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:

cloud computing

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.

cloud computing

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 / Director of Solutions Architecture

——————————————————————–

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.

http://twitter.com/GreenPagesIT

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014 The bring-your-own-device trend has been the subject of scrutiny ever since its initial formation. Given how quickly personal smartphones and tablets became a fixture in everyday life, it makes perfect sense that these mobile machines would slip into workplaces. While BYOD has caused headaches for many businesses,…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at…

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Cloud servers offer power, flexibility, reliability, and client friendly hosting for small and medium businesses that have outgrown shared hosting. New business hosting clients are bombarded with an incredible diversity of different choices for their site’s hosting. It can be a challenge to negotiate the range of platforms and the marketing hype that many hosting…

Featured Sponsors

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

Shaping The World With New Technologies As a connected collection of intelligent objects, the Internet of Everything promises to open up those areas of the world hardest hit by economic, political and agricultural blights. Relatively inexpensive devices, paired with revolutionary energy sources and unprecedented access to information offer great promise to farmers and workers in…

Sponsors

Cloud ERP Starter’s Guide: When QuickBooks Is Not Enough

Cloud ERP Starter’s Guide: When QuickBooks Is Not Enough

Cloud ERP Starter’s Guide: When QuickBooks Is Not Enough You’ve been running your small business on QuickBooks, or a product like it, to automate your accounting function and produce basic financial reports. So, what’s wrong? Things just don’t seem to be working well. It takes too long to get a “picture” of how your business…

Placement Opportunities - Find Out!

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter