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Chief Information Officer: One Day, I Will Collect Information

As mentioned previously in this blog, cloud portfolio management company RightScale has now completed its third run of the State of the Cloud Report. In the spring, the firm questioned 1068 computing executives throughout a spectrum of industries. Amazingly, a total of 94% of the organizations represented by respondents were using a cloud: 29% public, 7% private, and 58% a combination of both. (Since large companies often behave differently from smaller ones related to technology, it’s noteworthy that only 24% of survey participants were with firms that have a workforce in excess of a thousand people.)

As the cloud grows, the general IT landscape rapidly evolves. One basic fact of the evolution is that the job responsibilities of many professionals are changing, so the skillsets that are most needed are under revision as well.

Family Dollar CIO Josh Jewett notes that enterprises no longer need individuals who excel at putting together hardware. Instead, they need computing professionals who have a knack for monitoring a third-party company that is in charge of the hardware. Jewett said that the process is basically the same but performed by another party: “You go from managing outcomes yourselves to managing outcomes through others.”

Ann Bednarz of CIO interviewed 16 enterprise technology heads about the transition from traditional computing to the cloud, resulting in a series of articles on the same general theme. (For example, one article was related to challenges of the technology, while another discussed simple and straightforward strategies.) One installment of the batch of reports, published October 14, specifically focused on how the expectations and practices of recruitment and knowledge development are adjusting to the emergence of cloud hosting.

Everything is changing. One CIO who spoke with Bednarz said that someday soon, people would start asking information-technology departments to bring them information.

Don’t Virtualize Everything, Sonny

Randy Spratt, who is the chief information and technology officer for the healthcare company McKesson, mentions that everything has been tweaked by the rise of distributed virtualization: not only have the professional skills needed for a strong tech team been altered, but vendor interaction has become more critical now that the deployment is so often performed as a service rather than on-site.

A smooth transition to the cloud is best achieved by an individual who is good at rallying people behind a cause. It requires someone who can explain and convince regarding the nature of systems, rather than simply a strong engineer. “You need to educate businesses about what they have,” he notes. “It’s like an internal sales job.”

Many businesses want to consider what they will virtualize and what they won’t – such as businesses wanting to continue to utilize dedicated hardware that they already own in conjunction with cloud hosting. In those cases – says computing support firm SAIC’s technology chief, Bob Fecteau – the skill needed by staff is an understanding of the systems most suited for virtualization.

Fecteau believes that the technical skills of computing professionals, such as coding or managing a network, will become less essential than information exchange. He envisions a future in which technologists are asked, “‘How can you get me the info we need to make key business decisions?’”

You can’t just give someone another title, shifting someone from data center specialist to cloud specialist: that’s the primary message of top Dow Chemical information executive Paula Tolliver. She notes that integration is a critical approach with the cloud, the ability to fuse together various cloud infrastructural and software components (potentially from more than one provider) and any internal systems.

Dow has recruited new computing professionals with virtualization focuses, as well as trained continuing staff in the technology so that experience and business continuity is maintained.

What’s Your Provider Done for You Lately?

One CIO likes to look for the strongest option available at a competitive price point, after which he works out a combination hosting and consulting package with the provider, so that his organization can test services, get help deploying them, and have access to expertise.

That executive, Brian LeClaire of Humana, says that the insurance company deploys more than one pilot of various platform options at one time. Once all the tests are active, the cloud provider directly trains his team. He also has recruited individuals that are strong at certain cloud elements, aware that specific knowledge is often the only avenue for success: “The tool is no good if you don’t understand the applications the tool is meant to help.”

Hitting the Books

Willingness to adapt to developing technologies is fundamental, according to The Vanguard Group technology head John Marcante. He says that his computing staff is able to adjust rapidly to different expectations, especially since many more tasks are now being assigned to the machines: “Cloud allows for a lot more automation and less sophistication and deep knowledge.”

