To cloud or not to cloud? Today, that is the question on the minds of several enterprise IT departments, many of which depend heavily on legacy applications for their everyday operations.
Cloud computing isn't just an IT paradigm shift, as some perceive, instead it's redefining the information and communication technology industry and enterprise IT in all sectors. Cloud is also aiming to close the digital divide, as well as driving innovations by SMBs and facilitating deployment of new applications that would otherwise be infeasible.
The worldwide expansion of cloud IT infrastructure sales is a key indicator of how today’s enterprises see cloud computing as the conduit for growth and expansion in a global digital economy.
Enterprise cloud offers many benefits to an organization, including superior speed; seamless performance; efficient utilization of IT resources; reduced IT infrastructure and IT operational costs; and increased capacity to handle peaks in demand for IT resources, like Web applications and services.
Cloud computing provides a safer computing environment within an organization, with the use of virtual servers that decrease the threat of an onsite intruder attack. It also provides the capacity for flexible data security policies, where security decisions can be made based on a variety of factors — role of a user within enterprise, current access location, type of accessed data or applications, and type of device being used.
According to V. Subramaniam, CIO, director IT at United Technologies, cloud is a phenomenon that has stirred up tremendous interest. The future belongs to those who will truly understand the present scenario, manage risks, and innovate with a vision to create a new order. “Cloud has to be used and leveraged by every enterprise and every CIO must make sure that we have a balanced approach that ensures that organizations are transformed by effective IT,” he said.
Corresponding to Subramaniam, former CIO of L&T Infotech, Ananth Sayana said that, cloud computing represents a major opportunity for IT. To take full advantage of enterprise cloud capabilities, IT must transform itself, which in turn will lead to business transformation. “Cloud is neither just another IT hype, nor a destination. The philosophy behind cloud is about delivering, to our customers, what we were unable to deliver using traditional computing,” said Sayana.
With enterprise cloud computing, the obstacles that typically occur with the expansion and replacement of traditional IT systems can be eliminated, since the infrastructure can be expanded or contracted on demand, through virtualization. It also eliminates the bottlenecks presented by localized power grid interruptions, data loss and malicious on site attacks, by providing an ideal environment for faster and safer delivery of IT services.
Agreeing to that, Tarun Pandey, Senior VP of IT at Aditya Birla Financial Services Group stated that, often in an enterprise, IT is usually relegated as a support function. Availability of cloud as a service is generally taken for granted but its impact on running and growing the business is broadly not registered. This can be naturally ascribed to the inherent lack of holistic visibility as to its value to business.
He said, “The cloud initiative accelerates the process of measuring, monitoring and governing IT investments at a glance in the four impact areas of cost reduction, business growth, productivity and risk mitigation. It also allows users the flexibility to consume data and obtain sights in a way that best suits their requirements on multiple device form-factors.”
Furthermore, Baljinder Singh, Global CIO at EXL Service said, “Our transformation initiative focusing on business-technology innovation has fueled newer business services, developing innovative products, industry platforms led solutions, and SaaS and BPaaS capabilities. Fostered on hybrid cloud strategy and managed infrastructure, we have now enhanced the suite of offerings and services from large to mid-market clients.”
“Harnessing the benefits of operational delivery, decision analytics and hybrid cloud orchestrated technology solutions, we are increasingly offering end-to-end integrated services to our clients,” added Singh.
Pushing for every piece of a traditional application to be fully cloud-native at once is a misstep. But it's important that businesses start analyzing which components of their applications can live and thrive, in the cloud. Otherwise they risk being left behind in this new world of cloud IT.