Writing Assignment 4 – World of Cloud Computing
Nedra S. Russell-Cameron
Professor Bahram Abgoon
CIS 336: Enterprise Architecture
December 3, 2018
Virtualization and cloud computing is a technology trend many organizations are implementing into their business model. PaaS (platform as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and SaaS (software as a service) are all being used to allow businesses to provide better services to their customers. This paper will discuss areas in which IT departments should consider when implementing one of the services, ways in which PaaS, IaaS and SaaS are used to reduce total cost of ownership and the impact cloud computing has on IT support personnel. I will also cover three things management should be aware of as well as security issues that may arise from cloud services.
Items IT/IS Departments Must Consider
When considering transferring services to cloud solutions, there are at least three areas that would be best suited for the transition. According to Gregory (1), businesses should use cloud services for data storage and backup, information sharing and file storage. These services can be categorized as both IaaS and SaaS. They can be replace physical servers at the business and replace it with off-site data warehouses that are maintained by the vendor. This will help the business reduce overhead related to housing this equipment.
Using cloud services for storage, information and file sharing can also be considered SaaS (software as a service) because the vendor can develop software the client will use to access their information. This helps the business reduce the cost related to supporting and maintaining software developed in-house. Although there may not be as much flexibility on the design, it’s still a great advantage for the business to use an outside vendor for these functions.
Ways Cloud Computing Reduces TCO and Increases ROI
There are some analysts who believe cloud computing will not reduce total cost of ownership by stating the initial cost of implementation and staff training far exceeds the benefits. However, those costs are short lived and companies believe the long-term benefits of using cloud services are greater. Gina Longoria, Senior Analyst for Moor Insights and Strategy, states, “Operational and indirect costs savings that can be achieved by using the IT resources and expertise of a managed cloud provider have the potential to dwarf the infrastructure acquisition savings of moving away from a self-managed on-premises datacenter approach” (2).
Because total cost of ownership considers the cost of implementation, support and the product’s useful life, it can greatly impact the three main areas of costs: “capital expenses include the hardware equipment and initial software purchases required to support the project or application, operating expenses include activities and expenses required to install, setup and keep the application running over the project lifecycle and can be a major contributing factor to overall IT costs and indirect costs affect the business when IT experiences downtime or takes additional time to bring the infrastructure up to support a new revenue opportunity” (Longoria, 2).
The Impact of Cloud Computing on IT Support Staff
Implementing cloud services can impact several areas of an organization. One of those areas greatly impacted is the IT/IS department. Using cloud services reduce the need to hire onsite staff to perform these functions. Although the need for individuals to manage the cloud resources will remain consistent, the need for system developers, web page designers and computer technicians are greatly reduced. One benefit of using cloud services is to reduce costs in an organization. Reduction in staff decreases these costs. According to Hank Marquis, Global Knowledge Practice Director, “many IT organizations are not prepared to take full advantage of cloud computing. Research shows that existing resources (staff, technology, etc.) and capabilities (training, skills, etc.) are often inadequate to manage services and service providers effectively—a prerequisite for success with cloud computing” (3). Marquis suggests reassessment of the IT/IS department role and integrating them into other areas.
Things of which Management Should Be Aware
Management must be aware of the features the vendors will provide for the company and the total cost associated with implementation. This is to ensure the services meet the long-term needs of the organization. This will help support the case financially when considering a costly product.
Management must also be aware of how the vendor will manage security issues such as data breaches and system downtime. One additional area that may cause concern for businesses is what to do if the vendor goes out of business or closes permanently. All of these issues pose a problem for the company. Having a comprehensive SLA (service-line agreement) to address the business requirements is important in the event any of the aforementioned issues occur.
Security Issues of Cloud Computing
1. Gregory, A. (n.d.). 5 Ways to Use the Cloud in Your Small Business. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancesmb.com/the-cloud-in-your-small-business-2951636
2. Longoria, G. (2016, April 13). TCO Analysis Demonstrates How Moving To The Cloud Can Save Your Company Money. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/moorinsights/2016/04/11/tco-analysis-demonstrates-how-moving-to-the-cloud-can-save-your-company-money/#7ab1167d7c4e
3. Marquis, H. (n.d.). The Impact of Cloud Computing on Staffing. Retrieved from https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/resources/case-studies/the-impact-of-cloud-computing-on-staffing/