The important point that must be made is that cloud solutions driven by virtualisation should not always be seen as a replacement technology but a complementary one. In other words, not instead of but as well as. Businesses should review their pain points and the specific requirements they have from a business perspective – lowering cost, improving efficiency in processes, improving access to data, securing their data, etc. These business drivers should be the first consideration point, and then they should work with an organisation that can act as a trusted advisor specifically in relation to technology and which IT solutions will best meet their needs. Indeed, if their needs are being met effectively, change for the sake of it could be a bad decision. If cloud and virtualisation is the solution, then the next step is considering which vendor solutions collaboratively meet their needs, as it’s unlikely only one vendor can solve a significant business problem.
With the wealth of information available online, how do companies know what to believe?
Information can educate us, but a trusted advisor is required to integrate technology in a practical sense. Companies need to look for information that uses the varying business drivers as a starting point before discussing how IT solutions can address business requirements. Understanding how other enterprises have resolved their business requirements will help a company see how IT solutions can be applied to their own business. So, it’s not a matter of what to believe, it’s a matter of what is relevant to the business.
What best practices are there for organisations adopting cloud computing? Will a standard SLA work?
Cloud computing must be placed in the context of a company’s overall business strategy and it should be part of a long term plan as it affects security, performance, and connectivity. We are talking about emerging technologies and therefore by definition they need to evolve. There can’t be a standard SLA.
End user organisations should work with their reseller or system integrator to ensure that customised SLAs are in place, and this should be the case with any IT solution that a company implements. End users should also take into consideration which distributor their reseller or system integrator partners with, as the distributor’s reliability in terms of support, logistics and service can impact the implementation of their cloud solution.
Can you tell us more about the online community, iVirtualize.com?
iVirtualize.com is a portal that Distribution Central develops with other partners. This portal provides customers with information on moving into virtualisation and cloud and is a good platform for datacentres and their partners to interact with the community. iVirtualize.com hosts an iPad app that CIOs can download to help them in their virtualisation implementation. In future, iVirtualize.com will also hosts forums and discussions where online visitors can interact with the experts behind the site.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.