Cloud service implementation was not something to be excited about three to four years ago. This has however changed for IT departments and leaders, as it has become the new direction for businesses. How so? Let’s have a look at how cloud architects are slowly replacing rack and sack administrators.
So what is this cloud technology and who are cloud architects? Cloud is a metaphor for internet-based technology. It is also known as on-demand computing, that relies on sharing computing resources as opposed to having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Shared resources, data, and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. It provides users and businesses with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers. In the simplest terms, it means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of the computer’s hard drive.
The reason it is fast gaining popularity is its ability to reduce costs, increased security and reduced downtime. Due to lower hardware costs from more efficient use of physical resources, the price of deploying applications in the cloud can be less when compared to on-site hosting and issues of security and downtime are handled better due to economies of scale of the cloud service providers.
With every new technology come new titles. Cloud architects are IT personnel for cloud computing. They oversee a business cloud computing strategy including cloud adoption plans, cloud application design, and cloud management and monitoring.
Traditional IT strategy is built on maintaining local servers or personal devices. With the penetration of cloud, this role is changing. Saugatuck Technology hosted the Cloud
Charlie Burns, an analyst with Saugatuck and moderator of a panel on cloud infrastructure concerns remarked that a few years ago when cloud first started, the security concerned inclined to be about job security. People felt that storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive would render the IT profession obsolete. He went on to say that, people are getting over it.
He continued to explain that people now pretty much understand that IT infrastructure can be either the enabler or limitation on migrating to digital business. IT is now taking on the role of catalyst, proponent, and Sherpa for the advance into digital enterprises.
CIO’s are looking at cloud as the future of their companies and as reported by Joe Crawford, Verizon’s executive director. He reports that a CIO he recently spoke with said the moving the cloud over the next three quarters for his company was inevitable.
Companies are evolving to cloud through shadow IT coming from developers. Traditional servers can take up to four days to be stood up. All you need to initiate new cloud systems is to pay through your credit card and stand up point servers, and you are good to go!
Cloud offers a myriad of other advantages over traditional technologies. It increases operational agility for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. It also offers disaster recovery solutions for big companies as well as small ones, a venture that was too expensive for small enterprises in the past. Maintenance of the system such as installing updates is one other headache that cloud removes since suppliers take care of them. Your time is left for other things that matter such as growing your business.
Additionally, cloud computing cuts the cost of hardware as you enjoy subscriptions depending on your cash flow. This is notwithstanding the option that you can work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
It is not a wonder then that companies are evolving to brokers of cloud services. Joe Fuller, the CIO of Dominion Enterprises, is one of the leaders trying to get ahead of this business. His department supports 38 business units and hosts two data centers. They monitor cloud services and consolidate billing. Their strategy, well-articulated by him is to endeavor to make the change to cloud architects.
Security of information is a real issue with cloud technology. Cloud can be offered in three models, private, public and hybrid. The private model is operated solely by a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third party. Public models are open for public use while a hybrid model is a composition of two or more clouds that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. Despite the type, security is a major concern since even for a private model; every step in the project raises security issues that must be addressed to prevent serious vulnerabilities.
Consequently, companies are finding it unsustainable to keep writing big checks for security soft wares. User education has therefore become critical as enterprises adopt cloud platforms.
IT remains critical in leveraging cloud technology. Despite the changes that have been witnessed in the past few years, getting people to look at cloud as the future of information technology remains a challenge. What do you think can help in managing this change?