The Cloud is Upon Us
As with any new business paradigm, even if it has been out and proven for years, there is still hype and Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) all around it.
Companies are still scrambling to figure out an appropriate Cloud adoption strategy that would leverage the promised advantages of the Cloud to realize the business benefits of increased agility & flexibility along with a reduction in their infrastructure costs.
What is the Cloud?
According to Gartner, Cloud Computing is:
“Cloud computing is a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT capabilities are provided as a service to multiple customers using Internet technologies”
Clouds can be Private, Public or Hybrid and provide three types of service offerings:
Simply put, Cloud computing offers the facility to rent
IT capability on demand, saving businesses the lead
time, cost and effort of creating and maintaining
the capability in-house
So why have companies been slow in leveraging the Cloud?
Some of it has to do with the fact that the Cloud is still perceived as not reached maturity.
The fact that standards, technology and operating models are still emerging, even in 2014, instills the fear of adoption of a new paradigm.
There is still a degree of Hesitation and the Wait and See syndrome. But the bigger concerns, real or perceived, are around these issues:
Loss of control
The ability to maintain current service levels to consumers
There have been efforts made to adopt consensus on approaches and guidelines.
The Cloud Computing Bill of Rights of 2008 never really got traction and a Cloud Computing Bill of Rights revival in 2010 was only marginally successful to address some of the concerns.
But, for the organization looking to explore the Cloud, the key question is “Where to Start?”
Unless they have a well-managed portfolio of applications and capabilities, this may be a tough question to answer readily.
In order to transition any capability or application into the Cloud there issues must be understood:
Service Level Agreement (SLAs)
The Business Criticality
Application and Business Dependencies
The Integration Points
Other attributes must be analyzed and matched against the proposed Cloud implementation to ensure that the rewards warrant the risks.
The SOA Model and the Cloud
This is where an organization that has implemented enterprise-wide Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), along with strong SOA governance, has an advantage.
In the SOA world, functional capabilities are encapsulated within services, with well-defined interfaces, Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) and security implementations.
The SOA governance function maintains a catalog of services and ensures that the service attributes, usage, dependencies are readily available for analysis.
This makes it possible to quickly identify the candidates that can be transitioned to the Cloud and, once the transition is complete, to measure the effectiveness against existing metrics.
Since SOA offers the flexibility of loose coupling and location independence, services could be purchased (SAAS) or created in-house, but would be transparent to the consumer.
A fully functional SOA integration platform can orchestrate a combination of in-house or Cloud based services to provide new application functionality.
SOA governance will enforce conformance of all services to enterprise standards, and provide usage statistics and other metrics.
SOA, which is an architectural and build approach for application functionality, greatly complements Cloud computing, which is an infrastructure and delivery model.
those organizations which have already adopted enterprise-wide SOA, can jump-start their Cloud initiatives with ease.
So for an organization which has implemented SOA
and effective SOA governance, the Cloud is really
the natural next step in its IT maturity
Wisdom Pearl # 138 – What is Success in Business Technology?
Business Drives Technology
… Technology Does Not Drive Business
…… Be Sure that your Technology Solutions Truly Supports the Business Success Criteria
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Managing Director at LiquidHub at LiquidHub
Siva Natarajan is a Managing Director in the LiquidHub Consulting Organization where he leads the EA, SOA and integration initiatives and also coordinates the activities of the LiquidHub Global Delivery organization. Siva has over 25 years of experience in Information Technology, with proven leadership and expertise in the delivery and implementation of large scale complex software and systems integration projects using a wide range of leading technologies.
Latest posts by Siva Natarajan (see all)
- Service Oriented Architectures Facilitates Cloud Adoption - April 16, 2014