In general, these models promise significant benefits from leveraging the global growth of computational and network grids. Some of the key perceived benefits are as follows:
Agility - Cloud platforms improve time-to-application deployment by provide the option of developing and deploying new applications on existing infrastructure as quickly as desired. In comparison, traditional platforms can take up to three or four months to procure, install, and configure, many times stalling the application deployment process.
Predictability of Costs - Cloud computing allows organizations to align IT budgets with application demand by hosting customer and public-facing Web applications with cloud providers. Organizations just need to pay for the resources they use, hour by hour.
Managing Demand Variability - Cloud computing provides a mechanism to manage peaks in demand for data center capacity, computing, storage, and network resources. As an example, organizations can easily push big batch jobs into the cloud instead of designing and building IT infrastructure for the absolute peak data loads.
Lowering CapEx Budgets - Cloud computing gives the ability to deliver new applications without having to buy gear, raising the firm’s capital expenditures. Application development and delivery can all be performed and managed via operating expenses.
Collaboration & Sharing - Cloud computing allows organizations a relatively inexpensive and easily accessible way to share information by hosting data on public clouds rather than opening their organization’s firewall to make it available to external parties.
At the same time, many of the emerging models are being tested in the real world and as risks get identified, organizations will have to plan required risk mitigation strategies. Some of the key risks include those related to data security and privacy, compliance with local and federal/international regulations and guidelines as well as evolving business continuity/disaster recovery scenarios with the new models.
From a service delivery perspective, the following diagram demonstrates the deployment models being used by organizations. It is likely that most organizations will deploy a mix of these models:
As organizations look to deploy these models, it is recommended that they spend time in developing an enterprise level cloud roadmap. The following section identifies key recommended steps:
Key Steps for Creating an Enterprise Cloud Roadmap
Define the cloud opportunity, establish direction, assess the application of cloud technology within the enterprise context, assess the deployment options, frame the service provider market, and plan the roadmap for cloud services.
Identify and build a business case on the value that cloud computing can drive to the enterprise.
Document and educate the IT organization on how cloud-based services fit within the context of existing technology plans and sourcing strategies.
Evaluate internal skills and capabilities as well as provider service offerings and capabilities.
Assess the relative cost, architecture, and skills impacted by applying cloud technologies to core business applications.
Frame the risk and an organization’s readiness for the adoption of cloud technology.
Understand the management framework needed for the enterprise to manage Cloud Services.
Last but not the least, discuss with peers and seek expert assistance as you embark on this journey.
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