How to Achieve the Strategic Value of Cloud While Delivering Real ROI

By Jake Sorofman  |  Posted 2009-03-03 Print this article Print

Cloud computing will soon play a major role in application delivery. Enterprises are starting to see cloud computing as a natural extension of virtualization and are exploring what cloud computing will mean for existing IT infrastructure. While large-scale adoption of cloud computing is still on a future horizon, it is not too soon to begin planning for its entry into the fabric of enterprise IT. Knowledge Center contributor Jake Sorofman explores a five-step framework for cloud computing adoption that begins at virtualization and ends with true cloud actualization.

The path to cloud computing isn't particularly clear, and IT transformation can't happen overnight. This sort of change requires an incremental, stepwise progression that yields benefits along the way. This is the explicit goal of the Cloud Computing Adoption Model: a graduated approach for adoption of cloud technologies that allows benefits to be realized incrementally.

The reality is that change of this magnitude always creates new risk. The Cloud Computing Adoption Model helps to lay out a clear path to cloud without putting projects, budgets and even careers at risk. Central to this adoption model is the virtualized application, a self-contained application image that includes all of the operating components and systems software it requires to run in production. This is the vehicle that makes it possible for applications to become portable across platforms, scalable to meet dynamic demand, and available on-demand.

By packaging applications as virtual applications (also known as "virtual appliances"), organizations ensure that the application will remain manageable and controllable throughout its lifecycle. This article will explore a five-step framework for cloud computing adoption that begins where many organizations are today-at virtualization-and ends with true cloud actualization, which is the state most organizations ultimately want to achieve.

Jake Sorofman is Vice President of Marketing at rPath. Jake is a seasoned software marketing executive with a strong product strategy and communications background. Previously, Jake was SVP of marketing and business development for JustSystems, the largest ISV in Japan and a leader in XML technologies. Before that, Jake was vice president of product marketing with Mercury Interactive (now part of HP Software), where he was responsible for the Systinet product line. He joined Mercury though Mercury's $105 million acquisition of Systinet Corporation. Before Mercury, Jake led marketing for two WebSphere products at IBM Software Group, which he joined through the acquisition of Venetica. Prior to Venetica, Jake was director of product marketing with Documentum, Inc. (now part of EMC), which he joined through the acquisition of eRoom Technology. Jake has a B.A. in English and political science from University of New Hampshire, and an MBA from the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley College, where he was an American Marketing Association George Hay Brown Scholar. Visit his blog at or he can be reached at

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