Adaptation has been fundamental for us at Superb Internet since our founding in 1996. Nothing epitomizes adaptation and flexibility like our Flex Cloud offering. It gives you access to optimal performance On Demand, and you only pay based on use. In fact, you can create your own Flex Cloud VM now for free.

By Kent Roberts

Free Use Image via Wikipedia

Breaking News: The Cloud is, in Fact, Cloudy

Judy Scinta wrote a piece published October 13 by the Buffalo Law Journal on the topic of cloud computing use by local attorneys. The article reveals a certain murkiness to the cloud and a somewhat gray color in various areas. There is no mention of the cloud’s incredible fluffiness or its many areas of whiteness that peak out from behind the sun at businesses, letting them know there is a clear, blank space in which they can store their data.

In fact, the universally unhelpful answers provided by the experts Scinta interviews point to a truth about new technology that is often left undiscussed: no one seems to want to simplify explanations so that we all know what we are talking about. Distributed virtual computing is a vast sea of possibility. There is no reason to focus on the gray areas. Let’s just stop being confused all the time. We need to put on a strong front so that our children don’t grow up thinking they were adopted by aliens.

I’m taking this somewhat random piece from a local trade publication to better understand general conversation related to this innovative computing model. Let’s explore section by section to see what went wrong in Buffalo, other than the 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns in 2009 that Jeff Pencek of Bleacher Report called “the worst game ever” and a “craptacular”– the latter a term typically used by zoologists to describe monkey habitats.

Cloud Specialists Think Journalist is Asking Too Many Questions

(Disclosure: Before I begin, I must admit that I will not be able to be as critical as intended of Judy Scinta’s report as we would all like, assuming that we all like a good witch hunt. Like writers sometimes disclose stock ownership in a story about a corporation, I must admit my mother’s name is Judy, and that she’s harmless, and that everybody had better leave her alone.)

Scinta mentions, aptly, that there was a simpler time for the word cloud: it used to just be a big thing in the sky, used as a metaphor by the Rolling Stones to refer to their awesomeness.

She writes that we are told that the term’s entrance to the world of technology framed it as “a limitless storage space for electronic data for business and personal use” in a physical location that is faraway, undefined, and unimportant, like Area 51 ever since we all realized that there is nothing creepy going on there whatsoever.

Scinta writes that the clean, simple concept of cloud computing is wrong. It’s not possible to put this technology into a “neat package with a bow on top.” Technologists and attorneys might get very upset if we were to use a clear and concise working definition. None of us wants to have to deal with a grumpy IT guy or lawyer, so we should walk on eggshells around them – oops, my foot just crunched an eggshell!

Expert #1 – IT Perspective from David Nellis

David Nellis, a sales manager at midsized New York IT provider Synergy Global Solutions, said that his company sometimes works with attorneys. His description of the cloud is first that it is broad in scope, applying to individual software as well as entire computing environments – the infrastructure underpinning an attorney’s entire system. Nellis said specifically that the technology involves “access to applications via the Internet that are being hosted somewhere else.” He emphasized that companies were using their own in-house private clouds to maintain data security.

First of all, sure, it comes in many flavors, but let’s not talk about the flavors and then gloss over the general definition of ice cream: it’s unfair to the lactose-intolerant. Cloud systems aren’t just stored “somewhere else.” They are stored in a vast network of servers. That’s really the key point. If not for the vast network of servers, if it were just some undefined remote location, that would not be so efficient that one computing expert says it typically outperforms supercomputers.

Also the discussion of private and hybrid clouds (the latter of which integrate public and private solutions) often fails to recognize that like any infrastructure, those systems are offered by hosting services too. You don’t have to expose yourself to risk simply by “relying on somebody else’s hosted solution.” Nellis makes it sound as if you have to decide between the public cloud and building your own datacenter.

Expert #2 – Law Perspective from Thomas Popek

If you thought technologists were obtuse and sometimes failed to convey the point related to a particular solution (i.e., that groundbreaking speed and agility don’t just arise from the cloud being in a different location, since all that does by itself is create latency), Scinta’s discussion with a lawyer will be even more disappointing. Get ready for a good, slow, frustrated headshaking.

