Saying ‘No’ to Silos is not easy. Security conscious enterprises are extremely reluctant to trust their mission critical data to third parties. Research organizations like Gartner, IDC and Merrill Lynch point out that the cloud market is growing geometrically and already constitutes a $16 billion industry. However, they acknowledge that the cloud has not really revolutionalized the way enterprises think. A quick review enterprises that have adopted the cloud in the indicates that most of the cloud users have transitioned to cloud computing to take advantage of the ‘agility’ or ‘cost-effectiveness’ that comes with the cloud. But, the “Silo-orientation” has not been abandoned. It has been carried to the cloud and reconstructed to enterprise specific designs. Unfortunately, silo-orientation has created its own set of complex systems that leach the benefits of the cloud and destroy quick time to market strategies that are characteristic to the cloud.

In a sense the hype around the cloud is responsible for the continuation of silos. Clouds promise unlimited capacity, pay as you go economics and freedom from data center maintenance with absolute customizability of configurations and network topologies. As a result, expectations are heightened and IT managers give in to the temptation taking their existing configurations and replicating it in the cloud. They begin to build cloud silos in place of silos they claim to abandon. These silos replicate the environment that they are familiar with and in no way, catapults them into a whole new level of computing experience.

IT managers fail to realize that clouds are about automation and standardization. Clouds architect automated and reliable plug and play services that accelerate time to market and deliver the promises of elasticity, scalability, security and privacy. The programming constructs in the cloud are designed to encapsulate cloud functionalities and provide easy to use user interfaces that make the transition simple and absolutely customer friendly.

Of course, there are tradeoffs and customers are expected to have clarity on what they want from the cloud. They must abandon silo-orientation and adapt to cloud based multi-tenant architectures. They must be ready to abandon their siloed applications and work with sharing and collaboration tools that deploy instances of the applications across the cloud network. They must be willing to spend time and energy in understanding and appreciating cloud offers and ready their organizations for the quantum leap in network management that comes with the cloud.