Cloud Computing for the Enterprise

How individual cloud computing services are being independently implemented by companies in a variety of ways

It is common (in today’s world of cloud computing) to find companies utilizing individual cloud services / models like IaaS or PaaS within one particular department.  Often times, the department that is utilizing these cloud services are doing so outside of the knowledge and influence of their own IT department.  This segregation of technological resources in a business is often unintentional and could be viewed as potentially harmful in many respects.

But the segregation between IT and individual departments is often not the only problem.  There is also often an extremely wide divide between the resources and knowledge of an IT department and the analytical and decision making elements of a business.  For cloud computing, this is a major problem.  However, there are two plausible outcomes that might very well lead toward a final reconciliation of sorts between these two elements.  One, the blossoming importance of cloud computing coupled with its myriad resources for businesses will push business management(s) toward reintegrating with IT elements in new / better ways.  Two, as more and more successes and savings are garnered through the use of cloud services and applications, businesses may see it fit to create a new management element that specifically interfaces with IT and tech, but is a part of the executive chain of command so to speak.  Either way, the high level of resources and possibilities offered by cloud computing provides enterprises with many new ways of conducting their operations as well as analyzing, deploying, organizing and utilizing their data.

Technical services segregation and integration
Arguably the biggest reason to push toward fully integrating, or at least making the IT department aware that individual departments are using a la carte cloud services is security.  Let’s look at this from the perspective of the IT department, they’re working toward creating a computing environment that is efficient, performance-based and secure for users to do their work in.  Suddenly, they discover that all of their hard work is going to waste due to the fact that users in one sector have allowed full access to their private network to some outside vendor or organization unbeknownst to them.  It is impossible for an IT department to make the proper preparations for daily and emergency protocols if there are rogue elements floating around that are operating outside of their knowledge.

Before any new cloud services are established it should be imperative that these plans are first approved by the IT infrastructure that’s already in place.  In doing so, you are not only avoiding potential security mishaps that might spring up, but you are also be giving the IT department the opportunity to determine if what you need is actually the best possible option.  It is extremely likely that the IT professionals working at your company might have an even better solution based on your original idea / recommendation(s).

The ability of a proposed cloud service to keep data safe is very important, but so is its ability to offer a high level of availability as well as provide these things in a cost effective manner.  Basically, the cost of the proposed added service(s) must be weighed by both the IT and business leaders to determine if it can truly offer what is being promised in a way that is better and cheaper than the resources of the current / local infrastructure.  This is yet another reason why businesses need to establish a new organizational head that is well versed in IT / technological concerns as well as business ones.  It would also be necessary to determine how to integrate these new types of services with the present infrastructure; or to determine if such a thing is even possible in the first place.

After a cloud service or service package has been decided upon, there is an additional problem to consider.  Who is going to be in charge of this integration process, and who will ensure that cloud-based services and on-site networks are working together to meet the demands/needs of the business itself?  This is yet another reason that an official position overseeing the realms of IT / business / cloud integration must be established.  As it is, a knowledgeable IT manager should be more than capable of handling the technical tasks, but would need to form a close personal relationship with a liaison that’s a member of executive management.  Having an IT manager is simply answer to or report to this person is not a good idea and is insufficient for the scope of the integration process.  They must form a partnership where a free exchange of ideas and information can take place.  Many of the ideas that will be put forth will come from the IT department; it would then be up to the business management to decide how to best implement these ideas.  If an IT manager is simply reporting their findings, the business people won’t have a clue as to best utilize the information.

Another possible outside threat of cloud computing integration is the possibility that the cloud computing service provider(s) might merge with other elements or terminate their services permanently.  If you’ve established your computing / networking infrastructures on a system that’ deployed by a company that goes out of business or drastically alters their operating procedures; well, you can see how that might be a problem.  This kind of flub could severely interrupt the flow of business operations, perhaps in extreme cases, destroying a company by means of profit losses.  How to avoid this situation?  Make sure the service contracts include reparations / actions for these types of scenarios.  But better yet, only do business with cloud vendors that are firmly established or are affiliated with larger megalithic institutions.

For businesses, cloud computing can open doors to possibilities that will make their everyday operations much easier and more efficient.  But it could also propel them forward by means of generating new ideas or through the use of additional applications that will either save or make money in as of yet, unforeseen ways.  Once cloud computing process and management has been fully reconciled with those elements that are already in power, new avenues of business expression will open up.


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