Scinta said that Thomas Popek – an attorney with Phillips Lytle LLP who focuses in part on tech – looks at the cloud as “more of a philosophy” than something that is completely definitive.” Go ahead. Roll your eyes. Or don’t. I just rolled my eyes three times now, so two of you are already covered.

Popek explained that if you talk to ten firms, they will each have their own description of this type of technology. Here’s the thing: in that scenario, nine of those firms would be a little bit wrong. You can’t have an industry that doesn’t have a basis. What is the philosophy, exactly? “Make the data move fast”? “Get the data away from its users”?

Straight Talk About Innovative Tech

Allowing conversations on technology to be so vague is dangerous: we could all get lost in the fog… I mean cloud. “Where am I?” I might ask you. All you could reply, sadly, would be, “Somewhere else.”

The reason why 94% of companies (RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report) now have cloud solutions in place is that the cloud is mind-blowingly fast, scalable, and affordable. Let’s talk straight, people. We do. As customer John Zortman said of our support team, “You cannot improve perfection.” Get your cloud server now.

By Kent Roberts

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How Intellectual Property is Adapting to the Cloud

Cloud computing is no longer an alternative technology. The virtual distribution model of hosting has become so prevalent that it now stands abreast of the traditional, hardwired, legacy system. The 2014 State of the Cloud Report, released in April by RightScale based on interviews of IT professionals conducted two months earlier, revealed that the cloud is “reaching ubiquity,” with 94% of firms using some type of cloud application.

We’re not just in the age of the public cloud anymore, as is clear with the RightScale data. The research team found that 48% of organizations are either currently using or are developing strategies to deploy hybrid clouds. That information is consistent with a Gartner study released last year that forecast hybrid clouds would be adopted by just under 50% of enterprises by 2017 (although notably that latter statistic is specific to larger companies). Hybrid solutions have become popular because they combine the public and private cloud structures. What’s important to understand about the growth of cloud is that firms are trending toward types of systems that pay more attention to data isolation.

Regardless of that trend toward more sophisticated, privatized systems, the New York Times recently reported that public cloud has made an impact in terms of our notion of the ownership of ideas.

NYT: Intellectual Property and The Cloud

The Industrial Revolution changed the organization of the world, not just in terms of the process of mass manufacturing. In fact, mass manufacturing was primarily noteworthy because it made it easier to profit off of an idea. If an entrepreneur came up with a concept, machines were built to make that concept a reality (as encapsulated by the product) so that the idea could be spread to as many consumers as possible. Investors in all types of products were protected through intellectual property staples – trademark, copyright, and patent.

As Quentin Hardy of the New York Times reports, though, those protections may soon become irrelevant. The speed of the cloud and the cost-effectiveness of its broad and agile approach has allowed companies to integrate themselves with tools and code typically only accessible to developers in certain sectors. Because of this, products are becoming way more sophisticated. Hardy cited Chicago patent attorney Russell E. Levine, who said that carmakers used to concern themselves specifically with automotive parts – “the IP around brakes and exhaust systems” – but are now having to consider technological ownership of increasingly diverse systems.

Smartphones at the Center of Changing Landscape

Corporations that build smartphone technology are at the center of the current property battles. A phone containing cloud applications is interconnected with worldwide systems and built to work in the same way no matter where it is sold. Getting the correct permissions in place to meet the laws as solidly as possible is a difficult terrain for lawyers to maneuver.

Pamela Demain, the head of the Licensing Executives Society, a professional association, told Hardy that devices on which so many different software components converge are posing unforeseen difficulties, “with IP at the center of the development.”

Where Cloud Intellectual Property is Headed

Although the forecast by Demain certainly makes it sound like intellectual property is going strong, Hardy argues that will not be the case in the decades to come.

