Ceaseless Revival and Evolution of Cloud Computing
The cloud viewed as a tool to enhance IT economics and flexible force that’s systematically transforming the economy, redefining the role of the CIO.
With the inception of the cloud computing, it was assumed that something big and profound is going to emerging in the IT industry. It was predicted cloud computing could be a revolution and The Next Big Thing in the world of IT.
Cloud has achieved those early expectations, having made tremendous progress in a relatively short time. Observing its evolution over the past few years, the cloud has gone through mainly three, overlapping phases.
1. Early approvers and adopters of the cloud, observed it as computing-on-demand.
2. Next, cloud groomed to a more disciplined approach towards the architecture and management of huge IT infrastructures.
3. Now, the cloud is the major transformational force in IT, in business, and in the economy.
1. Cloud Evolved as Utility Computing
In the early years, the cloud mainly contributed as improvising the economics, flexibility, and agility of IT. Rather than having to purchase and manage their own hardware and software products, users could now take advantage of obtaining the computing resources they required over the Internet on demand.
The prevailing metaphor illustrates this new form of utility computing with the evolution of power plants over the 19th century. During the early days of electricity, companies generally generated their own power with steam engines and dynamos.
However, with the rise of highly sophisticated and professionally run electric tools or utilities, organizations stopped generating their own power and plugging to the newly built electric grids.
Cloud service providers provided computing-as-a-service, with near seamless scalability at very genuine prices.
Rather than having to purchase computing resources up front, users can now only pay for whatever cloud resources they actually use.
Moreover, cloud provided business users the agility and mobility, which was demanded to keep a pace with the pace of technological and market changes.
The services of an external cloud service provider were often a faster and inexpensive way to deploy a new application than relying on the internal IT organisation.
We observed a proliferation of so-called shadow IT, where departmental and business users attained what they required directly from a cloud service provider, discouraging the centralisation of IT in the organisation.
2. Cloud Evolved as the Industrialization of IT
Several data centers have evolved over the years with company-wide governance. A number had elevated through mergers and acquisitions, with the distinguish companies involved bringing their own isolated architectures, equipment, and processes.
Various departments emphasized on getting their own servers for their respective business applications, instead of using the global, shared facilities. In this type of legacy data centers often spent the bulk of their focus and resources on the maintenance and integration of their distinguish applications.
Unsurprisingly, older organizations were challenged to keep up their pace with born digital Internet organizations, particularly when it to interact with customer-centric applications.
Such applications usually required a more agile development strategy to respond to fast changing market conditions, as well as the capability to efficiently support the fast mushrooming mobile users and devices.
The massive scalability, agility, and flexibility required to support such new workloads were now driving a much-required industrialization of IT. IT had to turn out to be more disciplined from all aspect of its operations.
Data centers have now groomed to the production plants of cloud-centric services, a transformation that’s been pioneered by born-to-the-cloud enterprises like Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc., and Salesforce.com Inc.
Cloud computing is expected to have expertise over organized-engineered IT infrastructures, applications, and mass customized services.
The architectural configurations, standards and management disciplines of public cloud providers are being adopted by older enterprises, as they adopted private clouds so they too can effectively deliver high-quality services to their own customers, business partners and employees.
3. Cloud Evolved as the Transformation to Digital Business
Going beyond utility computing and the industrialization of IT, cloud is now the main force that’s shaping the economy and helping every organization on its digital business journey. In coming few years decision makers of the organizations might have to migrate from architecting the enterprise to leading the digital enterprise forward.
This development aspect of cloud was nicely briefed in a recently released Verizon Communications Inc. survey report, at State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016. The report depicted that in the past few years, “we’ve seen cloud go from a newcomer to part of the established order.”
As the cloud is gradually becoming the norm because the edge it gives to an organization is tremendously optimized and retain the business continuity.
However, it still has a broad role to play in delivering competitive advantage.
To derive potentially competitive advantage from the cloud, enterprises are required to rethink how they can leverage via enabling digital transformation.
They need to regularly analyze amendments or alteration that can help business to grow and address the competitive market challenges.
For the majority of the organizations, the hybrid is the preferred cloud model. These enterprises are using public clouds for non-sensitive data and operation workloads, private clouds for more mission-critical sensitive workloads, and on-premise traditional applications is preferred for difficult-to-move and highly sensitive workloads.
Most such organizations have multiple public and private cloud providers. Their main key challenge is tying all together into a well-functioning, integrated IT architecture.
Actually, public versus private cannot adequately illustrate the broad variety of cloud options. Business need to selecting among them as per their business need, analyzing workload by workload, considering basic points like the risks profile of the workload, the proportion of the workload and associated data locating at the organization’s premise versus the provider’s; and whether the enterprise has the skills to manage its cloud environment.
The report summarizes with a few recommendations.
✓ Keep projects precise and short: 6 months is an appropriate upper limit for maintaining momentum and keeping up pace with technological changes.
✓ Avoid being an isolated player : Don’t try to handle it alone: Cloud is complex and complicated, wide and broad, relatively new and rapidly moving.
It’s difficult to keep abreast of all the changes over the cloud technologies and abilities and many organizations are not equipped with the required skills and experience to handle cloud projects on their own.
✓ Enhance IT-business cooperation: Cloud is remaking and redefining the role of the CIO and other decision makers of the organization. As IT now permeates at every nook and cranny of the business, close cooperation among the lines of business and the IT function is more imperative than ever.
Controlling and managing a hybrid enterprise infrastructure consists of on-premise applications and a portfolio of public and private cloud providers. This is the highly specialized discipline.
✓ Consistent security analysis : Regularly reassessing security: Handling to manage risk continues to be a pivotal topic while discussing cloud, “fewer than 5% of the organizations had experienced an important data breach that was directly attributable to a cloud-based service.
As cloud became more popular and pervasive within the enterprises, IT had to step in and ensure that it was appropriately managed from a control, policy and compliance standpoint.
The outcomes have been a decline in shadow IT projects of the clearer definitions of expectations and for keeping greater service-provider transparency.
Therefore, now when we talk about cloud, most organizations experience that their cloud environment is as secure as their traditional infrastructure.
✓ The network is an imperative part of the cloud : Don’t forget the network: Proper continual connectivity is imperative for the success of cloud projects, particularly for the mission-critical sensitive data and processing workloads.
Dedicated cloud connections must be adopted to enhance performance and reliability.
The cloud is now firmly established and accepted as a reliable enterprise workhorse. It is driving transformation.
Enterprises are using the cloud to make new customer experiences, re-engineer their business processes and explore new opportunities to grow.
It’s gratifying to observe that how much progress has been made in just a few years, in cloud computing. And experts are convinced and believe that there is much more to come.