The cloud is trendy. But, the trend is not what is promoting the cloud. The cloud is a robust, scalable, frictionless means of storage, connectivity and application deployment. It seamlessly integrates and connects into the existing infrastructures and brings in a number of data management and security features that were hereto dreamt of but never incorporated. In other words it offers an intersection between technology and business requirements and helps enterprises overcome challenges of the changing business environment.
The World Wide Web is ubiquitous and the cloud finds its raison de etre in that ubiquity. It assumes the power, the pervasiveness and technical capabilities that distinguish the Internet from the local LAN. Behind the user interface that one downloads for accessing a specific cloud service, one senses the presence of multi core processor based servers, network of pipes and petabytes of storage.
There is a growing awareness that the boundaries dissolve as virtualization servers’ link physical and logical devices; applications stored in remote devices are made available to the local user instantly and data can be collaborated or shared on demand by accessing the enterprise data stores in the cloud. Hitherto divorced mobile workers suddenly have the power to connect into enterprise information repositories and backup or restore information to laptops or all kinds of hand held devices using simple user friendly interfaces. The cloud seems seamless, accessible and frictionless.
All this seems to be too good to be true? But, frictionless storage is a two way street. Both parties to the contract must pull their weight. While the cloud services are easy to set up and deploy, a lot of pre-migration planning is required to ensure that transition frictions do not disable the enterprise. Frictionless cloud services demand hard work. The enterprise and the service provider must get together to evaluate the specific needs of the enterprise.
The enterprise aspiring to the cloud must learn to understand its own data, appreciate data life cycle and harness the power of the cloud systems that will deduplicate, compress and encrypt the information for secure storage and ensure that their data remains safe and secure at all times. They must learn to use the feature rich software effectively by configuring, inputting and managing the agent interface and customizing the application to match the needs of the organization. They must have the capability of monitoring and managing the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and ensuring that they get the best out of the contract with the cloud service provider.