To consider the public clouds of the Internet elite – Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – each consist of more than a million servers (per each company’s leadership). A cloud is becoming its own specialized field, and many companies that have not yet created cloud systems may have difficulty catching up to the pack (just on the basis of capital expenditure, per Hardy). Expertise of cloud systems could be limited to a small pool of people.

The entire way that computing functions is being reshaped by broad worldwide distribution of servers. Ideas are advancing so rapidly, with competition fairly contained in some fields, that often companies decide patents are unnecessary and that revelations within them would do more harm than good.

Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are building clouds that have many proprietary components. Other providers lean in the direction of open-source, so that their systems don’t require any licensing fees and so that they can benefit from the input of a community of passionate developers.

An example of a huge company using open source is Hewlett-Packard. HP’s cloud head Bill Hilf said that open source is not just a socially driven development model but “a way to blow up the other guy.”

The Times piece argues that the world is accelerating toward a completely different framework. In September, Google, Facebook, Walmart, and other companies created a partnership with the mission to announce software upgrades several times daily (rather than a handful of times per decade, as was once the case). Beyond volume, the world will become particularly bizarre for intellectual property if the open source model wins, a movement whose fate is strengthened by the number of big players who promote it. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook open sourced some of the company’s hardware three years ago. With the advent of 3-D printing, manufacturing parts is cheap and easy.

We could soon live in a world in which many of the component pieces are free.

The Road Ahead

Intellectual property is changing the playing field, with companies opting for speed as the ultimate priority with many of their projects. The public cloud is suited perfectly to outpace competition: Geoffrey Fox, PhD, of Indiana University told the American Association of Medical Colleges that cloud computing is often faster than a supercomputer. Superb Internet offers unmatched speed, combining InfiniBand technology with Solid State Drives (SSD), the latter alone doubling the processing rate of your cloud server.

By Kent Roberts

Matching Your Cloud Ideas to Deployment

Matching Your Cloud Ideas to Deployment

Cloud is huge, absolutely huge. Just take these two statistics from an overview of forecasts and survey results published by tech blog SiliconANGLE:

  • As reported by InformationWeek, revenue for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is positioned to exceed $180 billion next year.
  • Although cloud is streamlined, hardware is still needed, with component spending expected to hit almost $80 billion in 2018.

You can also look at the perspective of cloud portfolio manager RightScale in its 2014 State of the Cloud Report, which described the business cloud as “reaching ubiquity,” with 94% of firms using it in some manner.

As evidenced above, just about everyone agrees that cloud computing is the best solution for at least certain types of IT projects (such as storage or developmental projects). Since the general question of cloud adoption is already answered, the conversation is shifting from the benefits of the cloud itself to the best possible cloud strategies. Carlos Granda penned an article for NetworkWorld in June, in which he provided lists of actionable suggestions for organizations in various stages of “cloud maturity” – using a crawl/walk/run model that roughly reflects the Cloud Beginner/Cloud Explorer/Cloud Focused categories used in the State of the Cloud.

Cloud Adoption – The Crawl/Walk/Run Model

Granda provides the following tips for businesses in each of three different levels of cloud maturity, essentially beginning, intermediate, and advanced adoption of the technology.

Crawl – For companies that are in the “crawl” stage, the following is advised:

  • Internal tech review – Figure out what services and software could be potentially moved to the cloud, classifying them as cloud-compatible.
  • Market analysis – Look at the other businesses in your industry and gather data on their cloud deployments – types of systems and any specifics.
  • Deployment plan – Create a detailed plan for deployment, with all variables included (such as users, software, data pursuant to compliance, compliance parameters, service-level agreements, disaster recovery, etc.), as well as all resources calculated and mandatory conditions outlined.
  • Long view – Don’t just think about setting up a cloud infrastructure but what you want it to look like in 2015, 2016, and onward (such as moving toward a hybrid from a multi-cloud environment).
  • Short gains – Although you want to open your perspective to consider the years ahead, you should also use the discovery process to craft easily achievable goals. Granda agrees with Matt Watts, who argued on October 6 in CIO that going after low-hanging virtual fruit builds confidence and momentum.

