To be private cloud, or be public cloud: Is that really the question?

To be private cloud, or be public cloud: Is that really the question?

Summary: The I&O team needs to decide whether they embrace the fact that the business is going to the cloud and simply go along -- knowing full well that such a path could lead to their own obsolescence. Or do they "take arms" against this betrayal, build a private cloud and force the business back in line?

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TOPICS: Cloud
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Shakespeare wrote in his famous play Hamlet, "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die-to sleep, No more."

He of course was talking about the betrayal in his family but the quote is just as appropriate today in the world of cloud computing. Because in the minds of many Infrastructure & Operations (I&O) professionals, the business is conducting the betrayal.

Our Forrsight surveys show that over the past several years the business has been bypassing the IT leadership and bringing cloud services into the company. Clearly I&O professionals have woken up to this fact and must now write their own soliloquy of similar consternation. Because a decision lies before them.

As many a client has put it, the I&O team needs to decide whether they embrace the fact that the business is going to the cloud and simply go along -- knowing full well that such a path could lead to their own obsolescence. Or do they "take arms" against this betrayal, build a private cloud and force the business back in line.

I fear that either path -- if this were a binary decision -- would lead to the same conclusion: failure.

For the question isn't public or private, it's how to do both well. At Forrester's Infrastructure & Operations Forum in Las Vegas next week, Forrester analyst Vanessa Alvarez and I will lead a session looking specifically at this question. For we have identified paths of maturity that Forrester enterprise clients appear to be following that define their level of success with both strategies.

Do note that these are separate efforts - you can't put building and operating your private cloud in the path of public cloud adoption. Such a gate has proven over and over to be an ineffective barrier and fast-path to I&O irrelevancy to the business. Instead you need to look at how effectively you can facilitate safe and sustainable public cloud adoption while planning out a successful private cloud.

And no, your virtualized server environment is not a private cloud. If it isn't highly standardized, fully automated, accessible via self-service mechanisms and metered it is not a cloud.

If you are looking for help in getting your private cloud right, Forrester analyst Lauren Nelson will discuss the keys to success in this area in her session on the second day of the Forum.

We hope you will join us for these and many other valuable, cost savings and efficiency-gaining sessions at this year's event. If you haven't registered for the Forum, do so today. And if you will be in Europe in June, join us in Paris on the 19th and 20th for the Western European I&O Forum.

Topic: Cloud

James Staten

About James Staten

James Staten is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, serving Infrastructure and Operations professionals.

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  • Situation with small businesses is different

    We recently wrote a post at http://megaventory.com/?da=1, our blog about our online ERP solution. We think it's not that easy to adopt a dual solution if you're running a small business - chances are you can only manage a proprietary approach and it's just a matter of choosing which. More on the issue here:

    http://blog.megaventory.com/2012/04/open-or-closed-cloud.html
    megaventory