Home > IT Management > Leveraging the Cloud | Part 1/3

Leveraging the Cloud | Part 1/3


“You know a major shift is coming when even software giant Microsoft is putting its old, reliable and profitable Microsoft Office in the cloud with the Microsoft Office 365.”

Let’s say you are in-charge of your IT business office. Your main responsibilities include making sure that all employees have the right hardware and software needed for their job. Before even talking about enterprise applications that enable business processes, you start with the basics— computers and office tools. You need to buy computers and software licenses to give employees the tools they need to do their job. Whenever your company brings new employees on board, you have to buy more software or make sure your existing software license agreements allow another user. Not only is it difficult to get the budget to pay for software but it is also difficult to administer, install and support it. If you have more than 5,000 users in your area of responsibility, imagine the amount of investment, money and time you need just to give employees their computers and basic software. What if someone told you that you could provide your users with the software they need without the usual hassle? What if someone told you that on top of having to do less work, you will require less capital expenditures from the business? If you figured out where I am heading, then you will understand why there is so much buzz about cloud computing. “It’s become the phrase du jour,” says Gartner senior analyst Ben Pring.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud denotes the “Internet” and when combined with “computing”, the definition becomes even more complicated. There are a lot of definitions out there, but I like this one because it attempts to cover the 3 forms of cloud computing.

“Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that’s often used to represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.” [Definition from techtarget.com]

The areas where organizations are increasing focus on virtualization are in applications that include web, database, email, calendar and office tools. Critics of cloud computing are concerned about security, disaster recovery, and encryption. The loss of physical control of data and fear of hijacked accounts are giving IT executives some reasons not to move enterprise solutions to the cloud.

I think cloud computing is in its early stages but the tipping point might be just around the corner. There are obvious signs that the shift that is underway. Former United States CIO Vivek Kundra set a target of 25% of the federal government’s $80 billion dollar yearly budget to the cloud. This data is from the “2011 Federal Cloud Computing Strategy Report”. The cloud may represent a bigger transformation for IT organizations—even larger than “e-business” in the 90s and “social media” today. Is your business ready for this transformation?

The next questions are: What is driving the turn toward the cloud? What are the underlying business issues? Find out the answers on my next post.

Photo courtesy of Idea Go.

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  1. Vaughan Merlyn
    September 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Great post, Glenn – I’m looking forward to the subsequent posts in this series. It’s easy to write this all off either as “old news” (Isn’t this what we all did and called time sharing back in the 60’s and 70’s?) or “no news” (This is all hype – after a few well-publicized snafu’s, the cloud will go back into its box!)

    Per my own blogging on this topic, I think the shift to cloud computing really is big news – in fact, transformational! Your “tipping point” comment is spot on!

    But my advice to clients is, “Don’t look to the cloud to do things you are already doing, but do them cheaper. Rather, look to do the things your business wants, but you haven’t had the time to do! That’s where the big wins are to be found!”

    • Glenn Remoreras
      September 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks again Vaughan. I included your advice in my second post. Appreciate your input.

  2. May
    September 18, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Thank you for this post Glenn. I’ve been hearing a lot about cloud computing and this one certainly adds clarity to my cloud of doubts

    • Glenn Remoreras
      September 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      You are right May, we hear a lot about it today, definitely the next big thing. Thanks!

  1. September 21, 2011 at 4:01 am
  2. September 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

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