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The Cloud in Large IT Shops


The Cloud in Large IT Shops

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Cloud in Large IT Shops

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EdVassie
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It is pervasive. It is a key driver of business growth and innovation.

Without IT most businesses could not function. Banks are now software houses that also lend money. Insurance companies are software houses that also bet on risks. Even metal thumpers are included, with the likes of Ford and VW increasingly being software houses that also assemble cars.

As IT gets pushed further to the frontline in business growth, it needs to become more agile so that business opportunities can be exploited while they still exist. The use of Saas, cloud hosting, outsourcing, insourcing, etc are tactics that can help improve agility and reduce costs.

There are risks in whatever is done. If IT operated today as it did 30 years ago, there is a risk that time-to-market is downplayed, resulting in lost business opportunities and ultimately a smaller business. If the focus is on cost reduction, then cloud hosting and outsourcing may be persued blindly giving a risk that IT may not be agile enough to respond to changes in business requirements.

If the focus is on IT being agile and able to respond quickly to changes in the business environment, then the right mix of Saas, cloud, out/in sourcing will become more obvious.

Last year I was part of a project moving my employer's server estate to AWS. This has risks - it is not unknown for AWS to have a data centre (AZ) outage. But then, our old DCs have had their own outages, so maybe the risks are about in balance. What we have found is that we no longer have scalability issues. We had times in the past where increasing disk capacity a few TB took over 6 months because a SAN needed an upgrade so it could cope. Now, we know we can get a few TB from seeking approval through to in use in a day or two.

Our focus on working with the business to understand and sometimes to predict their needs has provided the sales teams with the tools they use to successfully grow our market share. The move to AWS hosting, coupled with already existing exploitation of SaaS vendors such as SalesForce, Venda, etc, we think gives us the right mix of agility, cost, and risk. Running agile development teams in-house reinforces IT confidence that we can deliver real business value that meets time-to-market requirements. The feedback we get from the business is that we have just about got things right. At least for today.

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Disclaimer: All information provided is a personal opinion that may not match reality.
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Gary Varga
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I think that, much like the web in the late 90s, cloud services will provide an advantage for some companies. It is not a game changer, just another tool in the toolbox. I see some companies jumping early (some will get burned), some wholly dismissing it (again, some will get burned) whilst most others are cautiously keeping a check, running trials or slowly employing where it is deemed appropriate (probably a few scalded hands but not as bad as the extremes).

Gaz

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David.Poole
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We use it for proof-of-concept stuff because the costs of spinning up hardware, storage etc just for a test is prohibitive. As much of what we do requires large data volumes it isn't as simple as setting up a small virtual server.

It does help focus the business on what is REALLY important to them. Keep the important stuff close and let the periphery stuff go into the cloud.

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Miles Neale
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Remember how things work. Bleeding edge -> cutting edge -> early adopters -> the norm -> late bloomers and never made its. There is a cycle. We are still in the early days and working slowly towards a new norm. The rewards are huge for many and interesting to most. Sales folk love it, vendors are sold on it. For most the question is not will we use it but when and how we will use it. But to keep this in perspective, it is not the complete silver bullet, but it could be a good thing for lots of us.

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Steve Jones
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Miles Neale (2/5/2013)
Remember how things work. Bleeding edge -> cutting edge -> early adopters -> the norm -> late bloomers and never made its. There is a cycle. We are still in the early days and working slowly towards a new norm. The rewards are huge for many and interesting to most. Sales folk love it, vendors are sold on it. For most the question is not will we use it but when and how we will use it. But to keep this in perspective, it is not the complete silver bullet, but it could be a good thing for lots of us.

Well said

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