Cloud Computing as a Key Business Initiative

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosBusinesses continue to adjust to a world increasingly driven by cloud computing. As expected of any new technology, early adopters have been at the forefront of cloud adoption, wrestling with the challenges posed by the new technology while reaping many of its benefits. How early adopters deal with many of these challenges will influence how other businesses plan their own private clouds.

In order to get a visual of the cloud computing environment in terms of business-level adoption, Oracle enlisted the help of Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst J.P. Garbani to develop a study analyzing the current state of cloud adoption. The report, entitled “Enterprise Cloud: Lessons Learned From Early Adopters – A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Oracle,” also provides a roadmap for IT departments that are interested in transitioning to the cloud.

Key takeaways from the report are these:

  • When it comes to addressing key business objectives, enterprises are wholeheartedly embracing cloud computing as an effective tool.
  • Cloud computing is no longer seen as an initiative relegated to IT: cloud solutions are considered a synergetic component that adds significant business value to the overall organization.
  • According to the study, 67 percent of respondents cited the use of platform as-a-service (PaaS) or infrastructure as-a-service (IaaS) as one of the many measures they’re taking to improve IT efficiency.
  • Businesses are gravitating towards cloud solutions that are application-centric and business-aware, where the overall goal is to reduce IT complexity and operational costs.
  • Many businesses make the mistake of underestimating the sheer complexity of building and testing critical business applications within the cloud.

Problems with Infrastructure-Centric Cloud Adoption

Shared computing and storage infrastructure only make up part of the puzzle when it comes to providing significant business value. In the survey, businesses found that approaching cloud adoption solely from an IaaS point of view not only left IT unable to effectively offer and administer actual business services, but it also failed to provide the management tools necessary to elevate IT beyond the task of a basic utility provider.

On a more positive note, survey respondents agreed that a focus on the application-centric cloud was the key towards effectively solving many of the challenges associated with cloud adoption and, specifically, the deployment of complex, multi-tier applications.

Automation and Integration

The majority of survey respondents noted the use of multiple disparate tools as one of the challenges faced when building consistent and reliable business applications. In order to successfully develop, test, and release today’s complex applications, IT teams require a solid, integrated toolkit that allows for steadfast consistency as well as a variety of out-of-the-box capabilities for creating, managing, and automating support services for business applications.

The Cloud as an Application-Centric, Business-Aware Solution

Today’s businesses have a mandate to become more agile and efficient than ever before. Reducing operational costs and IT complexity are only a few of several goals that businesses hope to achieve through the widespread adoption of the cloud. In order to accomplish these goals, an ideal cloud solution must feature a complete toolkit– from full lifecycle management to engineered systems and integrated stack management. But above all, it must offer a broad array of application-centric and business-centric services.

Ultimately, the Forrester Research survey focused on the emergence of the application-centric and business-aware cloud as a complete solution for increased IT efficiency and cost effectiveness, and as a key business initiative for successful businesses to embrace and follow through. Only a highly integrated cloud management approach can offer the success sought by countless businesses throughout the world.

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