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Moving To The Cloud

Cloud computing is nothing mysterious.  Anything done remotely on the Internet can be considered in the cloud.  These may include accessing your bank account online, reading news from online newspaper, or using webmail.  However, cloud computing is one step further that the resources on the Internet seems to be integrated with your desktop computer.  There are many cloud drive services available that the storage space on the Internet can be construed as a hard drive on your computer, like Google drive, OneDrive and many online photo album services.  All these services are very easy to use and worry free, if your trust the security of the services.

However, for corporate users, moving to the cloud may present additional challenges.  Most of the hardware servers in the backroom are gone.  The valuable corporate data and the control are now in the cloud, or in the hand of a third party.  The emphasis of the IT administrators has changed from caring for the hardware to a relationship with the cloud service providers.  OCGIO is promoting cloud computing to departments.  She recommends some services to use the public cloud.  Her data centre also offers private cloud service.  I think some colleagues tasked with IT administration may have the experience of moving to the cloud. has an article written by the Chief Information Officer of a large corporation on the challenges of moving to the cloud.

1. Impact On Culture

Adopting a cloud infrastructure requires new corporate IT muscles.  Along with traditional IT activities like database administration and change management, it is now necessary to have expertise in security, virtualization, storage efficiency, and process automation.  Before making any transitions, IT departments have to be sure that their team members have the relevant skills.  There will inevitably be skeptics both inside and outside of the IT department. Some groups are wary of clouds and those services that they can’t physically interact with.

2. Support

Another challenge of moving to the cloud is providing support.  Whatever applications are deployed, there will always be a need for support even when services are deployed to the cloud.  Support can become a complex issue. The end user will phone IT, regardless of where the application resides.  IT department will have to adapt to a new support model, learn how to support multiple cloud vendors, and learn whom to call when problems arise. Cloud education is essential.

3. Partnerships Are The Key Services

As a broker of cloud services, the vendor relationship became the center of the planning for the future.  As new cloud-based solutions are developed, the administrator has to evaluate which cloud vendors have the products and expertise to make effective use of the new technologies.  Vendors are compared for stability, degree of commitment, and level of service. The relationship with the cloud services provider is key. This is a fundamental change from purchasing software. The cloud provider is a part of the daily delivery of services. Their performance is our performance.