The future of computers and technology
Cloud computing is a reality in 2015 and is growing rapidly in use and popularity from the largest to the smallest of enterprises around the globe.
Cloud provides a robust stable computing environment at a fraction of the cost of owning and operating your own computer equipment.
It is highly scalable, secure, and usually includes built-in high availability and disaster recovery.
Cloud computing can not only reduce the cost of computing equipment and the infrastructure necessary to support that equipment, but can also provide a dramatic reduction in labor costs.
Software is loaded into the cloud and accessed remotely via the Internet.
You may choose from a vast array of commercial and open source software products or develop and deploy your own.
A key advantage of cloud computing is the fact that the cloud vendor maintains the environment, the network, and all of the middleware required to run the equipment.
Depending on the size of your existing computing environment the labor savings in this area alone can be substantial.
Another set of costs that you save are those associated with disaster recovery.
You do not need a DR site, or equipment along with DR testing and all the cost that goes into insuring that you can survive an unforeseen disaster.
A reputable cloud provider will replicate both your applications and data across several servers in several locations.
This replication means that if a location were to become unavailable due to a disaster of some sort your systems will continue to run at other locations.
Top notch Cloud Vendors offer multiple sites distributed around the globe with full system replication as a part of their base offering.
Growth and scalability is yet another benefit of Cloud computing.
Most reputable cloud vendors allow you or your staff the ability to increase the amount of resources they use on-line via an easy to use web interface or you may be configured to use whatever resources you require and be billed for usage much like that of an utility.
This means that your cost may escalate during peak periods of the year, but will go back down when the workload drops to lower levels.
Cloud usage scaling is much less costly than attempting to handle this problem in-house with your own equipment.
Many claim that security is a big risk of cloud computing.
I suggest that security is a huge advantage.
A reputable cloud vendor will employ both the very best security people that can be hired along with the best security monitoring software and engage ethical hackers to help product the network and your applications.
While technically security of your applications even in a cloud environment is your responsibility, a reputable cloud provider will offer security services built-in to your fees or at a moderate add-on cost that provides you much better security than you could afford on your own.
Through out this paper I have used the word “reputable” cloud vendor.
There are many articles on the Internet that speak to the risks of cloud computing.
They talk about the risks of allowing a 3rd
part to manage your data, disaster recovery, security, 3rd
party employees with potential access to your data, etc.
What is the solution?
Choose your Cloud provider very carefully.
There are many companies in the marketplace claiming to be “cloud providers”.
I came across one that specialized in AS/400 (IBM i) hardware and software hosting.
They had one data center in a single city.
How about another “cloud vendor” that meets most of the requirements I set forth but who operated three data centers in the same city!
Addressing the issues about Cloud vendor employees with access to your data, you will find that most of that level of employee is bonded and insured.
Are your own employees bonded and insured protecting you against fraud, theft, or other malicious acts?
Cloud computing reduces the cost of computer equipment ownership and support often generating savings in the millions of dollars.
Engage a reputable consulting firm that can take you from your existing environment to the cloud.
You will want to formulate a migration and modernization strategy.
Often that may include replacing existing software with vendor provide or open source software.
For other software you may wish to engage off-site contract developers to support you, to enhance your software, or to perform development on your behalf in lieu of the overhead of an in-house IT development staff.
We have found that most IT organizations waste a huge percentage of their annual budget.
We have found that many of the people you employ have dated skills that are not viable in today’s ever changing environment.
Additionally, we find that there are too many technologies for a small group of people to master and support.
Why not outsource both your hardware to a reputable cloud vendor and implement a business centric software management plan using outsourced resources.
A mid to large size IT Organization can save millions of dollars, even very small businesses with a limited number of employees (3 to 5) can obtain substantial savings.
Finally, in addition to cots savings, you will find that you can respond to the needs of your business much more rapidly than you can with in-house systems and resources. You will also find that you are able to better leverage modern and emerging technologies all helping to improve your bottom line.
Read the original at Bob Cancilla on IBM i.