Legend has it that Lord Indra’s mythological white elephant, Airavat lived in clouds and when required, it could produce clouds and travel among them.
Any modern technological company can take a valuable lesson from this tale of lore and understand why the mighty king of elephants decided to choose clouds as his element. Fast, omnipresent and reliable are the advantages. And that’s what cloud technology means to the IT industry. Moving operations on to the cloud would not only allow an organization to rapidly scale operations but also cut down on the response cycles and become agile. The quick survives and adapts to the constantly changing landscape of applications and the technology which runs them.
And the cloud has always been there, only the industry has conceptualized it now and hence the term has gained popularity. Hard ware time sharing was prevalent in 1960s; an era when systems were bulky and expensive. Later it evolved into utility computing in 1980s and grid computing in 1990s. But these concepts failed to take off because of connectivity issues which later got resolved by the broadband connections which came into mainstream by the internet. But the innovativeness of the business never really caught on despite services providers giving access to a plethora of applications mainly due to the dot com bubble. The 2000s saw a gamut of cloud services like applications and cloud storage being delivered to customers and as a trend emerged, the cloud technology industry got branded and shaped into its present form.
Moving over to cloud is ideal for both large and small, established and start-up businesses. True established businesses would be apprehensive about such a move because they get things done anyways but making their existing processes intelligent by implementing Business Services Management and Process Management tools would require a robust cloud infrastructure already in place. In such cases it’s more of a question of moving out of the comfort zone. HCL helps customers in rightly identifying and assessing optimal opportunities to move on a cloud environment to gain significant business benefits. HCL provides two premium consulting services such as Cloud Readiness Assessment and Migration Assessment which help customers adopt the right set of cloud services systematically and profitably. For startup’s initializing with a cloud platform will save a lot of time and money as well as let them capitalize on the lean agility. HCL leverages its proven expertise and experience in areas like application re-engineering, infrastructure virtualization, data center hosting and migration services to provide flawless implementation and migration of customers from existing environments to Public Cloud. HCL also offers Private Cloud Enablement services for customers, which includes a complete roadmap starting from datacenter consolidation, virtualization and SaaS enablement of products. HCL has been working with leading ISV's for SaaS enablement of their key products and make them multi-tenant and cloud ready.
So what’s making the territorial grass gazing elephants hesitant to travel in the clouds. The challenges are many and without expert guidance they can be insurmountable.
The market regulators and goverments are keeping pace with the technological changes and for companies embracing cloud technology in US, Canada and European Unions, the regulations are especially strict and fines crippling. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for the health-care industry has regulations for any cloud service providing subcontractor to have a contractual clause mandating the subcontractor to use security controls and comply with data privacy provisions. The Sarbanes–Oxley Act and the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act designates the management to have responsibility for the financial data. Substantial fines for non compliance can adversely affect your organization.. For example, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) can impose fines of up to $100,000 per month for violations to its compliance.
So you need a cloud vendor complaint with the regulations of your industry and with experience in delivering successful cloud solutions.
Some other hurdles towards implementation of Cloud are bandwidth and performance costs especially for data intensive applications. Data portability and interoperability remains another challenge; due to lack of transparency and no visibility of infrastructure and data, there can exist a lock-in period which may tie a business with a vendor.
HCL is a formidable cloud service partner for global organizations with coherent thinking and strategy in place. Today, we work with 8 out of Top 10 ISV's in their Cloud Initiatives. Inhouse cloud computing center of excellence has built own Cloud Reference Architecture. MTaaS (Service Management Platform), Nimbo (Cloud Enablement Platform), Agora (Cloud Monetization and Service Delivery Platform) and a Migration Assesment Index are HCL’s IP which have helped clients to successfully embrace the Cloud.
So to conclude, Cloud, like any other disruptive technology has its pros and cons and before jumping in the bandwagon and making investments, organization should carefully evaluate whom to partner with.