Some conservative enterprises are frightened by the notion of cloud computing, says J Schwan, a managing and technology practice partner at Solstice Consulting. In a guest column for IT Business Edge, he argues that cloud computing provides a compelling pricing structure that takes advantage of the concept of economies of scale, and it has begun to get huge traction.
Schwan provides four ways to take advantage of these services in the short term, without introducing risk into your organization.
- Cloud Test Environments - An infrastructure organization can provide a pre-configured image/virtual machine of an application's test environment to the development staff for deployment to the cloud. The app teams then have the flexibility of spinning up as many test environments as they need, and they only pay for the uptime of the server.
- Geographically Distributed Storage/Disaster Recovery - The cloud is a great alternative for offsite storage, with commoditized pricing of .10/GB/month. Several utilities allow you to store data encrypted on the cloud as well.
- Tier 2/3 or Departmental Applications - If you have non-mission-critical apps with non-mission-critical data, those are great candidates to migrate to the cloud.
- Commoditized Enterprise SaaS - Many packaged enterprise applications are moving to hosted SaaS subscription-based pricing models. Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Exchange are two examples of commoditized applications (i.e., non-business differentiators) that companies can outsource.
For more information related to the cloud, check out this Cloud Computing Checklist in the Knowledge Network.