As more experts forecast that IT’s future lies in the cloud, many more IT departments will need to be mindful of the difficulties in shifting their work procedures to support cloud-first computing. In fact, many analysts suggest that this year, most, if not all, CIO’s are prepared to spend big when it comes to cloud computing.
And while hosting applications on public infrastructure as a service is a known commodity, advanced cloud-based applications like Groupon, Netflix and taxi app Hailo are designed in a significantly different way to most enterprise systems.
Those cloud-first apps have many more internal and external cloud-based micro services and also operate on top of cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services.
Experts in IT service management say it is especially tough to manage an IT service that requires many different outside services. They say most enterprise IT initiatives rarely take into account the operational and supply side of an ongoing service. For the most part it’s not easy for companies to open their programming interfaces to other companies to build new products and services.
It’s one of the biggest reasons there’s still so much internal IT infrastructure remaining. Many suggest that what needs to happen, although it can be truly difficult, is that IT departments incorporating cloud services will have to manage those outside suppliers to meet their own unique service levels.
Moreover, software development in cloud platforms can also prove complicated and problematic. For example, recently the social network eToro that used Microsoft technologies previously were in the midst of moving services into Microsoft’s Azure cloud. By all accounts, the process was a challenging undertaking as it proved difficult getting the company’s development teams on-board. All told the project took several months to see even a slight material result.
The experience convinced the company that developers need to think differently because a cloud model is far different than a traditional enterprise application. Applications now have to be designed and services modeled and all data geared to support a cloud environment that is flexible and elastic.
On top of that, business continuity is completely different with a cloud-based application. Companies no longer have full control on-premises. That’s now being outsourced and as a result when building enterprise software for the cloud there has to be an assumption there will be some failures. It means there needs to be greater disaster recovery safeguards compared to the on-premises software.
Network integration between on premise IT and a public cloud service can also be a difficult challenge for IT and as such a robust connection is critical. However, it’s not always a simple process as eToro found out over the course of more than three months that it took to complete its network integration.
Moving to the cloud can cause trepidation in many cases and the difficulty is not just in shifting environments but in changing work processes and procedures which can be just as challenging.
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