Windward Insights

"In" with Cloud Management for 2012

Published Feb. 3, 2012
Written by Mafa Amr

Paper shaped like a cloud held up to the sky with "cloud" cut out of it

With the start of a new year came a plethora of stories written about what the hottest trends will be for 2012. I think we can all agree that Cloud is most definitely “in” for 2012 and, in fact – as hot as ever. But what aspects of the Cloud are we going to hear the most about?

I have read several articles on the subject, and appearing near the top of many of the lists is the “hybrid cloud.” I’m sure that there will be many enterprise shifts to hybrid clouds, but what we continue to hear from companies is that they still need help determining the best direction for them based on their particular requirements, and that the biggest driver continues to be ROI. CIOs are no longer just focusing on making sure the network is up running or just managing servers and desktops. Focused also on driving revenue, CIOs are wearing many hats and are very involved with both the internal and external business. In general, IT organizations have been tainted by taking too long to roll out services that cost too much, so now they must figure out alternatives and adapt to the increasing demand. This is where Cloud comes in. So, how do they get to the Cloud and use the best tools to manage the Cloud?

The best place to start is by making sure that the services needed are clearly defined. That seems like a very simple concept, but identifying and qualifying the types of services needed is pivotal in the move to Cloud. A service catalog is an excellent tool for IT organizations to use and measure objectives, but that service definition must be the starting point. Once the services are defined, you can then catalog them and begin defining the processes.

Cloud Management will be “in” for 2012 and “out” will be the management of the past, that of managing servers, routers, etc. Moving forward will focus on management of the services in the Cloud and not the hardware on-site. We all want to keep up with the times, but we also need to be wise in moving to the Cloud. Don’t skip the upfront planning – define both services and processes that are important to your specific needs.