'Crack the cloud management nut and a cascade of benefits awaits'

The rise of JBOCS architecture, or 'Just a Bunch of Cloud Services,' with no coordinated governance or rhyme or reason for enterprises, spells trouble.

"Crack [the cloud management] nut and a cascade of benefits awaits..."

That's the call from Jason Liu, CEO of UC4 Software, saying that the rise of external cloud engagements outside of IT's scope threatens to lead organizations into an entanglement of services and technologies.

Maybe a good way to describe what is evolving is a JBOCS architecture, for "Just a Bunch of Cloud Services," with no coordinated governance or rhyme or reason from en enterprise point of view. The result is entanglements, subscriptions to duplicate services, as well as contracting for services that already exist free and clear from the IT department.

As Liu explains in a recent editorial in Wired, the urge to tap into services on demand from outside sources is too irresistible for many businesspeople.  But the result is a chaotic situation that rivals the headiest days of siloed IT architecture:

"To business person, the advantage is being able to circumvent the IT project backlog, CAPEX controls and the IT department all together. The likely motivation is to accelerate project delivery and relieve the headache of internal red tape. To corporate performance, this can hurt the bottom line through the cost of un-optimized public cloud engagement and also through un-integrated project development and application management. To the IT organization, this deteriorates control of application and infrastructure processes and widens the gap between IT and the business."

To avoid this chaos, Liu urges organizations to begin the move to more centralized, private, hybrid and public cloud strategies as soon as possible.  As he is the head of an IT process automation company, he naturally encourages this type of solution for getting on top of the challenge. But with the relentless proliferation of cloud into every aspect of business operations, a huge, hard-to-control patchwork is morphing out of control.The compelling economics of cloud may get washed out.

"The need for centralized cloud engagement – and overall centralized management of applications and infrastructure – remains," Liu points out. "Crack that nut and a cascade of benefits awaits."

IT needs to strengthen its hand in this regard, he urges. "The centralization of company-wide computing needs onto a single, automated platform that incorporates cloud engagement enables an IT organization’s ability to provide IT-as-a-Service."