Posted by:Ranjani Rao September 27th, 2011

Everyone is talking about the cloud today. While the world has been using web services since many years, cloud computing is still in its nascent stage in enterprise adoption.
When considering cloud services, enterprise heads typically mull over these questions. Can the cloud handle enterprise services yet? Will migrating to cloud services save costs? Is it safe to store mission critical or sensitive data on the cloud? Can enterprise cloud services offer the same experience as on-premise enterprise apps? Stop. These are all the wrong questions to begin with. The first and foremost question you must ask yourself as an enterprise owner is this: Is my enterprise ready for the cloud?

Is your enterprise ready for the cloud?

Too often, IT departments are given an agenda for migrating apps to a new platform, in this case the cloud. As IT personnel work to keep deadlines, they overlook the weakness of current processes, the bottlenecks and poor design. What you finally get are cloud based services that work as abysmally as your previous setup.

If you want cloud computing to truly benefit your organization, you must first invest in improving the system itself. Remove unnecessary complexity, and make the database systems and processes more relevant to current business requirements. Optimize processes and code for improved performance and better utilization of resources. This is hardly a simple task. It takes a fair amount of time and planning, which is why it is critical for enterprise heads to understand and appreciate its importance.

Cloud computing and corporate data centers

Corporate data centers are the spinal cord of enterprises. There is huge pressure on IT staff and heads to manage data centers for performance, scalability, and 99.99% uptime. Enterprises spend a fortune on maintaining IT infrastructure every year. If instead enterprises rely on cloud infrastructure, the costs would be minimal, in comparison.

Enterprise web apps perform and deliver based on certain estimations – simultaneous traffic hits and sequence of user actions. The unpredictability of these factors can be ably met on the cloud with dynamic scaling, on-demand usage of resources, constant availability, and a pay-per-use financial model.

Large organizations that implement cloud computing usually choose to keep critical data on their own data centers with secure virtual gateways on the cloud providing access to online applications. They also install infrastructure agnostic cloud platforms on the data server to allow sharing of a common application across employees and customers, and provisioning data resources according to an application’s demand. This reduces the load on IT staff, allowing them to focus on applications rather than hardware, and speeds up time to market.

Smaller organizations, on the other hand, prefer to move their data centers completely to the cloud as quality cloud data centers offer security features that are beyond the capability of the enterprise.

The cloud is the future of enterprises. As cloud computing grows stronger, organizations with their own data centers and infrastructure will become the exception rather than the norm.

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