Walk – If your organization is in the intermediate “walk” phase, these tips apply:

  • · Looking at your assessments from the Deployment Plan above, survey various providers to understand which ones meet your resource needs and conditions.
  • · When providers make claims about their systems – such as amount of downtime or security credentials – ask for that information “in writing” so you know the company is ethical and that the services is “as promoted.”
  • · You do not want any hosting provider to go bankrupt, so gather information related to the financial soundness of the company.
  • · Veto power – You don’t need to approve any cloud provider characteristic. To make vetoing certain companies easier, record any elements that are financially or operationally unacceptable.
  • · You also want a cloud provider to be knowledgeable of the industry, have established expertise over a wide timeframe, and possess a system that can be easily integrated with your own – allowing the ideas for your cloud environment to be represented in the architecture.

Run – Finally, at the advanced “run” stage, here are Granda’s tips, bearing in mind that he works for a cloud migration service, hence that point of focus:

  • Start developing a vendor selection action plan.
  • Try out a plan that suits RASS (resource allocation selection system) specifications
  • Look at options for mobility and migration, since management can become challenging in a multi-cloud scenario dominated by diversity.
  • Figure out how to best migrate to other clouds, developing a migration schedule if applicable.
  • Move all your data over to the new cloud provider, and get started in an environment that better meet your needs, with a more cohesive approach.

Granda said, unclearly, that this year is a “tipping point” for business cloud deployments. That doesn’t seem quite accurate: there are just too many different factors involved in this increasingly large and complex industry. Certainly more organizations are adopting cloud solutions all the time – partially thanks to heightened focus on private and hybrid solutions that allow greater degrees of control and security. Regardless of the “tipping point” idea, Granda makes a valid point that organizations should be prepared well ahead of time with cloud strategies – including an analysis of how a cloud transition with impact the operations, structure, and workforce of your organization. If a transition is performed successfully, after all, the reward is rich: easy to scale, customizable, affordable, creativity-optimized computing.

Crawlers, Walkers & Runners Wanted

Regardless how far along you are in terms of cloud maturity, you want a company that will always be there when you need support. “You helped me set up my server,” wrote our customer Leonid Shalinov last year. “That was so fast.… You saved my life today and a ton of sales.” Get started with a performance-guaranteed cloud VPS today.

By Kent Roberts

Checklist for a Business-Friendly Cloud

“Disruption of entire industries.” That’s one way that Matt Watts describes the vast potential of cloud computing in an October 6 CIO article. The cloud represents spectacular strengths in several areas – irrefutably, mathematically outperforming alternatives in ways such as the following:

  • Speed – You may know that Indiana University is renowned for its supercomputers (the latest of which was Big Red II), so it’s notable that IU computer scientist Geoffrey C. Fox, PhD, reports that cloud computing typically outperform the speed of supercomputers. Numerous calculations can be performed simultaneously, without waiting in line, since resources are widely distributed.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – These parameters are really all derived from the incredible efficiency allowed by cloud computing. Speed is due to the efficiency with time that is optimized by quickly grabbing available resources and completing tasks, standardizing high-availability as a reasonable expectation. Because everything is performed rapidly and kept compact time-wise, costs can remain extraordinarily low.

Cloud computing is so drastically, revolutionarily advantageous to other options (especially considering the growing rate of private cloud use) that the impact for business is not just a computing concern but can offer a competitive edge for the organization. In fact, as Watts insists, this technology should not be viewed in terms of affordability or simplicity of deployment. Rather, it should be considered in terms of its possibilities for development, giving every business potentially game-changing access to ready-made testing environments. The cloud can even readjust the entire dynamic within an industry, creating the disruption described in the introduction.

For example, think about medical research. Medical data is now available at the fingertips of specialists nationwide. Can you imagine how profoundly cancer treatments can be improved when oncologists have immediate access to worldwide images of similar biopsies? Medical science has advanced unfathomably with the tool of cloud computing, as described by the American Association of Medical Colleges in 2013.

