Back to Basics: Objectives for Successful Cloud Adoption

Picture this. You are a part of a multinational retailer of consumer electronics and you decide to quickly develop and deploy a social application to achieve your goals for the shopping season. You are confronted with a very aggressive time line, meaning that your social application may have to scale up very quickly. The timeline may not even be possible through your company’s traditional IT channel.

Wondering how to tackle this? Leverage cloud computing to deploy the social app to gear up for the shopping season. The cloud computing paradigm presents many options including:

  • Using Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to build this application quickly
  • Building the application using traditional technologies, deploying it on an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform and scaling on demand

The bottom line is that you can rapidly deploy scalable applications in the cloud, by leveraging the key features of flexibility, scalability and on-demand resources. No doubt, cloud is re-inventing the way IT can rapidly enable business outcomes. Gartner has found that by the end of 2013, the size of the cloud computing market worldwide will reach $150 billion. Additionally, by the end of 2016, more than 50% of Global 1000 companies will store customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.

It is time for your organization to consider adopting cloud computing if you have not yet already. But, where do you begin? And, what benefits can you expect?

For an organization to adopt a sound cloud computing program, it is paramount to set clear objectives that span from the top of the line, such as productivity gains, to the bottom line, like operational expenses. Most often, cloud computing is viewed as a means to move from capex to opex. While this may be true, cloud computing also provides many other benefits that are often overlooked, some of which may be the key objectives which organizations should focus on while adopting the cloud:

1. Increased focus on business:

  • Organizations often do not include business agility and capability as part of their cloud computing objectives. The ability to focus on the core business while leaving the rest to the cloud service provider ensures business growth
  • Enables scalability of resources for business needs due to availability of flexible infrastructure (presence of remote machines)
  • Facilitates superior user experience through agile and robust cloud services

2. Faster time-to-market:

  • Cloud platforms not only provide computing and network resources, but also provide enterprise frameworks such as authentication, authorization, user interface and workflow
  • Use of these frameworks reduces the overall time-to-market

3. Increased business agility. Some cloud platforms empower business users to make effective changes to functionality through configuration. This reduces the dependency on development teams and results in increased business agility.

4. Reduced operational costs:

  • The seamless integration of applications in the enterprise architecture, results in low maintenance and support, thereby reducing the overhead costs
  • Reduces hardware, software or licensing costs, as cloud services operate in the pay-as-you-use model. This results in predictable operation expenditures with minimum deployment cost and almost zero capital expenditure
  • Automatic security and software updates shrink IT infrastructure maintenance costs

5. Lower development costs. At one of our recent successful client PaaS engagements, we observed that Force.com ensures a smart custom application development process. Our client tripled their output of custom applications and doubled annual enhancements from one to two. Adoption of cloud ensures faster time-to-market and significantly reduces Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) from cost savings associated with application development, maintenance and development of new capabilities.

A variety of criteria may be considered while planning to adopt cloud. At a holistic level, the above objectives will be relevant to all organizations irrespective of their size and scale.

This post was originally published on ITBusinessEdge on May 14, 2013, and is re-posted here by permission.

Amit Khanna

Vice President - Technology, Virtusa. Amit Khanna has 18+ years of experience in the Software Industry. Amit is the worldwide practice lead for Cloud Computing at Virtusa. He has worked on 70+ projects in the last 10 years. In the last couple of years he has focused on PaaS platforms, helping clients architect, design and implement enterprise applications leveraging the PaaS platform. Amit has been a member of the Java Community Process (JCP) and has been participating in formulating standards in the Enterprise Java arena. Prior to Virtusa, Amit was Chief Architect at Pramati Technologies, an application server vendor. Amit received his M.S. (Software Systems) from BITS Pilani and his Bachelors in Engineering from Punjab University, Chandigarh.

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