IT departments that embrace cloud computing often do so for agility, because they understand how responsive it can make them to the business.
In a Harvard Business Review survey of large and mid-sized companies, a third of respondents claimed agility as a primary driver for cloud migration. How does the cloud make companies more nimble?
Private cloud-based solutions come in various forms, ranging from on-premise to off-premise. CIOs can mix and match elements of these, creating hybrid cloud options to suit their particular needs. But whichever private cloud configuration a company chooses, it can accelerate the IT department’s responsiveness to the business by standardizing elements that were previously complex and difficult to manage.
Cloud computing takes infrastructure that would normally be tied inextricably to specific computing equipment - such as computing resources, storage capacity, and network bandwidth - and turns these into logical assets that can be simply and easily allocated to different applications.
In this way, infrastructural resources become standard building blocks, with easily measurable and predictable performance, that can be selected by application builders to meet business users’ requirements.
A key advantage of abstracting physical IT assets into logical resources is that they can be accessed anywhere. Storage in a high-speed global network can be provisioned internationally, as needed.
reduced provisioning periods
Now, a regional office with a pressing need for a new application can gain fast and easy access to the CPU cycles that they need. The classic provisioning cycle where resources must be requested and processed over a period of weeks or months is no longer necessary.
This standardization of infrastructure is a crucial tool in making IT departments more responsive to business needs, but it doesn’t stop there. Cloud computing environments also create opportunities to standardize software services, packaging them into reusable modules that can be used to build applications more quickly.
These software modules can be presented to departmental managers as business services, and working with application developers, they can piece them together to create their own applications.
These departmental applications can in turn be listed in cloud service directories for other departments to use, creating a wellspring of innovation in which IT becomes an enabler, rather than a bottleneck. This is the world of the composable application, and it’s a holy grail for organizations as they become more adept at cloud computing.
A single thread runs through all of these developments: agility. By eliminating complex infrastructural concerns, IT departments can skip to application development. And by packaging software as easily-consumable business services, application development becomes faster. The result: dramatically decreased time to market. This is important to IT decision makers, over half of who cited agility as the main driver for cloud adoption.
Acceleration therefore runs through cloud-enabled businesses, from resource provisioning through to applications development, and onwards. Done properly, and with a capable partner, businesses will find themselves accelerating their operations, too, improving key performance indicators and catching new opportunities as they emerge. And for perhaps the first time ever, IT and business departments will be running in lock step.
Watch this short video to find out more about the advantages of private cloud:
Editor in Chief, International, at Orange Business Services. I'm in charge of our International website and the English language blogs at Orange Business Services. In my spare time I'm literally captain of my own ship, spending my time on the wonderful rivers and canals of England.