CIOs face challenges on cloud computing services
It is rapidly gaining popularity and yet many tech professionals remain cynical, for good reasons – find them out.
At the recently concluded NetEvents in Hong Kong, participating research and tech firms shared some difficulties they experience with cloud computing services. They are as follows:
Andrew Milroy, Vice President, ICT Research, APAC, Frost & Sullivan
As you talk to people, you do surveys and the first things that come up are privacy, security and data sovereignty. This is not to say that those issues are irrelevant, but those are issues whatever your IT infrastructure and those remain issues. A lot of the issues when people do start working with it are integrating what they have in the Cloud with their legacy infrastructure.
Integrating different Clouds, latency, quality of service, issues like this Of course, the other issue that organisations find is that with a lot of companies in the financial services sector, in the western world in particular, insurance companies can be cited as examples of this, are still wrestling with mainframe technology that they invested in during the late 60s and early 70s. They have often got highly customized applications that workflows have been built around for a long period of time. For these companies, they have really got to look at ways in which they can try to make those highly customised IT resources work in this new kind of environment.
This is a very complex activity. Our view is platform, as a service which is part of the Cloud stat and is very immature at the moment, is one of the ways in which complexity; this customisation issue will be addressed. It offers the opportunity to organisations to develop highly customised and specific applications in a Cloud environment. Of course, as the network infrastructure we use develop, issues around quality of service and latency will be address.
Jan Alvin Pabellon, Senior Product Manager - APAC, NetSuite
We have been in this business for more than 12 years, really before the term ‘Cloud computing’ was invented. When we started out, definitely security and privacy were the big issues about Cloud and deploying to a Cloud based infrastructure. However, nowadays we have seen a shift in terms of the discussions. When we talk to CIOs, CFOs and CEOs, some of the concerns have shifted and now they are talking about integration.
For example, I read in a US publication about companies deploying 21 Cloud applications now. Because virtualisation is a capillary app in Cloud computing, it is very easy now to deploy virtualised instances of servers in applications. More and more we see an issue where companies are now struggling with integrating these different types of infrastructure and different types of applications, which they were managing prior to Cloud computing but we feel will become a more challenging issue.
There are definitely other issues, for example you talked about customisation and the fact that it is very hard to migrate these very complex business processes and systems from their old client server applications into a Cloud environment.
Vasile Radoaca, Vice President Strategic Projects & Solutions, Asia Pacific, Alcatel-Lucent
Security is a tough one because it is an issue. If you look at it, it is a tough one but it is a process. It is a process going on and nobody will solve today or tomorrow. It is a process because all the time you will get people who will be smart enough to try to [limit] your network.
What surprised me when I talked with service providers and with enterprises, there is another fundamental question being asked. Recently I was in Korea and they said “Look, Vasile, I do have a network, I do have the Cloud. I sell service but I don’t make money.” So the question is, what is the business, what is the business plan, how will the CIO or CEO from a tele company/enterprise make money?
Coming from the business side is the next element of the transformation. What do you assume is the application, the components of the application? It is really the key part of the transformation. How do you think the legacy, which is 25% from the things in the data centre to move this? How do you deploy this application? An application is a full cycle and is to be taken into account. From trying to select what application is right to move onto the Cloud and how you can develop this application. How you can operate this application. How you can control this application and evolve the application on the network?
That element even if you have the full cycle, a tetracycle, it is also a deployment cycle. For example, we have seen that out of developments we know that we have [indiscernible] in the Cloud application, but more and more in kind of a mesh type of application talking with other applications. How do your deploy this application? Do you put a front end in the public Cloud and the back end in a private Cloud? How can you control the latency?
All these things need to be taken by CIOs. What we have seen is that they ask us to work together in process mode. To define a process where, in a very controlled way, you try to select based on some metrics around application, what they can move easier or with less effort.