Cloud Computing as an IT-forcing Function

Michael Vizard
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IT organizations in one form or another have been talking about managing IT-as-a-service for well over a decade now. But for one reason or another, accomplishing that long-standing goal has proven to be elusive for most IT organizations.

But Alan Conley, a former CTO at Cisco who is now the newly appointed CTO of Zenoss, a provider of IT management tools-as-a-service, says that the advent of cloud computing is really providing IT organizations with a much-needed forcing function that ultimately serves to modernize their processes.

One of the core management issues that IT organizations have is the tendency to manage products and technology in isolation, which makes it difficult to associate the performance issues associated with any given product to a specific service that IT is trying to deliver.

Cloud computing is designed to leverage shared resources, which means that if IT organizations adopt cloud computing, they are, by definition, changing their approach to managing IT. What's unclear, says Conley, is to what degree and pace those changes will take. For example, a recent survey that Zenoss conducted at the VMworld 2011 conference found that out of 114 attendees polled, the vast majority are building out cloud computing infrastructure. But 72 percent were worried about guaranteeing service levels and only 44 percent said they had an operations management software in place to accomplish that task.


In an ideal world, says Conley, IT organizations would make the move to cloud computing by acquiring new systems and putting in new management processes at the same time. But a lot of IT organizations will initially prefer to acquire cloud computing platforms in the hope that the new technology will eventually drive them to embrace process change in time because the internal IT culture right now is not capable of embracing that level of change.

In either case, Conley says that cloud computing will force the IT management issue, which should ultimately yield more mature approaches to managing IT as a true set of services, versus a patchwork of individual applications and technology.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jan 6, 2012 11:35 AM Scott Levy Scott Levy  says:

Great post. Here's an article that describes the top benefits of utilizing cloud computing in general, and a cloud database in particular

Jan 8, 2012 9:38 AM Ben Spak Ben Spak  says:

Thanks for sharing the extra resources Scott. It came in handy. If you have time check out my blog and leave some notes/comments on a couple of topics.


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