Unisys advises CIOs seeking to get the most out of their investment in cloud computing in considering how the proposed cloud solution can be integrated with the organization’s existing systems and IT processes.
Utilizing an analytical approach is the surest defense against “cloud in a corner,” syndrome where new cloud solutions remain isolated from the rest of the IT environment not contributing their possible business value.
“By some estimates, well planned cloud computing solutions can reduce the cost of IT operations by as much as 20 percent while improving responsiveness and quality in delivery of IT services,” says John Treadway, director, global cloud computing solutions, Unisys. “However, it’s easy to become entranced by new cloud technologies and lose sight of how those can best be integrated with existing resources. By courting ‘cloud in a corner’ syndrome this way, CIOs risk zeroing out savings and even potentially increasing operational costs.”
According to Unisys, telltale signs that organizations have fallen prey to “cloud in a corner” syndrome include:
- Your team is evaluating a “cloud stack” solution without first putting in place a comprehensive strategy and framework for integrating it with your existing IT environment;
- You lack clearly articulated criteria and metrics for cloud success from both IT and end-user perspectives;
- You’re well into implementation before all stakeholders agree on use cases, roadmaps and expected changes to IT and business processes;
- The technology underlying your cloud is so new, none of your IT people know how to operate it and you have no readiness plan in place so they can learn to do so;
- You need to create duplicate service, security and risk management processes because your new cloud environment won’t accommodate those you already have;
- You have not defined and communicated how your team’s roles and responsibilities will change with a cloud service delivery model; and
- You’re already developing a second cloud solution because the first one didn’t meet the organization’s needs.
Treadway suggests in order to avoid “cloud in a corner” syndrome, the focus must above the technology and instead create a comprehensive blueprint for cloud success. The first step in this process is to look at cloud delivery models in the context of the total IT infrastructure.
“No enterprise will move 100 percent to a cloud model any time soon,” Treadway says. “Traditional IT delivery – both internal and outsourced – is not going away. The trick is to recognize that IT is moving to what Unisys calls a ‘hybrid enterprise’ model, where an organization makes cloud, traditional, internal and external IT delivery models all work together to lower costs, reduce risk and improve quality of IT services.”