IT executives that opt to build their own private clouds versus leveraging all the services already available in the cloud are ignoring, at their own peril, one of the primary reasons that cloud computing became popular with business executives in the first place.
At the moment, there seems to be a lot of interest in building private clouds behind firewalls in the name of security. While that approach no doubt saves money by increasing server utilization, it still puts the burden for building the IT infrastructure on the customer's capital budget. Given the simple fact that most companies are looking for ways to treat IT expenditures as an operating expense that can be easily scaled up or down, Janel Ryan, senior product marketing manager for SunGard Availability Services, a provider of cloud computing services, argues private clouds deployed on premise don't address one of the primary reasons that businesses became so interested in cloud computing.
Ryan notes there is no reason why a private cloud computing environment can't be deployed on public infrastructure, which more often than not is managed by a team of IT professionals who have a lot more security expertise than any internal IT organization is ever going to be able to muster. The internal IT organization in that scenario is still responsible for managing the overall environment, but the goals of private cloud computing can be achieved without requiring the business to make capital investments in IT infrastructure.
That doesn't mean that every application can ideally run in the cloud. In fact, SunGard has come up with a list of key considerations for moving any application to the cloud. But confusion over fundamental financial issues, coupled with ignorance about the real state of security in the cloud, says Ryan, is causing a lot of IT organizations to make tactical decisions about cloud computing that ignore the real economics of cloud computing. By ignoring these issues, many IT executives may be putting their positions in jeopardy because, before long, the business is going to better understand the nuances of private cloud computing.
Cloud computing is a lot more than just the latest buzzword. It represents the emergence of a new computing model that has major business implications, which means the IT leaders of today need to come up with a cloud computing strategy that can realistically carry them and the business forward in the years ahead. And in many instances, that strategy is going to rely a lot more on services than building and maintaining internal IT infrastructure.