Cloud computing is HOT! First, get IT plugged into the right cloud service providers who do IT cheaper but better than in-house. Then IT can sit down in its rightful seat at the management table and get down to business with the other big guys. Sounds sort of like the ultimate corporate plug ‘n play. If only things were that easy.
No one denies that there are many possible cloud computing benefits, however trying to get your cloud right is still a daunting task. Decisions are everywhere, with no easy answers. Would it be better to go with Private Cloud, Public Cloud, or some combination of the two? Migrating your platform or Infrastructure needs, or software to any or all of the multiple cloud service models:
- PaaS: (Platform);
- and IaaS (Infrastructure) is a major task?
And whichever service model you choose, the details as to how cloud computing companies provide their services (the combination of hardware, software, et al) are not under your control. Your data is in another data center. If you are taking advantage of other tech innovations such as real time BI/analytics or you want to slice and dice Big data sets, should you even move your data to a public cloud? What if your cloud service provider’s data center burns down?
Moving to the cloud means loss of control of these services replaced by a need for increased vigilance in managing SLAs with your cloud computing providers. And what unexpected or hidden costs lurk in the details? The measurement of usage and user activities is in the hands of the Cloud Computing provider.
If your need for cloud services varies or changes suddenly, you may need flexibility on cost. What if you want a divorce and move to other cloud service providers? Furthermore, being dependent on cloud computing providers may possibly affect the pace of innovation, slowing or speeding it up and roiling an already raging competitive environment. What about taking advantage of the new collaborative way of doing business and the consumerization of the workplace?
Cloud solves the need for rapidly increasing need for computing power, but how do you integrate and secure employees’ smart devices with cloud service providers? What are your data security risks: who is responsible for data loss or disruption of service, when outsourcing? In medical settings, public cloud may pose a special risk for patient privacy.
Whichever cloud services a CIO or IT leader ultimately chooses, will most certainly involve making careful tradeoffs: what service could be outsourced to public cloud, vs private cloud? Or, speed, flexibility, security vs. cloud computing costs and control. Obviously, if there are problems in one of your services in-house now, those need to be addressed before you consider migrating to the cloud, since moving to a cloud service provider will not solve them. CIO Information suggests successful cloud adopters tend to start with smaller projects perfected in house first, then moved to pilot projects with the cloud computing providers.