Cloud Computing Drivers and Barriers

Drivers for Adoption of Cloud Computing
Cloud_computing.svg
Scalability
Users have access to a large amount of resources that scale based on user demand.The most common meaning of the term cloud computing refers to the delivery of scalable IT resources over the Internet as opposed to hosting and operating those resources locally. Cloud computing enables your company to react faster to the needs of your business, while driving greater operational efficiencies.Cloud computing has a great impact on business thinking. It facilitates a change in the way companies operate, by offering shared and virtualized infrastructure that is easily scalable. It is also changing how we manage these resources. The challenge is no longer about how many physical servers a company has, but more about being able to manage these virtual resources.Cloud computing offers businesses flexibility and scalability when it comes to computing needs:
  • Flexibility. Cloud computing allows your employees to be more flexible – both in and out of the workplace. Employees can access files using web-enabled devices such as smartphones, laptops and notebooks. The ability to simultaneously share documents and other files over the Internet can also help support both internal and external collaboration. Many employers are now implementing “bring your own device (BYOD)” policies. In this way, cloud computing enables the use of mobile technology.
  • Scalability. One of the key benefits of using cloud computing is its scalability. Cloud computing allows your business to easily upscale or downscale your IT requirements as and when required. For example, most cloud service providers will allow you to increase your existing resources to accommodate increased business needs or changes. This will allow you to support your business growth without expensive changes to your existing IT systems.
  • Impact of scalability on managed data centers. Because of the highly scalable nature of cloud computing, many organizations are now relying on managed data centers where there are cloud experts trained in maintaining and scaling shared, private and hybrid clouds. Cloud computing allows for quick and easy allocation of resources in a monitored environment where overloading is never a concern as long as the system is managed properly. From small companies to large enterprise companies, managed data centers can be an option for your business.
Elasticity
The environment transparently manages a user’s resource utilization based on dynamically changing needs.Here’s the problem: Elasticity and scalability should never be used interchangeably. Small- and mid-sized business (SMB) leaders need to know that while elasticity isn’t a must-have for every SMB, scalability is. The same goes for most enterprise businesses as well.Elasticity is aimed at companies building consumer- or business-facing software applications that they plan to sell on a subscription basis. Think: Evernote, Netflix, Dropbox, and Salesforce.com. Elasticity basically means that your platform can handle sudden, unanticipated, and extraordinary loads. This could be the result of a Superbowl ad or some other widespread promotional technique that results in a massive but brief influx of users and load on the system.Think of elasticity as, essentially, unlimited head room. When you’re a software developer building SaaS that you plan to offer to the entire planet (such as Facebook, which hopes to have the whole world as users), you need unlimited head room for those unpredictable moments.
Virtualization
Each user has a single view of the available resources, independently of how they are arranged in terms of physical devices.Virtualization is very important for cloud computing and as a result brings another benefit that cloud computing is famous for, scalability. Because each virtual server is allocated only enough computing power and storage capacity that the client needs, more virtual servers can be created. But if the needs grow, more power and capacity can be allocated to that server, or lowered if needed. And because clients only pay for how much computing power and capacity they are using, this can be very affordable for most clients.Without virtualization, cloud computing as we know it would not exist or would be in a different form. But such is now only in the realm of speculation as virtualization is really here to make Information Technology more affordable for the world.
Cost
The pay-per-usage model allows an organization to only pay for the resources they need with basically no investment in the physical resources available in the cloud. There are no infrastructure maintenance or upgrade costs.
Mobility
Users have the ability for the user to access data and applications from around the globe.
Collaboration
Users are starting to see the cloud as a way to work simultaneously on common data and information.
Risk Reduction
Users can use the cloud to test ideas and concepts before making major investments in technology.
Other criteria for adoption
Feedback
The ability for the user to obtain the statistics on usage levels
Usability
The ease with which the user is able to configure and operate virtual resources
Cost savings on hardware and utilities brought about by scalability – the traditional method of supporting an organization with an IT infrastructure was to “buy and build for peak”, meaning that you have to build your IT infrastructure for future proofing. By assuming that the company will still grow to use more IT resources, you build your IT infrastructure depending on the projected size of the organization in the coming years. This means buying the most expensive and powerful equipment. Once they are installed, only a partial part of it is being actively used, meaning that most of its capacity and power are wasted. But with cloud computing, you no longer need to build the infrastructure yourself, it is being given as a service and you get to pay only for that portion that you use. When you need more resources, you can just get it and pay a little more. That is straight up cost savings and zero waste; you no longer have to pay for stuff like electrical utilities used on server cooling.
Cost savings on Technical expertise – one big problem with startup companies making their own IT infrastructure is finding the right people for the job. It becomes a tedious process when you happen to need people with high levels of technical expertise but are not able to give the compensation that they require. Surely there is a better way than to work with inexperienced workers. Cloud computing providers will already have the technical expertise to run a large system so you do not need to. Cost savings made by foregoing the hiring process, salaries, and human errors credited to new and inexperience administrators.
Cost savings due to security – information is really the most important variable in today’s online world. Once you get your data compromised, you lose money and customer’s trust. Like the above point, it is hard to find personnel with extensive computer security background, while your cloud provider might already have these kinds of people on staff.
KPMG firms’ consultants in the global cloud Pulse were asked to rank on a one-to-five scale, where one represents very unimportant and five very important, the importance of four sets of drivers for cloud adoption. These factors were:
  • Economic (e.g. cost savings, shift capital expenditures to operational expenditures)
  • Functional (e.g. speed to solution, functional capabilities, everywhere accessibility)
  • Technical (e.g. flexibility, scalability, simplicity, security, advanced technology)
  • Strategic factors (e.g. business process transformation, linkage to business partners, speed to market, focus on core competencies)
Drivers for Cloud Adoption
All four factors were ranked relatively equally (as they have been in other KPMG supported research). While it is good that, in the view of KPMG consultants, buyers have a well-rounded set of drivers for their cloud efforts, it is also important to determine and understand if any of the elements of the drivers are conflicting or contradictory. Typically, for example, it is harder to improve process performance while simultaneously reducing process costs than it is to simply cut cost; or specifically to the cloud, a functional factor such as everywhere accessible may challenge a technical driver such as security.
Barriers to Adoption
Security
The key concern is data privacy: users do not have control of or know where their data is being stored.
Interoperability
A universal set of standards and/or interfaces have not yet been defined, resulting in a significant risk of vendor lock-in.
Control
The amount of control that the user has over the cloud environment varies greatly.
Performance
All access to the cloud is done via the internet, introducing latency into every communication between the user and the environment.
Reliability
Many existing cloud infrastructures leverage commodity hardware that is known to fail unexpectedly.
Platform or Language Specificity
Some cloud environments provide support for specific platforms and languages only.
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