IT is changing and enterprises must change with it. Clinging on to traditional ways of computing and delivering products and services may prove detrimental to the growth of the organization. Just look around you and you will realize the truth of this statement.
Traditional IT infrastructures included on premise servers like IBM BladeCenter, Sun Fixer X4100 and so on. The large servers and data centers could only be afforded by large and cash rich organizations. Small and medium enterprises had to be content with what little infrastructure they could assemble for their computing needs. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) has changed it all. Today, small and medium enterprises can command “on demand” additions to their infrastructure at a small expense. They can hire raw processing power, bandwidth or network resources and augment existing infrastructure with virtualized infrastructure. Mobile workforces, remote branches, suppliers and customers can be given access to enterprise information to a large or limited extent as per the policies of the organization. Cloud based servers like Amazon EC2, VMWare vCloud, IBM Smart Business Cloud are being increasingly made available as utility services with pay as you go revenue models. Enterprises are enjoying unprecedented elasticity, agility and dynamism and able to expand their business at will.
Platform as a Service (PaaS), has replaced traditional offerings such as Microsoft Windows/.Net, Linux, Solaris and J2EE. Cloud based platforms such as Force.com, Windows Azure or Google App Engine are available on a subscription model. Enterprises can operate on a variety of platforms by making a very small provision in their budgets for the subscription to the PaaS. Online applications can be developed and deployed quickly using third party infrastructures.
Enterprises that were earlier fascinated with applications like SAP, ERP, CRM, IBM Lotus Notes etc, are now turning to the Cloud for extensible solutions in the cloud like Salesforce.com, Workaday, NetSuite and Microsoft BPOS. BPO offerings from companies like Accenture and IBM are now being replaced with PayPal, ADP Employee and Amex Center. Today, traditional applications like spreadsheets, word processors, invoice generators, presentation software, are all available with cloud computing for a monthly subscription fee.
Cloud computing, including concepts such as cloud backup, and cloud based business applications, are here to stay. While on premise hardware and software are not going anywhere, Cloud backup, recovery and application deployment as an addendum to existing infrastructure has to be given a serious consideration.