In today’s business landscape, cloud adoption and deployment is more than just a technical discussion. It’s really a choice about how to operate your business, regardless of what industry or vertical your organization is affiliated with.
However, as a former CIO, I understand that many CIOs are more concerned with the challenges they face when moving to the cloud than the benefits they can achieve.
For example, in the past, all of your company information and applications were locked-up behind a firewall. As such, none of your customers or remote employees could gain access to your network. Now, through clouds, you can put your business out in the world – where your customers, employees, partners and more can gain access. It’s truly making business more accessible, in an incredibly flexible way – but it can be a daunting process.
Recently, I had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast and share how all verticals face similar challenges when it comes to cloud. It probably comes as no surprise that the key areas of concern are security and privacy.
Security and privacy are very real challenges, and it’s the CIOs job to address them, but he/she doesn’t have to go at it alone. Businesses should look for a cloud service provider to become a trusted business partner. When a business is looking for a cloud service provider to host its application or data, the main questions that arise are:
How are we going to ensure security?
How will I maintain control over the data and applications that I put in the cloud?
How do I maintain visibility?
When these questions about control and visibility are answered, it inevitably leads to trust. And when a CIO feels there is a level of trust for information and application security within the cloud, it ripples down through the organization, ultimately empowering customer relationships.
It’s transformational when a CEO can say to customers, “We do have that level of control and visibility and you can look to us to take care of your information.”
As organizations in various verticals look to move past security concerns, CIOs need to find a partner they trust and start a conversation, they may be surprised at how quickly some of their concerns can be mitigated.
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Cisco Solutions for Open and Secure Intercloud Workload Migration. Join our webcast to learn how the Cisco InterCloud solution helps ensure the same network security, quality of service (QoS), and access control policies previously enforced in the data center are implemented in the public cloud. The webcast is available on demand.
How can leaders manage the transition to a cloud services broker? Check out the new Gartner newsletter to learn more.
Is your IT department currently acting as a Cloud services broker?And what exactly is a Cloud services broker?
As our world of many clouds continues to evolve, increased opportunities exist for IT departments to move from the traditional “siloed” working environments to play a more critical role in corporate planning strategies.
Aligning IT and business objectives are duties handled by an IT services broker, who is usually the company CIO.
The time is now for corporations to begin viewing their IT departments as more than the group that resets passwords and helps new-hires with their computer set-ups.
In order to manage the cloud transition and embrace the role of cloud services brokers, CIOs and IT leaders should consider these five steps:
1) Develop your future thinking and let go of the idea of how your IT department has done things in the past and think about what processes can be reengineered or what new capabilities need to be developed. Your IT group is best able to identify technology gaps in an organization’s processes as CIOs contend with hybrid cloud environments.
2) Create your Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Building Block and ensure it’s agile, so your IT department can manage infrastructure services in a highly automated fashion and deliver to users in just minutes. By enabling a hybrid cloud environment in the IaaS layer, IT can more easily play the role of cloud services broker.
3) Add the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which uses the agility in the IaaS foundation. Ultimately, this delivers greater efficiencies and flexibility in the deployment and deployment of cloud workloads. Without PaaS, development and testing of initiatives would require dedicated capacity to be allocated by IT.
4) Ensure required security standards. The SaaS and Infrastructure Security building block is where IT’s ability to serve as a cloud service broker plays a critical role and for an organization’s integrity, cloud-based services are best managed by them as a one cohesive infrastructure.
5) Make your vision a reality and implement transformational change! Now that you’ve assembled all the necessary building blocks, find a trusted partner to help you define and implement your vision. Tools like Cisco Domain Ten can help your IT department create evaluation criteria that helps them play their role as cloud services broker.
If you want to learn more about how to prepare for growing cloud workloads, how to evolve your IT department to harness the true potential of the cloud, and how to develop a more strategic approach to IT operations and service management, be sure to :
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is changing the business and IT landscape, fueling unprecedented growth and disruption. As such, just thinking about cloud deployment is not enough. Organizational leaders need a cloud strategy to help future-proof their business and better meet objectives.
In fact, according to Gartner, organizations that continually monitor cloud computing trends and subsequently update the enterprise’s cloud strategy, will likely avoid costly mistakes and garner the most value from market opportunities over the next few years.
As CXOs adopt cloud strategies, what key trends should they keep in mind?
Here’s a short list for consideration:
Trend #1: Prepare for Growing Cloud Workloads
Today’s world isn’t just a world of many clouds, but also a world of growing cloud workloads.
You’ll want to learn how Cisco’s John Manville leveraged an internal, private, infrastructure-as-a-service cloud to drive business value.
View John Manville’s Cloud Insights Video Podcast
John Manville is responsible for Cisco’s Global IT infrastructure - which includes the data centers, networks, platforms and more. Overall, John’s role is to implement Fast IT, which is really about being adaptable and responsive to business needs.
What technology helps drive this responsiveness and adaptability? “There are many solutions that can help, but if I had to sum it up in one word, that word is cloud” replied John .
Cisco uses internal cloud technology for several important business imperatives. Through the cloud, we are balancing internal IT workloads and providing our engineering team the tools needed for OS development. We are also using the internal cloud for external capabilities. For example, Cisco Smart Services uses our internal cloud to offer services to external customers.
Recently, John had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast to discuss the challenges his team faced prior to cloud implementation. Like most IT teams, they were challenged by speed of delivery of business capabilities, driving Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) down and completing maintenance on the underlying infrastructure with minimal impact on the business users or applications they need on a daily basis.
To offset these challenges, his team developed and deployed CITEIS (Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services), an internal, private, infrastructure-as-a-service cloud. CITEIS started off as a way to provision virtual machines, but the team quickly realized that it wasn’t enough so they added on more middleware and database capabilities . Now, it’s a rich service that John’s team offers to their clients.
It is important to define standard interfaces, but equally important is to understand the main capabilities for an orchestration (or choreography) solution. We can gain some more insight by revisiting previous work, particularly in the domain of Grid computing.
Personally, I found the work done by Ian Foster and Steven Tuecke around IT as a Service (back in 2005, 9 years ago!), still extremely relevant. It is fascinating to see how applicable this work continues to be, apart perhaps from the replacement of general SOA services by REST services in particular. We should pay special attention to their definition of Grid Infrastructure: “enable the horizontal integration across diverse physical resources”. I see their work applicable beyond the physical layer, to logical resources and their composition into services. Quoting the paper, the Grid Infrastructure’s capabilities should be:
Resource modeling: describes available resources, their capabilities, and the relationships between them to facilitate discovery, provisioning, and quality of service management.
Monitoring and notification: provides visibility into the state of resources to enable discovery and maintain quality of service.
Allocation: Assures quality of service across an entire set of resources for the lifetime of their use by an application.
Accounting and auditing: tracks the usage of shared resources and provides mechanisms for transferring costs among user communities and for charging for resource use by applications and users
Provisioning, life-cycle management and decommissioning: enables an allocated resource to be configured automatically for application use, manages the resource for the duration of the task at hand and restores the resource to its original state for future use. Read More »