AGILE SCM CLOUD – What could it mean?
First of all I must let you all – the readers, know that this is the first of the three parts blog on Agile SCM Cloud. So please stay tuned for the “AGILE SCM CLOUD – Why do we need one?” and “AGILE SCM CLOUD – How to implement one?”
We are living in great times as far as Information Technology is concerned. There is a wave of information explosion and a corresponding need to process it efficiently and effectively. For example, search for new energy source or satellite downloads for weather forecasting. On the other hand almost contrasting to the computing needs Moore’s law is reaching its limits considering atomic sizes of the transistors leading to dual, quad and 8 core processors. Companies like Intel are even rolling out instruction sets to support multiple operating systems. All of this has an impact on the way we have been computing so far – a piece of software tied to a piece of hardware and both of these tied to a business need. We are now thinking of dynamic environments that grow and shrink to meet the demands. Not to mention the biz terms like Grid Computing, Virtualization, Software-as-a-Service, Utility Computing, Green Computing and Cloud Computing in that order to go with it.
In essence, there are pro-cloud evolutionists and anti-cloud vigilantes. I will leave it to the CIO’s and CEO’s to decide on what Cloud Computing should really mean. To me, it is a term that is still confusing and yet evolving but at the same time has some very interesting ideas.
How about extrapolating Cloud Computing ideas to SCM domain? How about an SCM Cloud? Wouldn’t it be cool to have an all-SCM-functionalities-encompassing cloud? Wouldn’t it be nice to mask the users with all the underlying heterogeneity of h/w, s/w components? Wouldn’t it be nice to relieve the user to choose various solutions for different functionalities and then deal with integration challenges? (Refer to Srinivas’s blog "CIO's view of Intergrating SCM apps")So what could/would/should SCM Cloud mean? Here is my definition: “a set of services that provide SCM functions to any cloud user in an efficient, scalable, reliable and secure way”.
This will require a variety of SCM packages in dissimilar environments to work in synch. I admit that it is a herculean task to accomplish this considering the nature of applications in SCM space:
· n-tier nature
· compatibility constraints
· integration challenges
Please pay attention to the heterogeneity of SCM functions, packages, application tier, integration tier, database tier and infrastructure tier components. SCM clouds will mask all these from the user and just provide him with SCM functions. Further, in my view the cloud automatically adapt to the increase/decrease in the load to make the cloud resilient. Services at every tier and across functional boundaries must communicate and coordinate to facilitate the cloud user.So SCM Cloud is really possible!!! No? Care to join me to take it to the next level?