Posts tagged ‘Enterprise IT’

To Cloud, or not to Cloud? #CloudWF

Source: Business Cloud News

To cloud or not to cloud? With the right strategy, it need not be the question.

There are two sides to the cloud coin: one positive, the other negative, and too many people focus on one at the expense of the other for a variety of reasons ranging from ignorance to wilful misdirection. But ultimately, success resides in embracing both sides and pulling together the capabilities of both enterprises and their suppliers to make the most of the positive and limit the negative.

Cloud services can either alleviate or compound the business challenges identified by Ovum’s annual ICT Enterprise Insights program, based on interviews with 6,500 senior IT executives. On the positive side both public and private clouds, and everything in between, help:

  • Boost ROI at various levels: From squeezing more utilization from the underlying infrastructure to making it easier to launch new projects with the extra resources exposed asa result.
  • Deal with the trauma of major organisational/ structural changes as they can adapt to the ups and downs of requirements evolution.
  • Improve customer/citizen experience, and therefore satisfaction: This has been one of the top drivers for cloud adoption. Cloud computing is at its heart user experience-centric. Unfortunately many forget this, preferring instead to approach cloud computing from a technical perspective.
  • Deal with security, security compliance, and regulatory compliance: An increasing number of companies acknowledge that public cloud security and compliance credentials are at least as good if not better than their own, particularly in a world where security and compliance challenges are evolving so rapidly. Similarly, private clouds require security to shift from reactive and static to proactive and dynamic security, whereby workloads and data need to be secured as they move in and out of internal IT’s boundaries.

On the other hand, cloud services have the potential to compound business challenges. For instance, the rise of public cloud adoption contributes to challenges related to increasing levels of outsourcing. It is all about relationship management, and therefore relates to another business challenge: improving supplier relationships.

In addition to having to adapt to new public cloud offerings (rather than the other way round), once the right contract is signed (another challenging task), enterprises need to pro-actively manage not only their use of the service but also their relationships with the service provider, if only to be able to keep up with their fast-evolving offerings.

Similarly, cloud computing adds to the age-old challenge of aligning business and IT at two levels: cloud-enabling IT, and cloud-centric business transformation.

From a cloud-enabling IT perspective, the challenge is to understand, manage, and bridge a variety of internal divides and convergences, including consumer versus enterprise IT, developers versus IT operations, and virtualisation ops people versus network and storage ops. As the pace of software delivery accelerates, developers and administrators need to not only to learn from and collaborate with one another, but also deliver the right user experience – not just the right business outcomes. Virtualisation ops people tend to be much more in favour than network and storage ops people of software-defined datacentre, storage, and networking (SDDC, SDS, SDN) with a view to increasingly take control of datacentre and network resources. But the storage and network ops people, however, are not so keen on letting the virtualisation people in.

When it comes to cloud-centric business transformation, IT is increasingly defined in terms of business outcomes within the context of its evolution from application siloes to standardised, shared, and metered IT resources, from a push to a pull provisioning model, and more importantly, from a cost centre to an innovation engine.

The challenge, then, is to understand, manage, and bridge a variety of internal divides and convergences including:

  • Outside-in (public clouds for green-field application development) versus inside-out (private cloud for legacy applicationmodernization) perspectives. Supporters of the two approaches can be found on both the business and IT sides of the enterprise.
  • Line-of-business executives (CFO, CMO, CSO) versus CIOs regarding cloud-related roles, budgets, and strategies: The up-andcoming role of chief digital officer (CDO) exemplifies the convergence between technology and business C-level executives. All CxOs can potentially fulfil this role, with CDOs increasingly regarded as “CEOs in waiting”. In this context, there is a tendency to describe the role as the object of a war between CIOs and other CxOs. But what digital enterprises need is not CxOs battling each other, but coordinating their IT investments and strategies. Easier said than done since, beyond the usual political struggles, there is a disparity between all side in terms of knowledge, priorities, and concerns.
  • Top executives versus middle management: Top executives who are broadly in favour of cloud computing in all its guises, versus middle management who are much less eager to take it on board, but need to be won over since they are critical to cloud strategy execution.
  • Shadow IT versus Official IT: Where IT acknowledges the benefits of Shadow IT (it makes an organisation more responsive and capable of delivering products and services that IT cannot currently support) and its shortcomings (in terms of costs, security, and lack of coordination, for example). However, too much focus on control at the expense of user experience and empowerment perpetuates shadow IT.

Laurent Lachal

Only then will your organisation manage to balance both sides of the cloud coin.

Laurent Lachal is leading Ovum Software Group’s cloud computing research. Besides Ovum, where he has spent most of his 20 year career as an analyst, Laurent has also been European software market group manager at Gartner Ltd.

————————————————————————————————————–

Laurent Lachal will be speaking at the Cloud World Forum, taking place on 24th – 25th June at Olympia Grand in London at the Containers & Devops Theatre. He will also be one of four industry experts leading the roundtable discussions at the Executive Summit.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

CWF static banner

Microsoft Disaster Recovery heads to Azure

Building on its Hyper-V Recovery Manager, Microsoft has unveiled a service that brings Azure’s cloud based capabilities to bear on disaster recovery for both on-premise Windows Server and Azure-based workloads.

ssDisaster Recovery for Azure is part of the recently renamed Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR), which is currently in preview. It is based on the current version of Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) which has been available since January this year and enables automated protection, asynchronous ongoing replication, and orchestrated recovery of virtualized workloads between private clouds across enterprise sites.

Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of the cloud and enterprise group at Microsoft said the news is “more than just a name change.” The disaster recovery service will allow enterprises to encrypt, replicate, and failover virtual machines (residing both onsite and in the cloud) directly to Microsoft Azure.

