There may be significant consumer interest in cloud computing but potential investors are advised to seriously consider a number of factors before making a commitment. This is the view of Warren Small, MD at BasisOne, an established SAP technical specialist organisation servicing the growing international SAP basis consulting and managed hosting services market.
Small formed part of a group of industry leaders who spoke at the ITWeb Virtualisation and Cloud Computing Conference held recently in Gauteng. The Conference provided a platform for discussion over existing and emerging trends within the cloud computing and virtual services environment.
Among the topics on the agenda was the ITWeb/ Fujitsu Cloud Computing Survey. According to the results of the survey nine percent (9%) of IT professionals said they were knowledgeable and deal with cloud computing as part of their jobs. Furthermore, the research suggested that broadband reliability and speed was impacting on the pace of local investment in virtualisation (iWeek Online, August 11,2010)
The BasisOne managing director acknowledged the hype that surrounds cloud computing and growing virtual services market and the fact that this has contributed significantly to general consumer interest.
However, he listed factors such as architecture, connectivity, risk management, security and government compliance as aspects that have to be considered by those eager to embrace the technology.
“Our message to the market is that it is best to have the appropriate architecture to support cloud computing. The rationale behind this is that by not having adequate architecture in place, the success of cloud computing in business is jeopardised,” Small said.
According to Small there is a growing realisation among business leaders that data is being used to predict outcomes, as well as the fact that there is ongoing global pressure to sharpen risk focus and review manual processes.
This trend, in addition to the fact that directors are being held personally responsible for governance and compliance requirements and output, is fuelling interest in cloud based service delivery and application.
Small also mentioned that in order for investors to benefit from lower cost, better risk management and better process quality, they must factor in components of cloud computing. These components include identity management infrastructure and virtual infrastructure.
“If one looks at user management in the context of the value of cloud computing, this area is affected by manual actions, actions which are prone to error and are time consuming, and that is influenced by security and governance risks. A move to a cloud-based environment addresses these issues, but, as we have already mentioned, it is very much dependent on having the correct architecture in place,” he explains.
Warren Small, MD at BasisOne