SunGard Availability Services Prediction: Push to Get Out of Business of Owning IT Infrastructure Drives Organizations to Infrastructure as a Service
Contributed Article By Rahul Bakshi, Vice President, Product Management, Managed Services with SunGard Availability Services
If last year was the year of cloud computing awareness and adoption, the next phase of the cloud evolution will bring maturation and convergence. The previous year proved that, for many organizations, cloud computing can meet the demand for improved IT efficiency. The cloud can deliver a virtualized, secure infrastructure solution that is scalable, reliable and provides organizations higher availability at lower costs when compared to a dedicated IT environment.
There has been a clear market trend that many organizations are looking to get out of the business of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. These companies want to tap into the investment service providers have made in IT tools, automation and elastic technology.
The results from a survey by Yankee Group confirm this trend, with 24 percent of large enterprises with cloud experience saying they are already using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and an additional 37 percent expect to adopt IaaS during the next 24 months.
Throughout 2011, we can expect to see continuation of the maturity of cloud offerings with additional security enhancements, service improvements and convergence of various cloud solution technologies and standards to better address customer needs. These drivers will help accelerate the market adoption of IaaS.
Another key to growing market interest in cloud is the ROI an organization can realize through cloud adoption. However, when determining ROI, IT organizations need to look beyond just reducing capital expenditures - even though major gains can be made there.
The ROI analysis should be based on a comprehensive view, considering all aspects required to deliver the solution - assessing factors such as, are they able to deliver services more effectively and efficiently? And, can they take better advantage of capacity on demand - like seasonal spikes - and achieve faster times to market?
Key Considerations for Infrastructure as a Service
As organizations develop an Infrastructure as a Service strategy in 2011, here are four key areas they should closely examine:
Business Assessment. IaaS will not replace everything in an internal computing environment. Just as many companies have a mix of Software as Service like Salesforce.com
and internal systems, such as ERP, organizations will take a blended infrastructure approach. A good starting point is for companies to conduct a cloud readiness assessment to determine which applications have the best business and technical case to move to the cloud. Next, develop a roadmap for moving applications to the cloud in an efficient way and mitigating operational risks during the cloud migration process.
Security. Just as in the early days of managed services when providers needed to prove to customers they could address both physical and logical security aspects, cloud providers need to demonstrate multiple layers of data protection for enterprise-grade security and application availability. For example, organizations need to look for cloud environments that provide dedicated virtual machines which are logically isolated and protected to secure data across shared fabrics.
Compliance. Cloud computing is dramatically increasing pressure on service providers from a compliance perspective. Providers need to demonstrate they have embedded the appropriate services, controls, and procedures to support a customer's compliance requirements and to help customers gain the confidence needed to move applications to a cloud environment. Also, compliance standards cut horizontally - like Sarbanes-Oxley - and also vertically with industry-specific standards, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA. A service provider needs to demonstrate its cloud environment and processes address customer needs in both areas.
Services and Service Level Agreements. Cloud computing is beneficial when the right services are being offered as part of the solution. While many of the mainstream providers of cloud computing platforms offer an unmanaged, do-it-yourself cloud, some organizations may prefer that managed services, backed by the right service level agreement, be part of the overall solution. An organization needs to evaluate its specific needs as they relate to managed services and consider service a key criterion when evaluating vendors.
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About the Author
Rahul Bakshi is vice president Product Management, Managed Services at SunGard Availability Services. Rahul plays a leadership role in accelerating the growth and expansion of SunGard Managed Services. SunGard's Enterprise Cloud Services deliver an enterprise-grade virtualized infrastructure with multiple layers of data protection for application availability.