Cloud Computing Improving Organizational Agility

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  • 1ST International Conference on Emerging and Future Information Communication Technologies (ICEFICT 2011)

    CLOUD COMPUTING: IMPROVING ORGANIZATIONAL AGILITY

    August, 2011

  • 1ST International Conference on Emerging and Future Information Communication Technologies

    (ICEFICT 2011)

    CLOUD COMPUTING: IMPROVING ORGANIZATIONAL AGILITY

    By Andrew N. Mutua

    ABSTRACT:

    Application development has evolved from client-based architecture to the now lighter, more favored web-based architecture. Organization have moved from silo-ed, disparate and distributed nature of their computing resources to a more consolidated, centralized structure and operating model. Software is now been retailed not as a product but as a service. The current definition and understanding of ownership is gaining a whole new dimension with the advent of Cloud Computing and other related services.

    This paper seeks to define what Cloud Computing is, what it portents for the future based on the trends and the evolution of the contemporary organization. What are its pros and cons? We also look at the question of security and how the new organization will look after the adoption of cloud computing.

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The IT Industry has gone through various eras or stages of evolution since its formation, about 60 or so years ago. Were once again at the cusp of yet another redefining era. It started off with the mainframe; it later advanced on to distributed computing then more recently the client server and now with the ubiquitous Internet we now have Cloud Computing.

    These transformations have been, in reality, a response to business demands. The need for:

    Reduced Total Cost of Ownership1, Shorter procurement lead times and project cycles Improved responsiveness and agility Cost-effectiveness in IT operations and Management

    Cloud Computing presents a compelling business model which has the potential to address these inefficiencies and overall improve service delivery. Businesses will be able to pay and measure for only IT resources they consume, increase or decrease their usage to match requirements and budget constraints by leveraging the shared infrastructure and economies of scale.

    This paper defines what Cloud Computing is, why the move to Cloud Computing and its value proposition, what are the challenges and finally the way forward.

    1TotalCostofOwnershipisanalysisofthetotalcostofacquisitionandoperatingcosts

  • CONTENTS

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY..................................................................................................................................3

    CONTENTS....................................................................................................................................................4

    A. Introduction.............................................................................................................................................5

    1. Defining Cloud Computing................................................................................................................5

    2. Deployment Models:.........................................................................................................................5

    3. Service Models:...................................................................................................................................6

    B. Why Cloud Computing?............................................................................................................................6

    C. The Challenges........................................................................................................................................7

    D. Conclusion- The Way Forward..................................................................................................................8

    E. REFERENCES........................................................................................................................................9

  • A. Introduction The understanding and definition of cloud computing is wide and varied. However, more broadly cloud computing describes a shift from the traditional dedicated IT architecture and in-house sourcing models to more of treating IT as a service with the ability of dynamically increasing or decreasing capacity to match usage needs. This could be IT services sourced internally by leveraging on shared or pooled infrastructure or externally sourced from a hosting service provider.

    1. Defining Cloud Computing The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)2 defines cloud computing as a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.3 NIST has also identified five key characteristics of cloud computing: on-demand service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service4. NIST defines four deployment models and three service models. They are as follows:

    2. Deployment Models: Private cloud: The cloud infrastructure is operated solely for an organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.

    Community cloud: The cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns (e.g. mission, security requirements and policy and compliance considerations). It may be managed by the organizations or third party and may exist on premise or off premise.

    Public cloud: The cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public or a large industry group and is owned by an organization selling cloud services

    Hybrid cloud: The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by a standardized 2http://www.nist.gov/itl/cloud/upload/clouddefv15.pdf3http://www.nist.gov/itl/cloud/upload/clouddefv15.pdf4http://www.nist.gov/itl/cloud/upload/clouddefv15.pdf

  • or proprietary technology that enable data and application portability (e.g. cloud bursting for load-balancing between clouds)

    3. Service Models: Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS): The capability provided to the consumer is to use that providers applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a web browser (e.g. web-based email). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage or even individual application capabilities with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.

    Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS): The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage but has control over the deployed application and possibly application hosting environment configurations.

    Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas): The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over the operating systems; storage, deployed applications and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g. host firewalls).

    B. Why Cloud Computing? The traditional IT infrastructure is complex and inflexible to keep up with new applications and service demands of an increasingly distributed and mobile workforce who have a low tolerance for downtime. These limitations and more result in slow rollout of critical applications and services, unpredictable system integration, poor operation visibility and control and constrained resources. These inefficiencies negatively impact on any business ability to serve its customers or run its operations. Cloud Computing offers a compelling value proposition worth consideration by any business facing these and other concerns within its operations.

  • The benefits offered from a shared pool of computing resources are:

    Lower startup costs- Low capital expenditure because one does not need to purchase software license or hardware

    Quicker time to value or to market- theres no initial investment in infrastructure build up; one needs to only sign up for subscription of a pay-per-use service

    Reduced operational overheads- spend less money keeping the lights on in operational costs and spend more on innovation

    Elastic scalability one can scale up or down depending with the demand or budget constraints

    Agility and Investment protection one can easily change direction without being tied to hardware and software investment costs

    Value Adding IT- IT has more time to concentrate on innovation and not been tied on day-to-day administration

    Standardized IT- provide a common IT backbone, ensuring you have uniformity across the entire organization

    C. The Challenges Although Cloud Computing holds a lot of promise for transforming IT service delivery to significantly reduce cost of ownership and improve overall responsiveness and agility, it does present some challenges. This includes:

    The Security and Privacy of sensitive data that is migrated to the cloud Lack of Standards impedes interoperability and consistency between different cloud

    vendors which could create a lock-in scenario or complicate integration Regulatory and Compliance concerns particularly when theres mismatch between

    the vendor and organization compliance and regulatory policies. Reliability of cloud services as well as vendor viability, especially given the relative

    immaturity of the market segment and many of its participants

  • D. Conclusion- The Way Forward Cloud Computing is still in the very early stages of development, with most activity being driven by early adopters. The related challenges, especially those pertaining to security, privacy, regulatory compliance and interoperability are causing considerable variation in the extent to which different organizations are adopting cloud-based initiatives.

    However, a recent survey by Gartner5, a research firm, revealed that cloud computing rates as the second highest technology priority 2010, behind only virtualization. International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated, in 2008, that just 4% of worldwide IT spending ($16 billion) was allocated to public cloud computing services. By 2012 IDC forecasts those type of services will account for 9% ($ 42 billion) of worldwide IT spending (see Figure 1)6.

    Figure 1

    5Pressrelease,GartnerEXPWorldwideSurveyofNearly1,600CIOsShowsITBudgetsin2010tobeat2005Levels,January19,20106IDCWhitePaper:CloudComputingDrivesBreakthroughImprovementsinITServiceDelivery,SpeedandCost,April2009

  • E. REFERENCES Vivek Kundra, U.S. Chief Information Officer (2011). Federal Cloud Computing Strategy 8 February (US Government Chief Information Officer, http://www.cio.gov/documents/Federal-Cloud-Computing-Strategy.pdf) Ranjith Ramakrishnan, (CUMULUX, What is Cloud Computing? What does it mean to Enterprise?) (CUMULUX, http://www.cumulux.com/) Citrix Systems White Paper, Is your load Balancer Cloud Ready? : How NetScaler helps enterprises achieve cloud computing benefits (Citrix, https://images01.insight.com/media/pdf/0311Whitepaper2NetScalerIsYourLoadBalancerCloudReady.pdf) Mary Johnston Turner; Frank Gens (2009). IDC White Paper: Cloud Computing Drives Breakthrough Improvements in IT Service Delivery, Speed and Cost, Sponsored by IBM, April (IDC, http://resources.idgenterprise.com/original/AST-0035107_Cloud_Computing_Drives_Break_through_Improvements_in_IT_Service_Delivery_Speed_and_Costs.pdf)

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