As the hype curve around cloud computing continues north, it's increasingly easy to get lost in the pressure-perceived or real-coming from all sides to quickly formulate a strategy to leverage today's IT super trend.
The promise of benefits such as fast time to implementation, cheap infrastructure in a pay-as-you-go model, substantially reduced electricity and overall IT costs-and a host of other tantalizing would-be benefits-can seem overwhelming. But as the old adage goes, cooler heads will prevail.
After listening and providing counsel to dozens of IT executives (and those deeper in the trenches) at various stages of cloud implementation, I have identified a set of key considerations among those successfully incorporating cloud into a comprehensive IT strategy. While success in the cloud is certainly not limited to preparing against the following considerations, taking the time to think through them will put you in a better position to help make cloud successful at your organization.
IT management and automation
While one of the benefits of cloud is capacity on-demand without having to deal with infrastructure and scalability issues, moving applications and data to a cloud infrastructure does not eliminate management and automation responsibilities. Rather, it heightens them. Many of the tools (or combination of tools) used to manage and automate applications and business processes currently running in physical and virtual environments do not translate well to a cloud model. In fact, many IT organizations experience a loss of visibility into and control over applications that are moved to the cloud.
This loss of control puts service-level agreements (SLAs) and governance strategies at risk. It often increases the need for manual management, jeopardizing the intended efficiency gains. After all, SLAs are core to any IT organization.