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The Economics of Cloud Computing

Are you interested in how enterprises and service providers are making and saving money via cloud? Last week, Cisco hosted a live webcast featuring IT executives from CSC, Sprint, and Educational Testing Service (ETS) who discussed the economic benefits of cloud computing for their businesses and their customers.

This session provided real-world perspectives into the cloud adoption of major enterprises and service providers, as cloud computing continues to transform businesses through improved agility, better economics, enhanced security and a dynamic, assured experience.  The executives discussed the economic benefits derived from cloud business models and shared examples of how cloud computing is changing their industries.

Take a moment to hear how these businesses are revolutionizing their models through cloud adoption.

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Riding the Cloud To Improve Your Top- and Bottom-Line Economics

A cloud revolution is brewing, and it promises to radically transform the way we compete, collaborate, and consume business services.

Join the live webcast with Sprint, CSC and ETS on the impact of cloud computing on business models and bottom lines.

Wed. April 25, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. PDT – No registration required: www.ustream.tv/ciscotv2

What are the factors motivating businesses to rise up to the cloud opportunity? One key advantage is business agility: Cloud offers the ability to address unpredictable application events weighing on a company’s data center, meeting the challenge from sharp, sudden usage spikes. At the same time, cloud promises more efficient ways to address new products, customers, and selling situations.

In other words, cloud drives top-line growth and improves the bottom line.

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After Two Years in the Cloud, New Paradigms Prevail

Co-written by Bryan Mobley, Director, IBSG Service Provider

The business world’s rise to the cloud has been dramatic and increasingly rapid. From an initial attitude of vague interest mixed with trepidation, organizations have begun to embrace the transition in a big way. Some are already realizing the expansive benefits in costs, efficiency, and innovation that come with this game-changing technology.

To keep with the pulse of cloud migration, Cisco initiated a series of roundtable discussions two years ago. The philosophy of each meeting was to bring together 10 to 20 decision makers from a variety of enterprises, midsized businesses, and government agencies. So far, we’ve held 15 of these discussions across North America. In addition to providing a unique opportunity to share our thought leadership, these sessions provide an ideal forum for hearing our customers’ thoughts on cloud: the benefits, the inhibitors, and even a few war stories. In the end, however, it is the advantages of cloud that spark the most contagious conversations.

Here are some of the key trends that have emerged from two years of discussions:

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Five Things That Successful Cloud Deployments Have in Common

Some people say that in the next few years that Infrastructure as a Service cloud deployments will be focused mostly on private clouds.  And then they say that enterprises will migrate to public clouds after they have become “experienced” in running a cloud.  About a year ago I could really see this story played out.  Now, fifteen months after we introduced Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, I have some different points of view.  I would have thought that by now that private cloud architectures would have begun to converge to a few standard patterns.  This has not happened.  The world is still diverging when it comes to both Private and Public cloud architectures.

I do see patterns arising in successful cloud deployments and here are some of the key ones:

#5:  Pragmatic Approach: IT shops that come with a long list of RFP requirements and questions take a long time to source a technology provider and to achieve production success.  Others that are pragmatic (can I say Agile in their approach) get to cloud quicker and learn from their successes and missteps alike.

#4:  They Have a Cloud Instance Roadmap: After a cloud deployment, some IT organizations think that is it, they are done, next project, my move to cloud is complete.  Hold it right there, did you know that cloud is not a single step where you through a switch, but a succession of deployments of great scope from one step to the next?  A roadmap is needed that covers:  hardware, network, storage infrastructure, virtualization technology and release version, management and orchestration software instance version and finally the services that you are offering to the end users and how the service catalog is changing over time.  Those that have a roadmap roughed out are generally more successful than those that have a big bang perspective.

#3: Appreciation for Challenge of Management of Change: Moving to cloud is a big change in an operating model; careers are created and new roles are defined.  How does an organization move to the new model with different technology, processes and people?  When a team proactively manages the change in the non-technical they ensure long term success.  It is not just about self service, cloud catalogs, orchestration, domain management and virtualization.  It is more about service designers and automation authors and changes in operational processes.

#2: Rise of the Cloud Architect: Since cloud is about a new operating model a new position and role is needed.  If you have a cloud project and do not have a cloud architect tying it all together from cost models, to hypervisors, to orchestration and orderable service definitions, you need a organization role tune up ASAP.

#1:  A Service Centric Approach: Most people get this one right away.  Service centric projects are the key focus for ITaaS.  However, I can’t tell you how many times when I am talking to an IT team, the opening bell results in a speeds and feeds conversation around provisioning that piece of infrastructure and that virtualization API.  If you ask the question about what services they want to offer their end users for self service ordering  you will get a request for more time to answer that question.  Service Centric IT shops will take the time to start first with the business requirements and the perspective from the end user point of view.  Transform your cloud project approach to a service centric agile project and you will go far.

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A Customer’s Perspective On Cloud

It has been three months since we launched the most complete end-to-end cloud solution in the industry with Cisco CloudVerse, and so far it has been a huge success. The data center has finally been unified, and now it is connected to the intelligent network to deliver applications and services anywhere, and at any time.

2012 marks the beginning of an explosion in cloud traffic. Cloud services, combined with the shift towards mobile consumption and bring-your-own-device (BYOD), are driving IP traffic at an unprecedented rate. Just look at these statistics from Cisco’s Global Cloud Index: Read More »

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