Cloud strategy used to mean deciding where to put your data and apps — in private, public or hybrid clouds. And IT strategy meant folding cloud capabilities into a wider program to use computing power wherever it made business sense.
Today cloud strategy means integrating remote apps, storage and processing power into every phase of IT that makes business sense. With more cloud apps and services arriving every day and more people using mobile devices to access these apps, it’s increasingly difficult to draw a line between the cloud and everything else.
Before long, cloud strategy will become indistinguishable from IT strategy. Let’s look at why this is a major shift for large organizations.
Cloud architecture is evolving quickly
It seems like a new cloud service or tool comes out every day. Large cloud providers keep adding goodies to attract new clients. And disruptive startups with a cloud-first philosophy are making everybody rethink their IT strategies.
These trends require nimble cloud architectures that can scale up quickly and respond rapidly to changes in their marketplace. A well-designed cloud architecture has to get five things right:
- Operations must meet the demands of the business — traffic spikes and other technology demands shouldn’t affect the customer.
- Compliance must be robust enough to account for industry-specific rules.
- Solutions must apply the best applications for specific business needs.
- Budgets must adapt to the shifting cost structure of the cloud without placing undue burdens on creativity and innovation.
- Strategy must assess how cloud technologies affect everything else in IT.
Folding Point 5 into your cloud architecture means accepting the reality that there’s a role for cloud services and mobile technologies in pretty much every corner of the enterprise.
There will always be specific use cases where the cloud isn’t the best fit. And the concept of fit will evolve over time. But it’s becoming ever more obvious that there’s precious little difference between a cloud strategy and an IT strategy. The sooner they merge, the better.
— Rob Decker, Executive Director, Cloud Services