May 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm #101585
Interesting Blog commentary… Although Mr. Diaz is talking about the cloud and private enterprise IMO more than a passing relationship to the public sector’s cloud…
From Between the lines a blog on Ziff Davis network
The cloud is here to stay; What’s your strategy?
By Sam Diaz | May 27, 2010, 12:04pm PDT
IT professionals have surely heard all the hype about cloud computing – notably, the cost savings – but may be having trouble convincing their companies to leap into the cloud. And so, the obvious solution, is to build a “private” cloud, right?
Maybe – but don’t fool yourself into thinking that launching a private cloud will instantly save your company millions of dollars and prompt the rank-and-file employees to erect a statue in your likeness as a means of celebrating your smart decisions.
During a presentation at Forrester’s IT Forum this morning, analyst James Staten talked at length about some of the pitfalls, as well as the rewards, that come from a cloud strategy. The private cloud looks attractive but Staten offered a reality checklist of where companies need to be to make the private cloud launch a success.
A company will need a standardized operating procedure, fully-automated deployment and management (to avoid human error) and self-service access for developers. It will also need each of its business divisions – finance, HR, engineering, etc – to be sharing the same infrastructure. Staten asked the attendees, through a show of hands, how many of them were positioned today to pull this trigger. From where I sat, I couldn’t see any hands go up.
Those who aren’t quite ready shouldn’t feel bad about it. Only 5 percent of enterprises are there now – and getting there is no easy task. In fact, there are four evolutionary stages that it takes to get there, starting with an acclimation stage where users are getting used to and comfortable with online apps, working to convince leaders of the various business divisions to be guinea pigs. Beyond that, there’s the rollout itself and then the optimization to fine-tune it. But how long does all of this take?
Years. Realistically, to get through the entire process, a CIO is looking at 5 years – but probably longer – to get to private cloud nirvana.
And yet, even when they get there, it won’t be nirvana. Building a private cloud means not being able to scale the way a cloud provider is offering. It also means managing the hardware and infrastructure that comes with launching a private cloud – and being able to anticipate the true needs.
So that brings us back to the public cloud, right?
Yes and no. There’s no reason that a CIO can’t take start getting the company’s toes wet with a hybrid approach – some data and processes stay tied to the company’s infrastructure while others may do just fine on a public cloud. And that’s what CIOs and their IT staffs should be doing now – playing around with cloud offerings, becoming accustomed to and comfortable with cloud apps.
As he closed his presentation, Staten offered a somber reality check by way of introducing a service called Animoto. That company is enabling everyday folks to take their own photos, music and storyboards to create compelling commercial-like videos. And they’re doing all of it – 100 percent of it – in the cloud.
And they’re not alone. A company like Animoto may not be a threat to your business – yet. But it’s not the only one gaining momentum on a 100 percent cloud platform. Ignore them or dismiss them – and the cloud, for that matter – if you’d like. But this cloud momentum isn’t slowing down.
How will your company do on the competitive battlefield when the others guys bring modern-day weapons and you show up with bows and arrows?
May 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm #101591
I dont know why these people always quote “Animoto”, and such simplistic example.
Turbo Tax said they have been doing this for years, and they and others have taken out tax filing and computations burden out of the IRS.
“””Cloud Computing Helps TurboTax To Deliver On Tax Day
Tom Lounibos on 29 Jul 2009 08:21 am
Amazon EC2 and SOASTA Enable Scalability Testing at Levels Previously Unattainable
A record 18.76 million taxpayers used either the desktop or online version of TurboTax this year, up 11 percent from 2008, with two-thirds of those customers filing online. As the IRS continues its efforts to increase the percentage of returns filed electronically, Intuit took proactive measures to uncover potential reliability and performance problems well before April 15.”””
May 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm #101589
I’m dealing with these same issues right now. I’d add two more points for government consideration:
Building a private cloud is expensive, and the “savings” from moving current infrastructure into a private cloud will not offset the costs of building the cloud. There are many reasons a private cloud makes sense, but leadership seems fixated on cost savings and our evaluation shows it just isn’t there initially. Down the road, yes, but only after a substantial investment.
My other concern for cloud within the government is the sheer number of cloud environments. The reason Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are able to achieve cost savings is because their environments are massive and scalability drives costs down. If every small, medium, and large government agency builds “private clouds” we will never achieve the massive, multi-tenant environments the private sector has achieved which will reduce the overall cloud savings. We need broad cooperation between agencies to agree to leverage common, shared environments.
July 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm #101587
I agree with Mike. While the private cloud may seem like a more manageable and safer environment, it may actually not be. It requires a heavy outlay of money and human labor to manage it. Whereas on the public cloud, the SaaS providers manage it for you, there is very little down time (usually and hopefully!) and there is the scalability point. SaaS providers are experts in this area, and your local firm may not be able to. Public providers may also have a larger staff to fix something when it goes wrong, whereas your 5 person IT group may need hours if not days to get something back up and running.
There is a give and take here. If you want to feel more assured that your data isn’t floating around cyberspace handled by strangers, you may feel inclined to trust the private cloud. But if you want to experience scalability, on demand support and management, and cost savings, the public cloud is the way to go.
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