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Predicts 2014: Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a disruptive phenomenon, with the potential to make IT organizations more responsive than ever. Cloud computing promises economic advantages, speed, agility, flexibility, infinite elasticity and innovation. How will you phase your organization into cloud computing?

DID YOU KNOW?

By 2015, at least 20% of all cloud services will be consumed via internal or external cloud service brokerages, rather than directly, up from less than 5% today.

Key Challenges in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing forces you to wrestle with three key strategic, operational and people challenges:

  • Governance:

    Cloud computing enables speed, agility and innovation. You need to move from the drawing board to deployment. Is your organization ready to adapt?

  • Cloud Computing Environments:

    You need to choose a cloud computing environment that's right for your organization. Should you consider private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid cloud solution? Which vendors play in this space? Will they be in business 12 months from now?

  • Security & Privacy:

    If someone else is running your computers and software, you need strategies to stay secure. Your security policy depends on how many pieces you control – the more you own, the more you control. Are you ready to extend your enterprise security policy to the cloud?

Governance

You need a clear vision and effective processes, skills and organizational structure to drive cloud innovation in your enterprise. What cloud adoption strategies should you consider? What does your road map look like?

  • Best Practices: How will you create a compelling cloud vision? What strategies will better align business and IT? How should you measure business value? Is cloud technology selection really the easiest part?
  • Business model: How will you deliver value to the business? Which functions will you move to the cloud? What use cases will drive the most impact? How will you fund cloud computing? What are the spending and staffing risks? Should you continue to maintain an on-premises staff?
  • Cultural Barriers: What cultural changes does your organization need to make? What political hurdles must you clear to get buy-in from your security department and other key stakeholders? Have you considered cloud requirements and needs for all stakeholders?

Cloud Computing Environments

More and more organizations are moving services, storage, email, collaboration and applications to the cloud. You need to decide whether to choose to support private, public or a hybrid cloud mix. What's the right mix of infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and application (SaaS) environments for your organization? Where are the cost savings?

  • Private Cloud: Which services require the most agility and speed? What's the right balance of standard service offerings that will drive the most business value? Do you need to build an internal shared-service center? How does a private cloud implementation impact your data center architecture?
  • Public Cloud: Which applications are most likely to move to public cloud delivery models? Will your organization bypass your IT department and get its applications from the cloud via software-as-service (SaaS) for a monthly pay-per-user-per-month subscription pricing model?
  • Hybrid Cloud: Is hybrid cloud really the future? What level of flexibility do you need to customize, manage and monitor your applications? How will the cloud services brokerage role define future IT organizations?

Security & Privacy

You need to break through the resistance and increase confidence that cloud is safe. You need to keep your data safe from prying eyes. You need your security team to buy in to your cloud initiatives. That's a tall order.

  • Virtualization: More than 50% of all data workloads are virtualized. How will you use virtualization to innovate? How can workloads be secured when consuming cloud-based infrastructure as a service? Are you ready to run your physical appliances as virtual appliances?
  • Data Protection: How will you protect your data in the cloud? What's the right level of recovery and manageability in your organization? What security controls should you inject? Who will have access? Should you use data tokenization? How will you migrate your data?
  • Cloud Provider Assessment: Which security vendors will get it right first? Which will guarantee delivery? What if the cloud fails? Where are the standards? What level of transparency do you need?

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