The things that once stood in the way of on-demand applications are starting to crumble, which is good news for business users.
Real clouds are just condensed water – light, almost ephemeral things you could pass through with ease. Moving towards cloud computing, on the other hand, may be unnecessarily more difficult for some organizations, for reasons that have nothing to do with the technology.
Take a recent story on Information Management, which captures some of the frustrations around a U.S. government program designed to ensure IT investments are made with due diligence and avoid duplication of effort. Sadly, nearly 80% of government workers surveyed said they weren’t happy with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). The attractions of getting on the cloud may actually inspire a mutiny:
Federal cloud decision makers remain uncertain about the process, with some ignoring the program entirely even though it is mandatory for federal agency cloud deployments and service models at the low and moderate risk impact levels.
Of course, there are sound reasons why programs like FedRAMP have been introduced in the public sector, just as private enterprises have been cautious and careful about moving workloads into hosted environments. Many started out with so-called private cloud environments, for example, before getting more serious about offloading IT infrastructure to third parties and using software-as-a-service to meet their needs.
Debunking the Myth
The biggest issue has traditionally been security, which has been largely overcome or folded within more over-arching data protection strategies. The other concern has been that cloud-based IT might not work as well as that which runs in your own data centers. However InfoWorld has suggested that the threat of “noisy neighbours” – having other firm’s software running next to your own – has turned out to be something of a myth:
“You simply don’t hear of performance problems caused by contention with other cloud tenants. The multi-tenant factor that scared the hell out of traditional IT shops does not seem to be a real issue,” the publication said. “Public clouds let you allocate more machine instances on demand. That elasticity prevents performance degradation because you can quickly address resource contention with the simple invocation of a provisioning API by the admins or, better yet, the applications themselves.”
This isn’t just important insight for IT professionals or CIOs. It’s also worth bringing to the attention of CFOs and finance teams because, as these technologies and compute models occur, there may be more instances where business units choose to migrate to these tools directly.
Of course they’ll need to consider compliance and partner with IT, but it looks like the road to on-demand software and services is slowly but surely happening.
In other words, the clouds are finally parting.