Masters of the Cloud Computing Universe

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Seven Rules for Information Governance in the Cloud

A roadmap to information governance in the cloud.

When it comes to cloud computing, whomever controls the actual application is going to be king.

That's the advice that Jason Liu, CEO of UC4 Software, a provider of IT automation tools, has for IT organizations trying to navigate the nuances of cloud computing.

It's almost certain that most IT organizations within the next three years will be making some use of public cloud infrastructure. But rather than thinking in terms of what applications to run where, IT organizations need to think based on the needs of the business and in terms of what workloads will be running on which elements of federated cloud computing.

To accomplish this, Liu says IT organizations will need to invest in policy-driven IT automation tools that dynamically move workloads across federated cloud computing environments depending on the requirements of a specific business process. And because most business processes are made up of multiple applications, IT organizations need to align specific modules of application workloads to the underlying cloud computing infrastructure.

Unfortunately, says Liu, too many IT leaders are still thinking in terms of what applications to run in the cloud versus focusing on modules of application workloads and their associated business processes.

While all this may still take years to play out, Liu says IT organizations are going to need to adjust much faster to change. In the not-too-distant future, the ability to shift application workloads from one service provider to another should be doable in less than three months. Longer term, IT automation tools will provide the ability to dynamically shift workloads around a virtual enterprise that will consist of multiple service providers and a limited set of internal private cloud infrastructure.

Of course, Liu says the whole concept of public versus private cloud infrastructure will have essentially disappeared by then as service providers evolve to the point where customers can have their own virtual private cloud running on shared IT infrastructure.

Liu says that for all this to actually happen, the next generation of IT automation tools are going to have to combine policy management, analytics and complex event processing technologies to provide real governance over distributed sets of IT services.

Without that capability, IT organizations will not be able to effectively manage the distribution of application workloads across multiple service providers. And without that level of control, internal IT organizations are going to discover that they have become vassals to cloud computing providers versus remaining the kings of their IT domains as they are today.

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