- Cloud Essentials
- Software as a Service
- Accounting / Financial
- Asset Management
- Business Intelligence
- Business Process Management
- Compliance & Risk Management
- Content Management
- Document Management
- Help Desk Management
- IT / Application Management
- Project Management
- Transportation & Logistics
- Infrastructure as a Service
- Platform as a Service
The cloud opportunity for the IT department
Cloud isn’t going to put IT departments out of work but it will present IT staff with new challenges says senior Microsoft exec
Microsoft is ‘all in’ on the cloud, but it’s still developing Windows Server and promising public cloud, private cloud and even cloud appliances. That’s because businesses need all the options, Robert Wahbe, corporate vice president of the server and tools division at Microsoft explained to Cloud Pro. And those options mean that while you’ll use the cloud, you won’t use it for everything – and there is plenty for the IT department to do even after the last department server is gone.
How much business IT is going to go into the cloud? Is it everything or is it just the commodity services like email and CRM? Is that something the IT department should see as a threat or an opportunity?
If you look at email as an example, if you go back five, six, seven years and you ask CIOs what the obstacles were for email they would talk about some of the same things they talk about today with the cloud – security, privacy, regulatory concerns. But now what we're seeing is unbelievable adoption of email in the public cloud. People's perceptions and people's comfort with these technologies changes over time and I think we're going to see that same thing with platform technologies.
Public cloud even today is right for every company - it is just not right for every application. There are applications that - because they are mission critical, because they have regulatory concerns - they might not be suitable even for the private cloud. But on the whole, there's almost always a project or a workload that makes sense to do in the public cloud and gain the agility, the focus and the incredible economics that are available with public cloud.
The economics between what you do in a data centre compared to public cloud can be as much as 10x and that's a massive delta. I think for IT organisations they're going to want, because of that 10x savings, to identity that next project, that next workload that runs in the public cloud. That said there are real issues in terms of security privacy, regulatory such that private cloud is a vital part. Then there are things like System Centre that makes it a practical reality to have private clouds and public clouds.
Does it have to be either or? Can we have a hybrid model where the sensitive data stays inside the firewall but some of the heavy lifting goes into the cloud?
I think you're going to have organisations that have apps that run in the private cloud and apps that run in the public cloud and you're going to have extensions to existing apps where in some sense a piece of that app will now run in the public cloud - often when they're customer and partner facing. It is the partner and customer facing [piece] that tends to have variable demand and tends to be the data that you're going to be exposing outside of the organisation anyway so it makes sense to have that [in the public cloud].
What does cloud mean for the IT team? Is there a resistance to cloud because there’s the expectation that it’s going to put them out of a job? What about the way business departments just go ahead and sign up for cloud services without involving IT?
The message that we're trying to send is that public cloud will transform our industry because of the agility, the focus but also the economics. That said, if you look at the set of issues that IT organisations face today, private cloud will be a vital part of any cloud strategy; there will be workloads for every company that makes sense in the public could and there will be workloads for the foreseeable future where they're going to want a private cloud. So IT professionals don’t need to worry about their jobs. Their jobs will be both managing the hybrid environment and building and configuring and optimising and balancing those private clouds.