Cloud Computing and how to drive your enterprises in that direction - Part 1 of 4
By: David Linthicum
Nov. 24, 2008 10:30 AM
You've heard of downsizing and rightsizing, so how about Cloudsizing? As properly defined, Cloudsizing is:
The improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of an organization through the selective use of computing resources that are delivered over the Internet
Simple but powerful, and fairly obvious, considering all that's been written about Cloud Computing recently.
However, what is not obvious is how you approach Cloudsizing, or how you get started. Thus, the purpose of this column/article, and the next three, is to introduce you to both the notion of Cloud Computing and how to drive your enterprises in that direction, and to do so through understanding and not just following the hype.
How the heck do you figure out what needs to be in the Cloud and what needs to be local to the enterprise? As with all things related to enterprise computing, it depends on your enterprise. However, there are steps you can take to figure out your requirements.
Here's how you approach Cloudsizing, in a 17-step process:
Assessing the Business
This means, understand the core strategy of the business, the direction of the products and/or services, the approach to obtaining business, the approach to partner integration, the approach to product development, etc., - all aspects, all understanding, again looking for ways to improve the business by leveraging Cloud Computing.
What you'll find is that the core business processes need special attention, and that there are areas where innovation can play a key role. For instance, the ability to validate the value of a sales lead, in process, by leveraging a D&B search from the Cloud, or the ability to locate a product for a customer by leveraging a remote logistics service and thus provide better customer service, which translates into higher sales.
Skip this step, and you might as well not bother. The business is at the essence of the opportunities found in the Cloud, thus you need to have complete knowledge of the business before proceeding.
Assessing the Culture
Truth-be-told the "Cloud" is threatening to the rank-and-file who have gotten used to having all IT assets under their direct control. We saw the same thing back in the emerging days of SaaS, where IT blocked all attempts to deliver applications as a service, but the overwhelming need to have those applications up-and-running overcame the cultural pushback.
Cloud Computing is more invasive than SaaS. Considering that we now outsource infrastructure such as storage and application development as well as information and services, the cultural blocking will certainly be a factor here. Thus, you must take the time to access the culture of the organization, both understanding what will hinder success as well as create ways around the cultural impedance.
Next month we'll continue down our list.
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