Anderson said the service touts a number of built-in features that will make it immediately appealing to enterprise customers. For instance, VMs can be encrypted at rest, and all of the service’s traffic passing through Azure is also encrypted; it also gains near-synchronous data replication, taking system snapshots up to every 30 seconds.

(more…)

Three quarters of businesses still find cloud performance assurances lacking #Cloudwf

Join the discussion with the The Cloud World Series in London, Africa, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Hong Kong and USA!

CLOUD-Series-LogoCLOUD-WF-Logo

Are you an enterprise IT professional? Do you agree? Join the discussion today!

A report published Wednesday that includes survey responses from over 740 senior IT professionals globally suggests that the majority of IT professionals believe typical service level agreements (SLAs) built around availability and performance fail to address the risks of moving and managing applications in the cloud.

The survey, commissioned by Compuware and carried out by Research In Action, found 79 per cent of survey respondents believed their SLAs were “too simplistic” and failed to address key risks associated with moving and managing cloud apps.

“Entrusting mission critical business applications that drive revenue and critical business processes require ultimate trust and accountability in a cloud provider,” said Michael Masterson, director of cloud solutions for Compuware APM’s business unit. “

Vanity metrics like simple uptime do not capture well-known issues such as ‘noisy neighbours,’ which can be detrimental to traditional enterprise apps that were not designed to scale and fail horizontally.”

The report confirms that there is still a great deal of fear, uncertainty and doubt among enterprise IT professionals when it comes to cloud.

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) said they believe their cloud providers could be hiding problems at an infrastructure or platform level that impact on the performance of applications. 62 per cent said limited visibility into the infrastructure made it difficult to both monitor their application performance and troubleshoot problems in the cloud.

“The truth behind performance is what the end customer or user feels – that is all that really matters,” Masterson told Business Cloud News. “The vendor should be responsive, but the general rule seems to be innocent until proven guilty, with fingers usually pointing back to the application or database vs the infrastructure.”

“Customers that encounter this often discover it on their own, then blame the provider for poor performance, when the reality is that it’s another tenant over consuming shared resources.”

Masterson explained that the results suggest an underlying problem with the way cloud service providers often make guarantees on their services.

“There are two primary issues with “technical guarantees”. First, if everyone tries to grab maximum rates at once. It’s like a run on the bank and very quickly you’ll discover that the provider (the bank) doesn’t actually have all that reserve bandwidth (the cash) on hand. Instead, they’ve made assumptions and provisioned based on estimated usage and normalised workloads – thereby offering you capacity at a discount compared to dedicated hardware,” he said.

But “users are not typically normally distributed – they have spikes and troughs in demand. Software is inherently virtual and should be able to match the demand with appropriate supply – much more so than tradition fixed goods and complex logistics and fulfilment systems. Yet they run into the same bottlenecks, often with catastrophic failure,” he added.

logo

Interview – Alex Rammal #cloudwf

Alex RammalAlex Rammal will be speaking at the Cloud World Forum, taking place on 17-18 June 2014 in London. The Cloud World Forum is EMEA’s leading Cloud event welcoming 8000+ attendees and 250+ exhibitors over the two days. Visit http://www.cloudwf.com/ for your free delegate ticket. The 6th Annual show features 12 theatres led by Cloud end-users: more than 300 speakers from multinationals, SMEs, public sector organisations, online players, regulators, telcos and analysts take the floor in engaging, thought-provoking keynotes, hands-on labs, brainstorming sessions and live demos over two days.

As we approach Cloud World Forum in London this June Business Cloud News had the opportunity to get a few minutes with one of the conference speakers, Alex Rammal, Business Relationship Director, Information Technology of Jaguar Land Rover, who shared his views on the biggest challenges involved with moving IT estate over to the cloud.

Q. Can you give me a sense of some of the unique attributes of your business or vertical, and how they shape or impact your IT estate?

Jaguar Land Rover is experiencing a tremendous period of growth based upon the launch of a significant number of new vehicles and improved global sales – the volume and complexity growth creates stresses on a number of our legacy infrastructure and applications requiring us to continue to invest in the creation of a modern, scalable and enterprise wide 21st century IT architecture.

Q. What do you think the most disruptive elements of cloud computing and enterprise IT are currently?

The maturity of Cloud computing, especially in the legal and compliance frameworks, appear to be progressing allowing the further adoption of enterprise scale cloud compute – Cloud in essence has moved IT away from providers of ‘boxes and wires’ to expecting a utility based model – this has freed up IT departments to move up the value chain and start to focus on providing competitively advantageous IT solutions that provide true business value.

Q. In five years, what do you think your organisation will look like and what kinds of technologies do you think will be needed to support this vision?

The continuing technology mega-trends are likely to have substantial impact on our enterprise IT landscape, the realisation of IoT (Internet of Things) will open up a huge amount of potential within the Automotive industry, already we are seeing more and more progress in connected cars – other trends such as 3D/4D printing and improving Artificial Intelligence are all areas of interest.

The IT Organisations will continue to have to evolve to be flexible enough to keep up with the disruptive nature of digital technologies – we have to focus more on how IT can be harnessed to provide real tangible business benefit which will require IT leaders who are more business leaders than IT technologists.

Q. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges involved with moving your IT estate over to the cloud?

We have to make sure we understand the use-cases that we believe most suitable for the various flavours of cloud to maximise the benefit whilst managing risk, there are also still legal and compliance questions that need to be address, especially when working in a global, highly mobile environment.

Q. What are you most looking forward to a Cloud World Forum this year?

Seeing the innovative use cases that other companies have addressed using cloud technologies, looking at the future Cloud Trends and where the main technology providers see for the future of cloud – hopefully moving away from the hype into real world solutions for the enterprise.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: