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viernes, 28 de marzo de 2014
Adopting Cloud Computing: Seeing The Forest For The Trees
Adopting Cloud Computing: Seeing The Forest For The Trees
By Rex Wang, Vice President of Product Marketing, Oracle
Cloud computing can deliver compelling advantages, but to achieve sustained success, business owners should ask themselves a few key questions about their choice ofcloud solutions: If my business needs change, what’s my cloud exit strategy? How well does the cloud solution fit within my existing IT environment? Does the cloud solution offer the level of extensibility my business needs?
Businesses that can answer these questions with confidence and not lose sight of the bigger picture and long-term objectives are more likely to achieve sustained success for their business. Let’s dig deeper into each of these areas.
Think Big, Don’t Be Shortsighted
As businesses adopt more cloud applications and platforms, we see varying approaches and levels of success. When businesses decide to start down the cloud path, they almost always seek immediate benefits such as rapid deployment and the reduction of capital and operational expenses.
While these are certainly key benefits, the real power of cloud computing is unlocked when a company’s cloud strategy is elevated to drive transformational change across the organization. For example, organizations can use cloud computing to transform sales, marketing, and customer service processes by integrating social, mobile, and big data insight if the underlying cloud platform has those capabilities built-in.
Thinking big and taking a long-term view are critical. Accelerating the pace of business innovation, dramatically simplifying IT, and increasing responsiveness to dynamic business needs are what CEOs demand from their CIOs, and cloud computing can help make this happen if it’s done right.
Choice Is Good
An often overlooked consideration for businesses adopting cloud solutions is the importance of preserving deployment choice, technology standards, and interoperability of the solution. Businesses need not only the choice of an initial deployment model, but also the ability to change their minds later on. The issue of cloud vendor lock-in is sometimes mentioned but often dismissed as businesses continue to put themselves in positions that come back to haunt them by using clouds based on proprietary technology or that offer only an inflexible, one-size-fits-all deployment model.
Businesses experiencing high growth, changing strategies, or M&A activity should ask themselves whether the cloud solution that appears to be a good fit today will continue to be a good fit a few years down the road. Over time, their chosen cloud providers may become too costly, too slow to deliver innovations, or too unreliable. Before choosing a cloud, it is important to consider the feasibility and cost of switching cloud providers. Always keep your options open.
Integration Is Critical
Underestimating the difficulty of integrating between cloud and existing on-premises solutions is another common pitfall. Most enterprise applications including enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and customer relationship management (CRM) require multiple data and process integration points. These challenges are not only felt by the CIO, but also by the business managers and senior executives hoping to use these applications in their respective departments.
According to a recent survey of business managers around the WORLD on their experiences with cloud applications, “81 percent said it was important that cloud applications are fully integrated with each other and with other systems in the organization in order to be able to reap the full benefits of cloud computing.” In many cases, lack of cloud integration is cause to pull the plug entirely. The study also revealed that “companies have abandoned roughly one cloud application a year due to integration problems.”
The cost and complexity of developing and maintaining integrations between heterogeneous platforms, complete with disparate interfaces and protocols, can quickly erase the economic and efficiency gains the cloud delivers. In many cases, coexistence is required to support vital business processes that can grind to a halt if application touchpoints fail. To avoid complexity, you’re often better served by selecting complete application suites (versus point solutions) that are engineered for hybrid cloud deployments and allow for easier integration between applications deployed in the cloud and on-premises.
It’s Got to Be Easy
With global adoption of cloud solutions continuing to rise, software as a service (SaaS) application extensibility has never been more important. Since no two businesses have application requirements that are exactly alike, the ability to quickly and easily extend application functionality to meet specific business needs is essential.
While SaaS providers today offer more functionality than ever before, assuming that extending their solutions will be easy and upgrade-safe could end in major disappointment. Look for the ability to extend applications using familiar developer tools and standards-based technology. This will save you time and money. Application extensions should not only survive upgrades, but they should do so without causing costly service disruptions. SaaS vendors that also offer platform as a service (PaaS) may have ISV and SI ecosystem partners that can provide extensions and new functionality.
Want Cloud? Get to Oracle OpenWorld.
Next week, Oracle OpenWorld 2013 is being held in San Francisco. We’re expecting more than 60,000 attendees from more than 126 countries who will attend more than 2,500 educational sessions and see more than 400 product demos. As in years past, cloud computing will be a hot topic and again has its own track. You can expect to hear significant announcements and details about Oracle’s cloud solutions during the executive keynotes. There’s no better place to learn about Oracle’s cloud computing strategy.