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March 19, 2012

The Cloud has a silver lining

Posted by Vishnu Bhat (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:47 AM

Sometime last year, the National Science Center moved its flagship program - called Learning Logic - to the Cloud to enhance its IT staff and optimize infrastructure efficiencies.  Learning Logic went from its earlier server-based avatar to serving a much broader audience. In migrating to the Cloud, the cost savings were significant. But the additional audience was a direct outcome of Cloud-led innovation.

Cloud computing has come of age.  In the past, skeptics groaned that the Cloud was simply a way to outsource large databases to IT warehouses and server farms to lower the cost of ownership and allow clients to seamlessly scale their IT requirements.  The Cloud premise was built solely around infrastructure.  Though the initial imperatives - faster, cost-effective, and more efficient IT capability - are still important, it is only a part of what the Cloud can offer to enterprises. In fact, these are now virtually hygiene.

The potential for innovation is limitless. Some examples:
  • A bank extends its services to remote areas outside its urban branch network by enabling agents to access a Cloud-hosted core banking platform.
  • A soft drink manufacturer streamlines distribution through a combination of mobile devices and a Cloud computing setup where merchandisers input stocking and other information in real-time.
Besides fostering innovation, the Cloud also helps organizations leverage data better to make better decisions. Today, everyone's talking about "Big Data."  The subject dominated conversations at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.  Big Data is available because of the computing power of the Cloud, and we're just beginning to take advantage of this huge mine of information.  The Cloud is enabling organizations to tap into Big Data that exists within and outside their four walls to slice and dice it faster, cheaper and in more minute detail than it was thought possible.  Retailers have taken the lead.  They are not only crunching structured data but also mining unstructured information.  Social media conversations and online commentaries about their own and competitor brands - as well as consumer perceptions and user expectations -- reveal better ways to market their products and services.

Organizations are accepting the notion of trusting large amounts of data in the Cloud as long as it is implemented within the safety of a private Cloud.  However, they raise the usual concerns around security, data privacy and the risk of regulatory violation, when presented with the idea of leveraging the true benefits of the Cloud.

Just consider. A solution that brings all the fragmented workloads - on the private and public Cloud ecosystem - together and seamlessly.  One that can offer a single, unified view of its entire operational setup across multiple Clouds, and benchmark its performance with respect to the industry's best practices.  Even better, one that can also make intelligent recommendations around which Cloud is best equipped to deploy a new workload. Now, that, you'll agree, is indeed a bright silver lining. On the Cloud.

Read White Paper What I see, in the Cloud, for enterprises

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