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…

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!
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Share

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – 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

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data Big Data is BIG business and will continue to be one of the more predominant areas of focus in the coming years from small startups to large scale corporations. We’ve already covered on CloudTweaks how Big Data can be utilized in a number of interesting ways from preventing world hunger to

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Whitepapers

Top Research Assets

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

Explore how cloud computing is a solution to the problems facing data centers today and highlights the cutting-edge technology (including OpenStack cloud computing) that HP is bringing to the current stage. If you are a CTO, data center administrator, systems architect, or an IT professional looking for an enterprise-grade, hybrid delivery cloud computing solution that’s open,

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security Cloud applications are a priority for every business – the technology is flexible, easy-to-use, and offers compelling economic benefits to the enterprise. The challenge is that cloud applications increase the potential for corporate data to leak, raising compliance and security concerns for IT. A primary security concern facing organizations moving

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Shifting Workloads and the Server Evolution Learn more about the latest industry trends and the challenges customers are talking about. Every ten to fifteen years, the types of workloads servers host swiftly shift. This happened with the first single-mission mainframes and today, as disruptive technologies appear in the form of big data, cloud, mobility and