The cloud hard sell; getting IT on board

Internal IT departments need to see cloud services as an enabler and not as a threat.
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

With the adoption of cloud technologies in your enterprise, the IT staff finds itself in the unfamiliar position of being the consumer of IT services rather than the provider. This means that the concept of the user experience will be taking on a whole new meaning.

One of the primary issues in datacenter management has always been application management. In general, this has been a separate function within IT, with datacenter guys being responsible solely for datacenter operations, while the role of application management has been assigned to specialists in those specific application technologies.

With the applications being delivered through the cloud, the day-to-day operational needs of IT will continue to change. Monitoring the status of those applications and their delivery mechanisms will take on much more significance.  Traditional monitoring tools won't be available; all that internal IT will have is what their cloud providers choose to offer them.

This means that the process for selecting cloud providers not only needs to focus on the service delivery but also on the tools that internal IT will be able to use to assure the delivery of the contracted services.

Cloud providers are aware of the need to deliver service to their customer's IT departments and are attempting to differentiate their service offerings by providing services and tools directed at the internal IT personnel of their customer base.  They realize that the better access and control they can provide to existing corporate IT infrastructures, the more likely they are to be accepted and embraced by those same IT personnel.

Cloud services provider Rackspace has even leapt on the iPad bandwagon by offering an iPad application, Rackspace Cloud Pro, which IT can use to control and configure the cloud servers being provided Rackspace.  Of course, a single iPad app from one provider isn't going to give you control over all of the services that can be potentially provided through the cloud infrastructure, but it does indicate that vendors are aware that they really need to empower internal IT departments to get them to fully accept the potential changes that the move to cloud services portends.

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