Cloud Foundations: Setting Some Context

Blog /Cloud-Series-Part-1

This is part 1 of a "multi-post" series about some recent cloud topics.  I'm going to write about the growing consensus for modernization, characteristics and benefits of the cloud, the various service models, deployment models, advantages & disadvantages, and needs & challenges.

Organizations of all sizes are increasingly adopting cloud technology to drive business value. That’s because the benefits of the cloud are many, including accelerated time-to-market, enhanced organizational flexibility and scalability, rapid resource provisioning, and lower total cost of ownership.

While everyone has heard of “the cloud,” not everyone can clearly define it or understands how best to take advantage of its benefits. Before moving to the cloud it is important to understand the different service models, technologies, and infrastructure options available, as well as the rewards and tradeoffs.

Cloud computing provides organizations with convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of computer resources. There are four primary cloud-based service models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). These services are usually offered on either an enterprise private, public, or virtual private cloud (owned and operated by a service provider) or a combination of cloud types. Each service model and platform has its own set of advantages and business challenges. Adopting the optimal cloud service model and platform alternative will enable an enterprise to transform to a faster, smarter, more flexible business.

Cloud technology enables organizations to limit the large capital expenditures previously associated with building and maintaining costly data centers and custom applications. By enabling companies to pay for technology resources only as needed, the cloud transforms these costs into operating expenditures.

In addition, using the cloud allows end users to accelerate time-to-market since it allows for global, on-demand access to a pre-existing platform and business processes as well as virtual technology and infrastructure.

Organizations’ desire to focus on core competencies while transferring services to external providers has also boosted the demand for cloud computing. As a result, the cloud has changed the way that IT services are sourced, delivered, and are driving business value. This is a dramatic change of focus as the cloud gives new power and flexibility to the IT manager to help drive and execute business strategy.

A trusted cloud partner can help an enterprise successfully derive business value from the cloud. Businesses should select a partner with a holistic cloud approach that can advise and support the enterprise from strategy to a fully optimized and managed cloud environment. In addition, it is advantageous to select a partner that supports a full lifecycle of cloud needs, including strategy and roadmap development, implementation, integration, migration, custom development, and ongoing management, support, and hosting services. Such a partner can ensure cloud adoption, migration, and integration is smooth and seamless.

In my next post, I will go into deeper detail on the Growing Consensus for Modernization.

    - Ryan Reed, Cloud Evangelist

Post Date: 5/30/2014

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