A digital Organization

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Cloud adoption and maturity

Well,  researching about cloud computing and its adoption across industries, I'm surprised as to how vendors and service providers club anything and everything under the name of 'cloud' , I'm not alone who thinks so, the most followed think tanks call it the "cloud washing".

Private cloud, public, hybrid have all caught industries by confusion. Public cloud pioneered by Amazon and other major providers like IBM, Microsoft have ensured computing at a pay as you use pricing models. This has been a boon to SMB and large enterprises to setup labs or run PoCs. But when it comes to large organizations and its necessity of business agility, the private clouds have sprung up. The challenges are still the same. If IaaS is what an organization is looking for and if the organization is of size 5000 or more employees, setting aside a team to configure and manage an in-house cloud could be easier than adopting a vendor and go thru the process of vendor lock-in and unable to ascertain the overall cost of the IaaS if the mode of payment is opex. For large enterprises, private cloud is great if it has to be commissioned and managed from the vendor premises offloading all risks and management to the vendor at a fee with assured agility and flexibility. Mode of payment can be worked out to be an upfront capex for assuring the vendor the business and open for all the spiky demand.

Cloud is not just limited to the running the enterprises IT but cloud is going to be the way the organizations connect with their customers. The role of IT has become strategic now - cloud is the way forward. The difference creeps in here - IaaS, PaaS, SaaS or genral XaaS. The enterprise needs to make a holistic decision on what they wish to achieve. If an organization needs to bring out a new application to keep their customer loyal to them, a PaaS is what they need. Commissioning a IaaS and then going through the grind of managing technology is not going to be a viable competitive advantage.

Cloud will definitely be competitive advantage in coming years. If an organization has their applications on cloud, their customers reach is endless. Proliferation of cloud enabled services is going to grow significantly. Published research indicates SaaS market is going to triple in the coming years. It will be a distant past when on premise client server applications will be hosted, apps will now run on distributed cloud, consumed on mobile devices and imagine when IoT makes this a whole new dilemma.

Adoption to cloud should start with a well planned, with a clear strategy and mainly with management buy-in. Then lead with a ITIL transformation to ensure the IT is ready for adoption to cloud. Making a transition to cloud with underlying processes still be archaic makes no sense. Understand the industry one is operating and look for the stumbling blocks.

Few stumbling blocks by industry -
Banking and retail - Data security concerns and privacy. The uncertainty of providing a level on data security will become the gate-point.
Health, utilities, insurance - Organizations that have been around for years and have a well oiled IT mechanism will have the legacy modernization worries.
Health, pharma - GxP issues




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