Cloud Computing And Organizational Inertia

Cloud Computing And Organizational Inertia

Having spent this last week at the Cloud Connect event in Silicon Valley, I have had a number of interesting discussions with people involved with various aspects of cloud computing. While industry analysts such as Gartner and IDC are projecting that 80% of all servers running on native hardware are expected to be virtualized by 2020, many service provider and media representatives I’ve spoken with continue to be a little skeptical as far as these projections are concerned.

From a technical standpoint, the development effort by industry bellwethers like Cisco, IBM and HP has significantly accelerated the technological development in this space. Based on what I have seen at Cloud Connect and in the course of our daily work, I am confident that the underlying solutions will be ready to hit the mainstream by the end of 2013. Having said that, to meet the growth projections made by the analyst community, finalizing the facilitating technology stacks is not enough.

Over the last couple of months, our team conducted a vendor survey with 102 service providers around the world. Although there is still some work to do as far as technologies are concerned, I think perhaps the most interesting finding was that the biggest obstacle holding service providers back in their cloud and data center automation efforts is organizational inertia, not technology. In retrospect, this is of course logical, because large shifts like this also require changes on the organizational level.

Retail banking is another industry that has gone through a similar change, By now, most of us are used to doing the majority of our banking online, without the need to visit our local branch or to contact a designated representative to complete daily transactions. For banks this has required significant organizational changes involving cut-backs at the individual branches and increases in the size of the workforce managing the technology platforms that make online banking possible. Ultimately, this has made banking a lot more convenient for the average user, while providing the banking institutions with operational efficiencies.

Amidst all the hype, it is easy to forget that cloud computing is really not about technology. Rather, what the cloud promises us all is a new way to consume applications without having to give any thought to the underlying technologies. That translates to cost efficiencies, ease of use and self-service IT, based on process automation. When one thinks about all the companies using IT as an integral part of their operations, it becomes obvious that the impact of cloud computing will affect pretty much all industries, ultimately helping consumers to get more for less.

With an upside of this magnitude, it is no wonder that service providers and IT departments around the world are thinking about ways to benefit from this opportunity. Before embarking on this journey, however, most of these organizations would be well-advised to take a good look at their organizational structures. In traditional computing, various specialist teams have been working in silos, focusing on different areas of computing such as applications, databases, servers and networking. To enable end-to-end automation that spans across all these functions, organizational changes will likely be necessary.

To decide whether or not your own organization is ready for the change, here is a quick check-list:

1. Has the cloud computing initiative been made a strategic priority in the organization?

As people in IT departments always have a number of items on their to-do list, making cloud computing a priority across the organization is key to success. Unless everyone in the organization appreciates the strategic importance, coordinating efforts between different teams will become difficult and the momentum will be lost.

2. Have you named a sponsor who is senior enough to push the initiative through?

Resistance to change is natural. To make sure that the strategic cloud computing initiative is not derailed through politics, the initiative must be headed by a respected senior member of the organization whose judgement other people will trust. Ability to build trust between cross-functional teams is also a great asset.

3. Have you thoroughly assessed the make or buy aspects of cloud computing?

Since cloud computing is all about end-to-end automation and efficiency, a natural reaction within an IT department is to start securing bases by driving the cloud initiative towards home-grown or highly customized technical solutions provided by systems integrators. While this approach can be justified in select service provisioning environments, for most enterprises spending time and/or resources on developing IT systems in-house – or paying someone else to do that on customized basis is a waste of time and money. There are ample cloud computing and automation solutions available that can help your organization in meeting its requirements, making job security the only real driver for home-grown tweaks.

By Juha Holkkola

Juha is managing director of Nixu Software Oy Ltd, the cloud application deployment company, an affiliate of Nixu. He joined Nixu in early 2000 and has since held various business and sales management positions. Before Nixu, Juha worked for Nokia Networks and financial services company Sampo Group in various marketing and treasury positions.

For guest blogger opportunities, please contact us regarding…

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
Hubgets – Advanced Collaboration, Enriched Communication

Hubgets – Advanced Collaboration, Enriched Communication

Advanced Collaboration Tool Sponsored series provided in collaboration with Hubgets Collaboration tools have advanced leaps and bounds with the advent of cloud technology, and the services available are only getting better. Promising features such as sophisticated group communication, productive management of tasks and meetings, and the ultimate dream, working remotely from some gorgeous island destination, innovative collaboration…

Verizon To Acquire Yahoo For $4.83 Billion

Verizon To Acquire Yahoo For $4.83 Billion

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) said it had agreed to buy Yahoo Inc’s (YHOO.O) core internet business for $4.83 billion in cash, ending a lengthy sale process for the fading Web pioneer. Buying Yahoo’s operations will boost Verizon’s AOL internet business, which it bought last year for $4.4 billion, by giving it access to Yahoo’s advertising…

When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

Evolution of Technologies To paraphrase science fiction author Arthur C. Clark, those who make predictions about the future are either “considered conservative now and mocked later, or mocked now and proved right when they are no longer around to enjoy the acclaim.” The one thing we can be sure about, Clark ventured, is that “[the…

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it had completed a successful test flight of a solar-powered drone that it hopes will help it extend internet connectivity to every corner of the planet. Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, high-altitude aircraft, flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in…

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

Tech Diversity It is well known that the technology industry has been dominated by men, but it is also clear that the industry is working to change that. Diversity in the tech industry, especially where it applies to women in tech, has been a topic of discussion for years. Recently the Washington Technology Industry Association…

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Big Data’s Big Picture Big data allows marketing and production strategists to see where their efforts are succeeding and where they need some work. With big data analytics, every move you make for your company can be backed by data and analytics. While every business venture involves some level of risk, with big data, that risk…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Speed, flexibility, and innovation require multiple cloud services As businesses seek new paths to innovation, racing to market with new features and products, cloud services continue to grow in popularity. According to Gartner, 88% of total compute will be cloud-based by 2020, leaving just 12% on premise. Flexibility remains a key consideration, and…

Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Power Amazon Web Services – the giant of cloud computing – is on track to do $10 Billion in revenue this year. Yet, rumors swirl that Apple may take a huge chunk of business away from them and Dropbox has definitely left AWS. Is something wrong at AWS? Wait, Salesforce.com (SFDC) – the granddaddy of…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Three Factors for Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors for Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Is The Fintech Industry The Next Tech Bubble?

Is The Fintech Industry The Next Tech Bubble?

The Fintech Industry Banks offered a wide variety of services such as payments, money transfers, wealth management, selling insurance, etc. over the years. While banks have expanded the number of services they offer, their core still remains credit and interest. Many experts believe that since banks offered such a wide multitude of services, they have…

Cloud Computing Is Greener Than You Think

Cloud Computing Is Greener Than You Think

Cloud Computing Is Greener Than You Think Last week we touched upon how a project in Finland had blended two of the world’s most important industries, cloud computing and green technology, to produce a data centre that used nearby sea water to both cool their servers and heat local homes.  Despite such positive environmental projects, there…

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better. The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors A recent BI Intelligence report claimed that the Internet of Things (IoT) is on its way to becoming the largest device market in the world. Quite naturally, such exponential growth of the IoT market has prompted a number of high-profile corporate investors and smart money VCs to bet highly…