Over last couple of years, cloud computing has become one of the most promising IT solutions. The promise of cloud computing is quite clear, reduction of operational expenses by maximizing the utilizations of IT infrastructure. The utilization rate going from single digit to 60-70% is not uncommon using carefully designed cloud solution.
In order to achieve such goal, what are the experiences and patterns that are emerging from the early adoption of cloud computing? The adoption of cloud computing can discussed from many perspectives. So even to discuss emerging trends, it makes sense to keep the same level of discussion.
Client side vs. Server Side Virtualization: The growth of cloud computing on server side has been a spectacular 1000% over last one year. On the other side, desktop virtualization seems quite negligible. This makes perfect sense as the server side infrastructure remains stable and is heavy on investment.
Core vs. Non-core Applications: Most of the applications that are moving to cloud computing in the first wave are non-core applications. Not that core applications cannot be or should not be hosted in virtual environment, its where you start with cloud computing. Most of the organizations are starting with non-cores applications first. Once they see value and become confident of cloud computing, even core applications get moved to cloud as concerns such as security, privacy and governance get resolved in early pilots.
Private vs. Public Cloud: What type of cloud one should select? This is a relatively complex decision as compared to previous two. There are many factors that play a part, core vs. non-core application, security & privacy concerns for the application, governance issues, size of organization, growth of company (and so supporting IT infrastructure). It has been observed that lot of companies are adopting a hybrid approach. The hybrid approach certainly provides lot more flexibility to an organization. In general, companies that are smaller in size tend to lean more towards public clouds as it provides them a low capital expenditure solution with options to grow rapidly. Companies that are sensitive towards security and privacy tend to adopt private clouds.
Approach towards Cloud Adoption: It has been observed that the approach towards adopting cloud cannot be piecemeal. An organization cannot look at one project and try to optimize it. By taking that approach, operational cost of that project might become lower but overall cost of the organization will become higher. It is critical that one looks at the portfolio of projects an organization is undertaking as a holistic program from cloud enablement perspective and then drives the execution plan from there.
Change in IT Department: All of these selections, different approaches are certainly changing the IT departments. IT departments are becoming heavier on skills like strategic planning, business analysis, project management and quality assurance.