In general, the cloud is a blessing. But in practice, there are usually stumbling blocks on the way to the cloud. This is mainly due to the fact that not many companies are adequately prepared for this fundamental change. Many people in responsible positions still consider cloud computing to be an alternative solution and not a paradigm shift.
Not all cloud providers are up to the job of migrating complex legacy systems, integrating disparate data and mobile-enabling apps. Because in these scenarios, it is all about identifying and understanding the key issues. In other words, it’s about developing a holistic approach to the cloud that takes into account the interdependencies between the IT architecture, processes, security and availability. This is the only way for the cloud to be a true enabler and accelerate the business.
Experton analyst Alex Oppermann recommends clearly defining a framework and interfaces when venturing into the cloud. “It is important to define interfaces, and establish a process framework within the organization. Clear rules are required for all aspects, from planning, to roles and responsibilities, to optimization.”
In addition, he recommends the use of monitoring technologies to nip potential technical issues in the bud. Dashboards and other business intelligence (BI) tools provide valuable insights that enable companies to be proactive—and not wait until the cloud has already turned into a thunderstorm. But Oppermann also warns against an excessively interventionist approach: “It should not be the customer’s responsibility to check up on every detail of the cloud supply chain. That’s down to the service provider, who has to ensure an end-to-end contractual relationship without risky black holes.”
Enterprise customers should insist on corresponding service level agreements and require mechanisms to safeguard against outages. “However, this is fundamental duty of due diligence in commercial and organizational terms,” Oppermann added.
In the real world, roles and responsibilities are often poorly defined, with too many cloud cooks threatening to spoil the broth. When there is no one in the driver’s seat, problems can quickly lead to fruitless finger pointing. This can threaten the success of the project as a whole. Moreover, it can be difficult to maintain control over company data, as bits and bytes are pushed to and fro between multiple cloud vendors.
For more insights on the importance of holistic views of end-to-end cloud computing, read further about cloud computing technology from T-Systems and click through to download the Quick Guide to Cloud Computing End-to-End. Why Preparation is Everything whitepaper, which features additional insights on this topic from Oppermann as well as from other leading analysts, consultants and members of the academic community. And if you’re looking for an analysis of whether your organization is ready to use the cloud efficiently, learn more about Cloud Readiness & Management Services from T-Systems.