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Making a case for the cloud

01 Mar 2011

A new set of enterprise drivers and motivations are fundamentally changing the way in which businesses and governments operate, putting more pressure on organisations to improve services in order to gain competitive advantage.New business models, the changing workforce and fundamental shifts in technology are shaping the next generation of successful businesses and governments. Over the next 10 years a "changing of the guards” will take place, as Baby Boomers retire and Gen X-ers take over their jobs, bringing with them entirely new ways of working.As the younger generations who grew up in a fully connected ‘Instant-On’ world enter the workforce they will bring strong expectations for the ways that businesses and government should be managed and they will expect services and information without delay.In the face of these drastic changes, it is difficult for enterprises to remain competitive and innovative.  Most organisations are dealing with rigid infrastructures made up of legacy applications from years ago, and have to contend with siloed processes and physical and virtual sprawl. Many are using ineffective business processes that create a gap between what the enterprise demands and what IT can deliver. Think of it as building a large new house, but heating it with only one fireplace. According to research from HP, 80% of senior business and government executives in Asia Pacific believe that to better serve customers and citizens they must rapidly adapt the enterprise to meet changes in consumer expectations. 76% of these business and government executives in Asia Pacific also indicated that in order to be successful, technology needs to be embedded in the business or government service. Furthermore, 73% believe that technology is the key to business and government innovation. But how will they do it? Enterprises and service providers need a scalable and secure cloud environment that can accelerate service and delivery. It takes an agile enterprise that learns swiftly and continuously to close the gap between where it is now, and where it needs to be. An enterprise that embeds technology into everything it does or delivers, in order to provide our communities, partners, employees, and customers with whatever they want and need, instantly. These ‘Instant-On’ Enterprises, will run IT as a multi-sourced, hybrid service delivery organisation—one that provides the right outcomes, in the right time frame, at the right price. To achieve this, they need an integrated system that provides automated provisioning and management across private and public cloud models.Cloud services and solutions are a key delivery mechanism to do just that. While cloud computing has always been known to deliver benefits such as faster deployment of new services, reduction in IT headcount and a pay-as-you-go model, it has traditionally lacked in areas that enterprises need, such as security, availability and ease of integration.  A raft of recent developments in cloud technologies however, have helped to tackle these challenges. Through these developments, organisations are able to build, package and provision cloud services to users through a unified service catalogue without having to know, or care, whether those services are being sourced from "on-premises” resources or from the public domain.By creating hybrid solutions that enable organisations to source services from a mix of locations, it helps clients manage their cloud "journey”, from wherever they are starting the process to wherever they need to go. It works in four key stages:

  1. By providing organisations with the infrastructure needed to build cloud solutions for private and public clouds.
  2. By enabling organisations to consume new cloud services so they can quickly and easily make the connections that improve data flow and service quality.
  3. By helping them to manage and secure their cloud and existing IT services to effectively govern across a flexible, hybrid delivery model.
  4. By transforming legacy IT operational models to help our clients adapt to a service-centric, hybrid delivery model.
This process enables clients to build, operate and consume any service and all applications on a single integrated architecture. It delivers the broadest application support while simplifying the buying, deployment and support of cloud environments.This converged infrastructure eliminates technology silos while integrating servers, storage, networking, and power and cooling into shared pools of interoperable resources, which is the foundation of an Instant-On Enterprise.  It has never been more important for organisations to future-proof their business by looking at their cloud strategy.With the raft of recent developments in the area, it has also never been easier to build, manage and consume services through a complete, integrated system; thereby delivering unified security, governance and compliance across all applications as well as a physical and virtual infrastructure.