Watts argues that the flexibility, user-friendliness, and immediacy of the cloud make it an obvious choice for many situations. Because the benefits of the technology are so phenomenal, Watts suggests that the conversation move beyond technology or budgets to the possible rewards of cloud systems. He suggests that executives can perform 9 tasks to better integrate cloud approaches into the enterprise:

1.    Figure out what clouds work best.

Take a look at providers carefully to determine which ones have strong enough security credentials to meet your needs. European firms need to be especially careful about meeting compliance because of the strong requirements of the European Commission.

2.    Form stronger connections.

The cloud is about creating a more effective and more streamlined company. It will only achieve its potential to the extent that executives understand how powerful it can be – specifically, what kinds of projects it can help them complete.

Determine who is critical to convince at your firm and show them what they can do with cloud – how it can improve services, allow for more knowledgeable choices, and serve creative exploration.

3.    Get everyone pumped.

Whenever making a change, you need to encourage some of the parties involved. Keep in mind that many information-technology professionals like the physical construction aspect of computing, with an affinity to the machines themselves.

Success will depend on your ability to get everyone enthusiastic about using services rather than hardware.

4.    Put points on the board.

(Note that many of these suggestions also serve as tips for those coaching  basketball.)

Establish the cloud in your organization by working on simple, concise, manageable projects. As Watts argues, two primary improvements will be made when you get those early “points” for the cause of cloud strategies: confidence and momentum, critical components of any internal reformations, both rise.

5. Try file-sharing early.

One great testing ground is a file-sharing cloud environment such as Dropbox or Box. This addition of an outside service to your IT approach will be especially helpful if your company does not yet have a way to share large files from mobile devices (as is still true of many organizations).

One particularly compelling aspect of file-sharing is that it will improve workflow for everyone in the company.

6. Figure out management software.

Watts also proposes that automation and orchestration are fundamental to a strong cloud environment, impacting user-friendliness and your ability to scale meaningfully.

Make sure that your management system is simple and clear. Integrate it with your other systems as much as you comfortably can, so that your development and deployment process is easy.

7. Categorize your apps.

Figure out what applications might make sense to move to the cloud, looking at factors including cost, security, and how it might generally serve the business. Designate applicable software as a cloud candidate for potential migration.

8. Look into cloud apps.

Your company may have put a lot of money into the custom software you are currently using (such as a CRM or sales portal). However, migration is not always the best choice.

Is that application really better than Salesforce or another cloud brand?

9. Look at ancillary solutions.

If you want to continue using an app developed in-house, you still might want to use a third-party system for an ancillary service such as backup storage or a disaster recovery system.

Consider that price lowers on these services through volume, especially when overseen by highly focused experts.

10. Choose a provider capable of hyperscale.

You want an organization that is capable of hyperscale and can deliver your application worldwide. Global reach is epitomized by the Superb CDN, with 172 points of presence in 43 nations around the world. Our customer relations are highly rated too, with Aaron Michaels commenting on his review of our service, “Speedy, thorough assistance and communication.” Get started today!

By Kent Roberts

 

State of the Cloud 2014, Part 2: Hybrid Cloud Bonanza

Note: Part 1 Can be Found HereCloud Adoption Reaches 94%

Continuing with our exploration of the RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report, we will now look at the growing interest in hybrid clouds, further describe the systems of a Cloud Focused organization, and assess challenges such as policy development and misalignment of perspectives within companies. Before we get into additional discussion of the results of the survey, we will first provide further description of the Cloud Maturity Model, as indicated in Part One.

