As businesses consolidate many of the distributed computing platforms, datacenters, and the occasional retiring of a mainframe system, it is important to realize where we are headed and why.

 

Key take away:

We are shifting back to virtualization and multitenancy concepts that were founded in the early days of centralized (mainframe) computing. However, though these might be long-standing concepts in the IT industry, cloud computing is pushing ever upward to new heights in the areas of automation, elasticity, on-demand ordering, pay-as-you-go pricing, and self-service management and control systems.

 

Organizations now understand that they might not benefit from large and costly IT departments that do not directly contribute to your customers and your core mission. Outsourcing IT functions and personnel is nothing new, but cloud computing represents a new form of outsourcing, scalability, and cost control, if managed wisely. 

 

With cloud computing, the burden of building, maintaining, upgrading, and operating the compute systems is the responsibility of the provider. This gives the consuming organization ultimate flexibility and choice of providers and eliminates being locked into a single one. This results in faster deployment of services at a lower cost so that the consuming organization can focus on its core business functions and customers, not on an IT department. This is the evolution or new style of IT service delivery that has taken 30 years to achieve.

 

Key Take-Away

Cloud computing results in faster deployment of services at a lower cost. This means that the consuming organization can focus on its core business functions and customers, not on its IT department.

 

So how do chief information officers (CIOs) benefit from cloud computing?

 

There is clearly a reduction in the use of traditional “managed services” and generic “time and materials” IT contractors providing computer services. Cloud consumers both small and large are able to select the cloud provider, pay for the services utilized, and scale up or scale down if finances or priorities of the business change. Organizations are no longer saddled with unneeded computer systems, server farms, and datacenters, which leads to greater agility in their overall business decisions.

 

Here are some of the recent trends and updated benefits CIOs can take advantage of by shifting to cloud services:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of the above appear rather straightforward, but they are in essence, discrete and more complicated than assumed.  The key caveat with Cloud deployments, is that the Cloud strategy must be aligned with the business strategy.  If IS and Cloud are not aligned with the business the deployment will not add value, and might cause business disruption.