Windward Insights

Transparency in a Cloud Era

Published Sep. 14, 2011
Written by Sean McDermott

Crystal ball image of a blue sky

RecentlyKrishnan Subramanian, a analyst and researcher wrote an article titledLoss Of Control And Transparency In The Cloud Era. Krishnan discusses the reality that moving to the cloud does not reduce your risk out outages to zero. In fact, he says:

Outages happen. It happened in the traditional services world, it is happening in the current cloud services era and it will also happen in the future services. But what is different from the outages in traditional services is the transparency on the part of cloud providers. They clearly understand the critical nature of their services and are upfront about it.

I agree that providers are getting more transparent. This is not only a function of a new “cloud” world, but online accountability with social networking is having huge impact. Ten years ago if your outsourcer was doing a bad job, no one knew. With dynamic cloud services, it is easier to switch as the infrastructure is commoditized and the ability to blog about providers is so much easier. Just askDropboxwho got slammed in the media and blogosphere for issues arounddata encryption. All in all, this new world of transparency (either active on the part of the providers or passively from bloggers) is a good thing – transparency drives competition and accountability resulting in higher quality services and more innovation.

Krish makes a strong point in the end…

Cloud computing is not a shortcut for organizations to avoid having DR and business continuity practices in place. Rather, moving to cloud even requires the apps to be designed for failure. Organizations are expected to be even more vigilant with respect to their DR plans.

As a CIO or IT leader you are responsible for the delivery of services, irrespective of your back-end cloud provider or internal infrastructure. Ensure you understand the services that you provide to end-users and have the visibility of your cloud services to monitor the end-to-end service yourself. In other words, focus on being a Service-Centric IT provider and consider cloud as just one of your many delivery mechanisms.