Five Mistakes Companies Make in Their Cloud Strategies
Learn how to capture the full potential of the cloud.
If converting static data infrastructure into a cloud was simply a matter of provisioning the right resources and deploying a select platform, it would be a no-brainer.
But the fact is we are talking about a fundamental re-imagining of the enterprise environment from the ground up. CIOs are faced with a thousand decisions ranging from physical and virtual infrastructure design to data and application security and availability. A poor decision at any level, or failure to envision the effect that changes in one area will have on another, could set the conversion back months, if not kill it altogether.
That's why most experts will tell you that having a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish in the cloud is the first, and most crucial, step to take. In fact, says Unsiphere Research's Joe McKendrick, forget about the cloud altogether and focus on what you really need: a well-designed, integrated data environment. As IT assumes a greater leadership role in the deployment of both public and private cloud services, it's becoming clear that proper functionality is increasingly reliant on governance and organization rather than raw technology. After all, it's easy to build up and break down infrastructure in the cloud. It's much more difficult to ensure that everyone is playing by the same rules.
Note, though, that proper control can only be maintained on a private cloud, according to IDC's Eric Domage. A fully private environment is merely the natural extension of already virtualized infrastructure, and it is the only way to ensure that end-to-end encryption and governance policies can be maintained. Most public cloud instances are provisioned by business units for short-term projects, which makes it difficult to ensure basic management and security.
True enough, counters ZDNet's Phil Wainwright, but without a Web interface, a private cloud will fail to meet your data requirements unless you also invest in massive upgrades. That's why the whole public vs. private cloud is a red herring. A properly designed infrastructure will have elements of both, and it will be no more or less secure than today's Web-connected office. Note that some of the largest public cloud providers like Amazon and Salesforce use private clouds on the back end.
In the end, you go with what your knowledge and experience tell you is right. Just make sure you remain flexible enough to change strategies if things don't go as planned.