Cloud Maturity Model – 4 Stages

RightScale break businesses up in terms of different stages of integration with the cloud: Cloud Watchers, Cloud Beginners, Cloud Explorers, and Cloud Focused. These distinctions are somewhat important because the researchers found that the more cloud-mature an organization is, the more likely it is to experience increasing value with cloud solutions along with diminishing challenges related to new cloud deployments. Here’s what each one entails:

  • Watchers – Businesses that are interested in the cloud and considering various approaches but do not yet have any active cloud systems.
  • Beginners – Organizations that have taken their first steps into cloud technology and are either testing solutions or working in their first cloud environments.
  • Explorers – Companies that have more than one cloud application established, configured, and in use.
  • Focused – Firms that have extensive elements of their computing architecture hosted in the cloud.

Hybrid & Other Growing “Cloud Focused” Trends

The 2014 State of the Cloud revealed that enterprises typically are not fully committed to one type of cloud but instead have elements that are public, private, and/or hybrid. Most enterprises seem to be moving toward the hybrid or multi-cloud model (essentially, the first term referring to multiple clouds that are integrated and the latter one referring to ones that are not). Beyond the cloud itself, systems in place at Cloud Focused organizations are of particular interest since those companies were often early adopters of today’s most recognized hosting technology (cloud), so their other IT choices – of which we will discuss two – could suggest developing trends.

Multi-cloud vs. hybrid – three out of every four (74%) companies surveyed described their path forward as multi-cloud, while one out of two (48%) said they were moving toward a hybrid solution. Specifically, 15% of firms said that their multi-cloud setup would include more than one public cloud machine or tool, while 11% were strategizing two or more private cloud environments.

Hybridization under way – As described above, three out of four companies are going the direction of multi-cloud. Over 50% of multi-cloud companies have cloud apps that are both public and private. In other words, the two components of a typical hybrid cloud scenario are present at the vast majority of organizations, even if they are not integrated into one hybrid system.

Ingredients of next-generation computing – Cloud Focused organizations have fully committed to the cloud, at least in terms of their current technological makeup. Two other ingredients that are typically involved in a company with heavy cloud computing are DevOps (71%) and self-service IT (68%). The former (DevOps), sometimes a basis for collaborative software, is a system or set of parameters based on the philosophy that development should be conducted as a partnership between software creators and operations IT staff. The latter, in the case of cloud deployment, gives personnel in certain teams access to immediately deploy cloud servers; broadly, it refers to a more questionable idea, directing users to solve their own computing problems.

Beyond the specific tools being used to enhance a cloud-heavy computing environment, Cloud Focused companies are ahead on speed. More than 7 out of 10 firms in this category can provide a user with the ability to access and work within a cloud system in less than 60 minutes.

Tricky Aspects of Cloud Adoption

Many businesses are deploying cloud environments, but plans are often not well organized, and leadership is frequently ill-defined. Two out of every three businesses has yet to release a policy of stipulations for what types of clouds can be deployed and accessed; business continuity and disaster recovery strategies; and budgeting.

Businessworthiness – More than 50% of companies have calculated and delineated the real-dollar payoff they expect to achieve from cloud projects and plans to maintain security.

Policy creation – Although many (yet far from all) organizations have looked at the value of the cloud, the vast majority do not have very well-established policies:

  • Only 36% have enacted policies that described the selection process for public or private models.
  • Only 32% have ones that provide parameters for improving resource availability or disaster recovery.
  • Only 29% have policies that provide administrative rules to control cloud expenditure.

Conflicting perspectives – The cloud is lacking in definition of leadership, which is perhaps one reason that the cloud is viewed in different ways by different IT personnel. Central IT views the cloud in terms of choosing between various options, creating policies, engineering private environments, and provisioning applications. On the other hand, tech staff assigned to non-central locations or specific non-computing departments saw IT involvement in cloud development “as much narrower” (per RightScale).

Superb Integration with Next-Generation IT

The 2014 State of the Cloud revealed that hybrid clouds, along with multi-cloud environments, are becoming the dominant computing structure for companies. In fact, along with DevOps and self-service IT, it has been embraced by many companies as a fundamental component of next-generation computing. We agree at Superb, which is why we offer performance-guaranteed, resource-guaranteed public, private, and hybrid clouds. Chat with us now.

By Kent Roberts

Image Credit: WIRED