New Report Measures Success Factors in Cloud Computing
Why do some cloud projects succeed and others fail? That’s a question undoubtedly on the minds of many IT admins and business executives. And it’s also the focus of a recent IT Process Institute (ITPI) report. I recently chatted with ITPI Managing Director Kurt Milne, who helped prepare the report, to get his views on how to deploy cloud computing effectively in the business environment. Here’s what he had to say.
Milne, who has 20 years’ experience in the IT industry and co-authored a book on building private clouds, knows this subject well. Meanwhile, the ITPI, founded in 2005, is also well-established as a consulting resource for the IT community, counting VMware (NYSE: VMW), Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) among its customers.
The ITPI’s full report on success factors in cloud computing, which was released publicly Nov. 14, is based on a survey of a 143 organizations in a number of channels that have created cloud environments. A few, according to Milne, were large Fortune 50 enterprises, but most were smaller companies or startups.
Regardless of the character of the company in question, however, Milne identified several key pieces of advice based on the study of successful cloud deployments:
- Think about a cloud project in business terms, rather than technical IT ones. By keeping the ultimate commercial goals of the project in mind, organizations ensure that they do not simply build a cloud that geeks will find cool but that has little use in advancing the interests of the company itself.
- Pay attention to users, and involve them in cloud projects during all stages, from design to production deployment. Too often, Milne said, companies adopt a “build it and they will come approach,” expecting users to be attracted to new cloud resources automatically. But if the cloud doesn’t reflect users’ needs, they’re unlikely to use it — which means, again, that organizations run the risk of building expensive cloud environments that are state of the art from an IT admin’s perspective, but of little value in the eyes of the people they were intended to benefit.
- Along similar lines, encourage integration between IT and business staff. While there is arguably a “cultural mismatch” between these two groups — IT people are not always great about considering business needs and users, and non technical staff rarely understand the intricacies of the code behind the cloud — efforts to bring them together lead to cloud projects that are effective on both the technical and business ends.
These perspectives and many more are discussed in greater detail in the full report. Interested readers can also download a free whitepaper summarizing the findings.