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Cloud Computing’s Dirty Little Secret

Cloud Computing’s Dirty Little Secret

Cloud Computing’s Dirty Little Secret

Written by David Linthicum exclusively for Nelson Hilliard

Most consider moving to cloud-based platforms as just additions to the existing portfolio of IT systems.   However, if internal IT does not change around the usage of most cloud computing services, then enterprise IT won’t get the full benefit of cloud computing.     Indeed, many initial uses of cloud computing resources will end up in failure.   The dirty little secret is that most of the change to IT needs to occur before the first cloud implementation in order to make cloud computing holistically successful.   

The trouble is that IT is not wired that way.   They don’t like to prepare for anything, but would much rather react.    Thus, when cloud storage is on-boarded, for instance, enterprise IT spends the months after the migration attempting to adjust internal systems to take full advantage of the new cloud storage resources.    The result is a less than optimal solution, and once again another silo existing with patchwork links to other core enterprise systems.      

There are a few core rules to follow here:

First, any addition or replacement of an enterprise IT resource (storage, compute, etc.), requires enough preparation so that IT resource can become at least 90 per cent productive after the shift to a cloud service (IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS).     This means that we’ve done enough configuration and development so that existing core business systems will be able to leverage the value of this cloud computing service right away.        This is more of a tactical move.

Second, there needs to be an ongoing holistic enterprise architecture program that considers the use of cloud-based services.   This is due to the fact that the use of cloud computing needs to exist in a much larger plan for the utilization of these resources.    The problem is that most enterprise architecture departments may not have the control required to truly drive the systemic and longer-term changes that will truly make cloud computing much more effective.      This is more of a strategic move.    

I’m really suggesting things that are more common sense, one would think.   However, with the reality of corporate politics and budget cycles, much of this falls by the wayside.   I’m suggesting that it really needs to be more of a priority if we’re going to make this cloud thing work.       

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David S. Linthicum is a managing director and chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting, and an internationally recognized industry expert and thought leader.
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