majority of tech experts see moving to the cloud as inevitable.The benefits of scalability and flexibility touted by cloud computing are rapidly pushing its adoption forward. And while there are still hesitations in some sectors about the emerging technologies - questions about security, control, and interoperability - the
Nevertheless, it's still fairly common to hear the argument that the public cloud isn't quite ready or quite right for the enterprise. But a recent Forrester report contends that enterprise might not be ready for the private cloud either. Pointing to a survey that found only about 5% of IT shops have the experience internally to make the move to the cloud, the report, authored by James Staten with Christian Kane, Robert Whiteley, contends that many companies simply aren't ready.
Calling virtualization "the yellow brick road to the cloud," Staten recommends companies assess their own technological maturity and their adoption of virtualization in order to ascertain whether private cloud environments are the right move right now.
According to Staten, you're ready for the private cloud if you meet the following criteria:
- You have standardized most commonly repeated operating procedures.
- You have fully automated deployment and management.
- You provide self-service access for users.
- Your business units are ready to share the same infrastructure.
Staten notes that preparing your IT operations for Stage 4 will take many years, but says that moving to the cloud doesn't have to wait until then. Rather than a whole-scale switch, he recommends moving smaller projects and investments, such as development and testing, into the cloud. He also recommends outsourcing the internal cloud to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud provider - preferably one that will offer some training.
The "reality check" that the Forrester report offers might not be what some IT departments or cloud advocates want to hear. But as Staten concludes, "The economics of cloud computing is too compelling for you sit on the sidelines waiting for the hype to die down. You need to start investing in IaaS now to understand how best to leverage it. You also need to embrace the fact that your developers and line-of-business leads aren't waiting for you to figure this out."