The role of cloud as a valid IT delivery platform is now accepted by many CIO’s, IT directors and IT organizations, who see it as offering clear advantages. Arriving at this point has been quick and driven mainly by the enterprise Business Units (BU) rather than IT, and that brings challenges that need to be addressed.
The BU sees cloud as a cost saving because of the way it is purchased and costed. The CIO and IT department might agree with this but are all too aware of the complexity of IT and new technologies. They are also concerned as to how IT will be integrated when it is moved outside of the organization. This is where a systems integrator can play a significant part in helping the business understand:
- What applications go where
- What type of cloud deployment model is most appropriate
- The migration paths to the cloud
- What the service requirements for cloud are, and
- How to assess the return on investment
The potential benefits for both a systems integrator and an enterprise from the effective use of cloud are substantial. However, these benefits, like all infrastructure changes, need to be understood, planned and valid goals set in order to ensure that they do deliver on their promise. The key for the systems integrator is that cloud does not change their relationship with existing customers. The five criteria above are no different from those that would be used to make any platform decision.
Business decision makers must also be aware that the underlying fundamental relationship with their trusted suppliers does not change when cloud is introduced. If their existing relationships currently include outsourcing or professional services in the architecture and deployment of IT, cloud is simply just another platform.
In my next series of posts I will look at the practical issues for moving applications to the cloud. It addresses the need to choose the applications carefully and how to decide what type of cloud platform is suitable for delivering cloud benefits.
The full paper, How to Move to the Cloud, is available to download here. I hope you’ll find it a useful guide to a successful migration to the cloud.