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Heading into the Cloud

T.C. Seow | Sept. 27, 2011
What needs to be considered before enterprises move into the cloud? Are there areas to be addressed before doing so? CIO Asia speaks to Accenture’s Kevin Campbell, group chief executive — technology, and Trent Mayberry, managing director, ASEAN Technology Group Platform, for more.

What needs to be considered before enterprises move into the cloud? Are there areas to be addressed before doing so? CIO Asia speaks to Accenture's Kevin Campbell, group chief executive - technology, and Trent Mayberry, managing director, ASEAN Technology Group Platform, for more.

One big argument for cloud computing is the so-called shift from capital expenditure (Capex) to operational expenditure (Opex), a shift that undoubtedly will go down well with cost controls and long-term enterprise spending. How should CIOs begin to do so? Are there any "templates" or predetermined processes that they can implement?

Kevin Campbell: Cloud computing allows businesses to unload capital-intensive resources, such as data centres. As a result, the opportunity does indeed exist to shift some IT costs from capital expenses to operational expenses, helping reduce long-term enterprise spending. Software-as-a-Service and Cloud Integration services can also reduce the Capex expenditure in delivering business applications through the cloud. There is no one-size-fits-all template or a simple predetermined processes to help guide CIOs as they move into cloud computing. Instead, CIOs need to step back and consider the big, strategic picture. They need a roadmap, not a template, for integrating cloud technologies into the broader IT and business strategy.

Treating cloud as a separate initiative that fits into a template will only increase the complexity of addressing an ageing IT infrastructure and legacy applications. Companies need a cloud strategy that works in the near term while laying a path towards achieving high performance in the long term. This means companies need to address how they are going to adopt the cloud across their entire business, whether that is done in a few years or over a multi-year plan.

At Accenture, we have the Accenture Cloud Strategy solution to help CIOs and other senior leaders make sense of the cloud in the context of strategic, C-level decision making.

The solution addresses the business value of cloud adoption, implementation scenarios (including risks and benefits), and the technical implications of cloud along with their impact on the enterprise. Accenture's Cloud Strategy solution serves as a sort of template as it helps senior leadership teams develop critical cloud computing insights such as:

  • Cost impact: Assessment of TCO reduction in IT when adopting cloud and the impacts in liquidity and balance sheet
  • Business impact: Identification of business opportunities "in the cloud" and possible disruptions during cloud adoption, calculation of real cloud enabled time-to-market gains
  • Implementation risks: Guidance of strategic decisions on location of data and which applications are suitable for a cloud environment, regulatory restrictions on cloud adoption, operational maturity required to operate in the cloud

Apart from security, what other key areas should CIOs be concerned with regarding the technology behind cloud computing?


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