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Stratospheric imperatives

Gerald Wee | April 28, 2011
Cloud computing in one form or another is expected to take the world by storm, and like it or not, organisations must prepare themselves for the inevitable.

However, successful innovation requires a significant change in mindset from both organisations and management. “It is not easy in large corporations where everything is structured and lacking in agility,” said Cook. “We need to be building a company of tomorrow.”

He points to the innovation pipeline where innovation begins with ideas before going through creation, evaluation, implementation and, finally, realisation. “Only about one in every hundred ideas are actually realised,” Cook said. “This means that the ideation phase must be big and must run the huge risk of failure.”

However, companies are traditionally averse to failure, which means makes innovation difficult. “You need to have a culture of innovation that rewards people for innovating and failing,” he said. “If you fail, that means you’ve been through the processes of ideation, creation, evaluation and implementation—which is valuable.”

“Innovation is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” he said, noting that the same must be expected when it comes to Cloud innovation. “Deciding to do Cloud is one percent, 99 percent is actually doing it.”

Hybrid Cloud Paradigms
Drilling down into practical issues, Hewlett-Packard (HP) advises CIOs embarking on Cloud to source for products that can integrate legacy systems with modern Cloud paradigms.

“With most companies having legacy systems, embracing the Cloud will often mean hybrid architectures that seamlessly manage service delivery from public, private and traditional IT sources,” said Jason Oh, Principal Solution Architect, APJ Presales–SWAT Team, HP.

So, while many Cloud protagonists advocate a pure Cloud architecture–a complete switch to third-party providers–in order to maximise the benefits of Cloud computing, it is not always possible from a practical and transitional standpoint.

In addition, purely internal or private Cloud systems may be necessary when information security is at stake: HP research found that 75 percent of CIOs point to security as a major concern with 60 percent worrying about vendor lock-in.

“Given these concerns and barriers, private Clouds have a significant role to play,” said Oh.
Hence, there remains a need for an in-house solution that addresses the difficulty of managing private and public Clouds together with traditional in-house IT environments.

“With the different paths to Cloud implementation, you need on that can integrate heterogeneous components while providing application robustness, security and agility,” said Oh.

False Cloud?
There have been arguments, most notably by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, that anything other than a pure public Cloud offering with the inherent economies of scale is a false Cloud. Hence, by extension, hybrid and private Clouds–which restrict access to applications to employees, require in-house management and IT staff to oversee, and is not pay-as-you-use–are false Clouds, and do not extract the maximum benefit a Cloud paradigm offers, and should not be seriously considered.
While this is true, Tan Sian Lip, Vice President, Solutions & Consulting/Vice President, Office of Technology, CrimsonLogic, notes that there are situations which are not suitable for the public Cloud, can still benefit from the flexible and responsive computing fabric of Cloud computing.

 

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