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Realistic strategies for a successful cloud

T.C. Seow | May 28, 2012
CIOs are being pushed to go beyond infrastructure, maintenance and operations to optimising delivery of business services for innovation and growth.

"There is a 'new normal' taking hold within IT organisations today, where CIOs are being pushed to go beyond managing infrastructure, maintenance and operations to optimising the delivery of business services for innovation and growth," said KB Png, CTO, Asia Pacific and Japan, at CA Technologies. "CIOs continue to be pressed to deliver more against shrinking or stagnant IT budgets, but are now being asked to invest to foster business agility, grow revenues, and improve the quality of the customer experience as well."

These pressures, he said, were clear in "The Future Role of the CIO", a survey commissioned by CA Technologies and carried out by independent research organisation Vanson Bourne in 2011.

According to the survey, which polled 270 CIOs across Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, all from organisations with 500 employees or more, more demand for business innovation from IT (54 percent), expansion into new territories (49 percent), and increasing competitiveness (48 percent) were listed as significant drivers for change at the time. In fact, 91 percent of respondents selected a driver for change which could be addressed by cloud computing, including expanding volumes of data, suggested by 57 percent, an increasingly mobile/distributed workforce (40 percent), as well as the need to innovate, grow, and compete.

K.B. Png
K.B. Png

But there is a persistent (mainly vendor-driven) meme going around the world of IT that building and running a responsible, secure, available, enterprise-quality cloud is simple. "The theory seems to be that it just needs some server virtualisation, adding automation, maybe dropping in some change control, and calling it done. Or that all you need to do is to log on to a public cloud provider, give them a credit card number, then click a button to migrate your workloads to the cloud," said Png.

"You see it virtually everywhere you turn. It shows up in myopic discussions of 'cloud lifecycle' that conveniently ignore pre- and post-deployment activity like service planning, application design, security and compliance, and facilities management," Png added. "It is the basis of posts that gush over benefits of cloud that only apply to new applications on mono-platform ecosystems. It is the premise for speeches advising you to 'ring-fence' any platform, technology, or application that does not fit the new cloudy ways."

According to Png, the right approach to cloud should consist of six essential capabilities required to address more than just the virtualisation and automation of component infrastructures. "It's more than just migration to a public cloud provider, and more than just a single-platform ecosystem," he added.


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