What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is a model that enables access to a configurable computing resource, which is easily accessible with no or only minimal service provider input.
“If the user does not know the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services of computation, software, data access, and storage services”, then it is Cloud Computing.
The Flexible usage of IT services which are available in real-time/on-line via the Internet/Intranet, enabling users global access to standardized services. Cloud Services require no (or minimal) initial fixed cost investment and are charged on a usage basis.
What can be achieved with Cloud?
Within Cloud Computing, varieties of technically innovative solutions are combined and can deliver the potential for an innovative business approach leading to:
- Cost Reduction
- Cost Structure Improvement
- Variability of Cost
- Flexibility of Services
- New business models
- Time to market for new products is significantly reduced
Steps to Optimize Cloud Computing:
Is the Business ready to use Cloud?
If yes, which services offered within the Cloud are the most suitable to support the Business Model?
Before engaging in Cloud Computing, initiate a project that reviews existing processes and products. The review process should go through the following steps in order to optimize use of Cloud Services:
Step 1: Standardization – Evaluate the actual level of process automation within the business being serviced.
Step 2: Virtualization – Identify the opportunities (from an IT and process perspective) within the existing operating model to virtualize services.
Step 3: Automation – Analyze level of automation of processes and identification of potential by using the Cloud for virtualized processes.
Step 4: Cloud Computing – Introduce those selected services into Cloud and define how to integrate Cloud services into existing IT/process environment.
When should a company go for cloud computing?
There is a growing belief that over the next few years, Cloud Computing will become a major stimulus for change in how corporations view and use Information Technology.
Cost efficiency, scalability and availability are the main drivers in the discussion regarding Cloud Computing. Security and privacy are the main issues, which need to be dealt with when using services in the Cloud.
From an end user perspective, Cloud Services will offer small and midsize companies access to a level of technology that is currently not available to them. Large corporations will be able to make their IT environment more flexible and reduce their cost base. The speed of new product developments will increase significantly and will offer major advantages for the end customer.
All major providers offer services in the Cloud, which can bring enormous advantages to large, small and midsized companies when properly implemented and used. There are challenges in implementing Cloud services, which are similar to those inherent in IT sourcing engagements and can be successfully dealt with when addressed in a structured way.