The Cloud claims to be plug-and-play technology. But, is that the truth? In a sense it is true that even the novice and the newbie can set up and manage a Cloud account. Individuals sitting on their desktops at home can get a Cloud account for personnel purposes by investing a few dollars. But, organizations dismantling thousands of dollars worth of hardware and software computing setups cannot dismiss the investment in the Cloud as peanuts, nor can they just get on to the Cloud in a plug-and-play mode. There are a number of questions that must be answered, shades of grey to be examined before the Cloud can be accepted, deployed and used. Investing in the Cloud is not plug-and-play for large enterprises. It is the culmination of hard work and proper IT management.
Even where technological issues have been addressed and assurances have been given, the CIOs and IT Administrators are worried about the scope of the Cloud and the fall outs of potential breach. Security and compliance are critical factors. A security breach at one point in the system will expose the entire system and result in exposure of the entire enterprise information base.
As a consequence, most executives examining Cloud computing are not eager to thrust their mission-critical applications into a new and untested environment without a thorough evaluation. They prefer to hold on to the information till they gain the assurance that they are not “vanishing” their data into cyberspace. They want to know how and where their data will be anchored and how accessible it will be to the unauthorized and the malicious. They want to know if their data can be recovered as promised and whether the recovery will be possible within the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) or Recovery Point Objective (RPO) that is specified by their organization. They want to know the specifics of the Cloud building blocks with focus on offerings of 99.99% uptime, control and visibility, virtualization, and failover protection. Finally, they want to know what kind of support systems they will be offered and the level of expertise built into the offering.
Interestingly, this attitude is healthy. It is not retarding or stopping the progress of Cloud adoption. It is forcing Cloud service providers to defensively and competitively take up these issues and resolve them. The Cloud is maturing, developing and gaining in strength with every question that is asked and every solution that is being found. Service oriented IT is shaping staff roles and responsibilities and creating a demand for a unique expertise that will bridge the gap between user organizations and Cloud service providers.