Should I move to cloud computing?
Cloud computing has been extremely popular for couple of years. IT vendors started to promote “cloud computing” among decision makers of pioneer enterprises. Simple question of “Should I go for Cloud Computing?” is always in the minds. Some of the trailing questions such as “which service?”, “How to select vendor?”, “Planning”, etc comes furthermore.
How do people perceive Cloud Computing?
Simply mobile device users know about cloud computing as “Ability to remotely access files, and various software applications” All can be run without using any local storage but with the internet.
Before Cloud Computing
Actually Cloud Computing applications did exist much before it got recognized. Web based or Intranet based applications, Citrix, Vmware, Google Docs were existed for quite sometime. We used to name them either with their brand names or with generic names. “Cloud Computing” has been re-naming for them all in total.
The Cloud Services
Cloud computing can refer several different types of services such as;
- Application or Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Most common and significant advantages can be listed as “Cost saving” and “Reducing Complexity”
The cloud reduces IT costs by shifting these costs to the enterprise’s cloud service provider. It also enables to set up new technologies faster than if you had to buy and deploy the equipment yourself. As the result of 2012 in USA, Cloud Computing has reached the following numbers and facts:
- Cloud is changing software. SaaS has been the mostly used service.
- 55% of CIOs increased spending on SaaS in 2012.
- SaaS spending growth is 6 times of other software services.
- First three big cloud drives have been as Scalability, Business agility and cost respectively.
- 67% of the respondent have already deployed SaaS, while 14% have a plan on deploying SaaS within 12 months and only 19% have no plans to implement SaaS in USA.
- On the developer side, 84% of the new software will be SaaS.
- 75% of building software with PaaS by 2017.
- Cloud makes IT manageability less complex. It was 39%less complex in 2011 and 53% less complex in 2012. Complexity decreases with cloud computing.
- Cloud lowers Total Cost of Ownership too. TCO was 57% in 2011 and was 53% in 2012.
- Finally Gartner says Worldwide Cloud Service market to surpass $ 109 Billion in 2012.
Special care must be taken for the following issues before start to cloud computing.
- Secure access to the cloud.
- Regulatory compliance
- Privacy of your enterprise data or your customer’s data. Find a way to safeguard the data in the cloud.
- Let the cloud enable the third party auditors to access or audit the place and data. Consider supporting security standards such as ISO 27002.
- Clarify end of data life cycle. Some industries require that data to be destroyed including the hard drives during a decommissioning.
- Interoperability may come up as a problem for some times later or during set up.
- Network bandwidth might be a problem too. Cloud provider’s servers will be accessed by user with a limited bandwidth. It can not be as fast as accessing to a server in your LAN.
- Vendor Lock-In or Vendor dependencies might be a problem too as it is in the outsourcing domain.
- Regulations for some industries such as health, finance, Insurance, government, must be met in the cloud plan.
- There may be sensitive information in some applications such as Education, IT Infrastructure, Banking and Finance, Customer services, call centers, Retail, Pharmaceutical and Insurance.
Cloud Computing issue must be considered together with the issues of outsourcing. Same benefits and same problems are available in both domains. Both services shows analogy. For the small organizations and personal use, lots of benefits are available in the cloud. But for those industries and applications stated above must be taken care in terms of sensitive information. It seems that cloud computing as enabling technology, is going to change the way of doing business in IT departments of the organizations in short to medium period of time.