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Signs That Your Enterprise Suffers from “Cloud in a Corner”

News Release

Seven Signs That Your Enterprise Suffers from “Cloud in a Corner” Syndrome

Unisys diagnoses symptoms and prescribes the best way for IT to make cloud investments pay off

Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) has advice for CIOs seeking to get the most out of their investment in cloud computing: before plunging in, consider how the proposed cloud solution can best be integrated with the organisation’s existing mission-critical systems and IT processes.

This analytical approach, Unisys says, is the surest defense against “cloud in a corner” syndrome, where new cloud solutions become isolated from the rest of the IT environment and don’t contribute the business value they should.

“By some estimates, well planned cloud computing solutions can reduce the cost of IT operations by as much as 20 percent while improving responsiveness and quality in delivery of IT services,” says John Treadway, director, global cloud computing solutions, Unisys. “However, it’s easy to become entranced by new cloud technologies and lose sight of how those can best be integrated with existing resources. By courting ‘cloud in a corner’ syndrome this way, CIOs risk zeroing out savings and even potentially increasing operational costs.”

Treadway advises IT organisations to look out for telltale signs that they have fallen prey to “cloud in a corner” syndrome:
1. Your team is evaluating a “cloud stack” solution without first putting in place a comprehensive strategy and framework for integrating it with your existing IT environment
2. You lack clearly articulated criteria and metrics for cloud success from both IT and end-user perspectives
3. You’re well into implementation before all stakeholders agree on use cases, roadmaps and expected changes to IT and business processes
4. The technology underlying your cloud is so new, none of your IT people know how to operate it and you have no readiness plan in place so they can learn to do so
5. You need to create duplicate service, security and risk management processes because your new cloud environment won’t accommodate those you already have
6. You have not defined and communicated how your team’s roles and responsibilities will change with a cloud service delivery model and
7. You’re already developing a second cloud solution because the first one didn’t meet the organisation’s needs.

Treadway says that the way to avoid “cloud in a corner” syndrome in the first place – or to approach follow-on cloud initiatives – is to raise the focus above the technology and instead create a comprehensive blueprint for cloud success. The first step in this process is to look at cloud delivery models in the context of the total IT infrastructure.

“No enterprise will move 100 percent to a cloud model any time soon,” Treadway says. “Traditional IT delivery – both internal and outsourced – is not going away. The trick is to recognise that IT is moving to what Unisys calls a ‘hybrid enterprise’ model, where an organisation makes cloud, traditional, internal and external IT delivery models all work together to lower costs, reduce risk and improve quality of IT services.”

The Unisys Hybrid Enterprise approach guides organisations in making the best decisions when integrating cloud delivery models into three key areas of IT:
Applications – Assess which are best suited to a specific IT delivery model – whether a traditional data centre, traditional outsourcing or a particular type of cloud – based on a range of application and data characteristics
Data Centre Services – Manage a portfolio of data centre services that meets the needs of their applications and, where necessary, build new cloud services in a way that best matches and integrates with existing environments while avoiding virtualisation and automation technologies that don’t work well in heterogeneous environments and
Management – Devise a consistent management approach covering policy and governance, monitoring and service event management, security and risk management, financial management and service management. Avoid monitoring and management solutions created just for cloud and not capable of easy integration into existing systems and operations.

In a new post, “Inoculate Yourself Against ‘Cloud in a Corner’ Syndrome,” on the Unisys “Disruptive Trends” blog, Treadway provides guidelines for avoiding the pitfalls of an isolated cloud strategy and instead implementing a successful hybrid enterprise approach.


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