the corporate ATM but instead have rigorous analysis programs and weighting according to business needs and current/future initiatives that set the order in which these projects are funded.  What this means in the greater sense is that the folks who run IT have gotten to the point where internal procedural systems can determine “the most bang for the buck” which typically trumps political and emotional pressures because they can accurately show benefit (ROI, TCO, etc.).

The short story is that projects for only the most efficient and effective systems get funded….which are to say cloud technologies.

Process

Process maturity has gotten to a level where there are now very clear and unambiguous methodologies for accomplishing virtually all IT-related tasks.  As industry and international standards have driven out the ambiguity related to these processes, process tool makers have embraced these standards toward reducing the inefficiencies of their tools and technology components.  While different vendors may call what they do by different names, under the covers, the tools generally accomplish the exact same things as far as automating processes.

Technology

Finally, technology (hardware and software) have matured to the point that they are able to accomplish literally hundreds of thousands of separate tasks (i.e. automation) that are tied together into value chains of activity (i.e. orchestration) in order to accomplish specific goals and objectives within IT.  Up until even a few years ago, the underlying hardware and software platforms were simply not up to the task of controlling for all of these potentially millions of variables, one-offs, and exceptions.  Whereas before it made no sense to automate a task because, based on the complexity and the number of choices involved, a human could accomplish it faster; that cannot be assumed to be true anymore.  Not even close actually.

Decoupling…what it means…

The age old dichotomy between business and IT has been one of the immovable object against the irresistible force; an impossibility because neither technically can exist in the same reality.  Whereas the business wants to move ever faster and adopt emerging technologies as quickly as possible in order to exploit opportunities, capture markets, and increase revenue…IT wants to standardize across their environments, reduce complexity wherever possible, and drive out variation in every part of their systems and, indeed, their world.

This is traditional companies:

The business thinks that IT is 10 steps in the past, risk averse, and much too slow…while IT thinks that the business is technologically immature, rash, and purposefully unaware of the risks.  Immovable object meets irresistible force.  What cloud technologies and concepts do is effectively decouple the business benefit of the compute asset from the operation of the asset itself.  That way each group gets to do what they do best, their core competencies, without stepping all over the feet of the other group.

The business, by having their processes and capabilities definitively separated from the actual operation of the equipment they use, is able to move as fast and as efficiently as they want while the IT organization is still able to drive standardization and operational efficiencies ever deeper into their systems, regardless of what the business does or doesn’t want to do.  There is no effect from what one does to what the other is able to do because they have been decoupled and are able to operate independently.

As well as operate independently, they are also able to optimize each of their realms independently (with the happy side effect of making the other more valuable) based purely on their own priorities and reasoning.  For example; the IT Organization has found a better storage methodology and vendor so they want to swap out their entire storage platform—the platform beneath their production environment—and they can do so without affecting the business because they have virtualized storage which renders the underlying hardware a commodity and easily swappable.

Or another example is that the business wants to offer a typically on-premise software package to their customers as a SaaS offering.  They are able to basically configure the software themselves and, based on a cloud infrastructure, slice and dice the resources in such a way that they can push that software out as a secure, multi-tenant, online resource.

These examples are only possible because the middle part of that environment—where business meets IT—is abstracted by cloud technologies such as automation and orchestration, self-service portals, service desks and catalogs.

This is cloud.

Where Business meets the IT Organization (where once was a battlefield) is where cloud technologies live and, although that’s not entirely true in the physically sense, it is entirely true in the philosophical sense as it is where the two groups meet as far as prioritization, funding, etc. Cloud is the abstraction, from either side, of what each group wants to do—what’s in their best interest—such that each only sees what materially affects their reality while also allowing them to see the overall goals and objectives of the parent organization….and they can only do this because of the current levels of maturity in IT Governance, Process and Technology.

By Trevor Williamson

As Director of Solutions Architecture, Trevor is directly responsible for working with Global 1000 (financial, insurance and pharmaceutical) companies for the assessment and analysis, planning and design, and construction and management of enterprise technology (virtual, physical) infrastructures and for specifying and coordinating onsite professional services. 

Trevor has served as VMware Solution principal for EMC Global Services, Emerging Technologies Consultant for Hitachi Data Systems, Global Technology Advisor for Microsoft Corporation, and in various other technical positions for Obtree Technologies, Zelerate Corporation, Xorient Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Growth According to a recent report, global investment in fintech companies including both venture-backed and non-venture-backed businesses reached $9.4 billion in the second quarter of 2016; investment in venture capital-backed fintech startups, however, fell by 49%. Nevertheless, the Pulse of Fintech, published jointly by KPMG International and CB Insights, suggests venture capital investment in…

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

Securing The Cloud Enterprise Cloud adoption is accelerating for most enterprises, and cloud computing is becoming an integral part of enterprise IT and security infrastructure. Based on current adoption trends, it’s clear that the vast majority of new applications purchased by organizations will be SaaS applications. The allure is evident, from cost savings to speed…

Significant Emerging Technologies To Lookout For In 2017

Significant Emerging Technologies To Lookout For In 2017

Emerging Technologies The entire world is being transformed right before our eyes. Emerging technologies are developing at break-neck speeds, and the global community needs to be prepared for what lies in the horizon. As with anything new or evolving there is benefit versus risk to consider. Most of the up-and-coming technologies that will soon affect…

In The Fast Lane: Connected Car Hacking A Big Risk

In The Fast Lane: Connected Car Hacking A Big Risk

Connected Car Hacking Researchers and cybersecurity experts working hard to keep hackers out of the driver’s seat. Modern transportation has come a million miles, and most all of today’s vehicles are controlled entirely by digital technology. Millions of drivers are not aware that of the many devices in their digital arsenal, the most complex of…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

Ambitious Startups An oft-quoted statistic, 50% of new businesses fail within five years. And the culling of startups is even more dramatic, with an estimated nine out of ten folding. But to quote Steve Jobs, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” So while…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Computing And SMEs SMEs (Small/Medium Sized Enterprises) make up the bulk of businesses today. Most cloud based applications created today are geared toward the SME market. Accounting, Storage, Backup services are just a few of them. According to the European Commission, cloud based technology could help 80% of organisations reduce costs by 10-20%. This infographic provided…

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Benefits of Cloud Computing Based on Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from when it comes to cloud computing solutions. So what, on the face of it, appears to be pretty simple is actually both complex and dynamic regardless of whether you’re in the market for networking,…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Predictions By 2023

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Predictions By 2023

Big Data Predictions By 2023 Everything we do online from social networking to e-commerce purchases, chatting, and even simple browsing yields tons of data that certain organizations collect and poll together with other partner organizations. The results are massive volumes of data, hence the name “Big Data”. This includes personal and behavioral profiles that are stored, managed, and…

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement In recent years, Big Data and Cloud relations have been growing steadily. And while there have been many questions raised around how best to use the information being gathered, there is no question that there is a real future between the two. The growing importance of Big Data Scientists and the…

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing Innovation Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some…