Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 3, 2013

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Tech Chatter IMAGE: ISTOCK H as the move to the cloud hit surprising turbulence? Some industry watchers note that while much of the "low-hanging fruit" of enterprise applications and systems has been migrated to the cloud, the prospect of moving certain core, secure applications to the cloud has many CIOs hesitating. Many companies are reluctant to deploy mission-critical applications to the cloud or to integrate new cloud systems with existing data centers. In fact, only about 20 percent of the companies recently surveyed by advisory firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) have integrated the two. Until that integration occurs, IT departments will continue to manage silos of computing. The key sticking points, explains EMA Senior Analyst Torsten Volk, are security requirements, lack of staff expertise, poor understanding of application performance issues, and migration of legacy applications and related business processes. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the survey respondents said their move to cloud services had been impeded by concerns over security. This may be changing as CIOs and their enterprises begin to understand the unique security requirements of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, says Sheetal Mehta, Global Head of Enterprise Security Services at Wipro Technologies. "Before moving mission-critical applications to the cloud, we advise our customers to do a risk assessment," Mehta says. "Based on the outcome, they can determine if the app is fit for the cloud and, more importantly, which cloud model — private, public or hybrid." Also helping is the way cloud providers and enterprise customers alike are starting to adopt strategic security controls in the cloud, including next-generation identity and access management, and that single sign-on and federated single sign-on are offered as cloud services. In addition, cloud service providers are helping customers define risk-management approaches to cloud computing and adopting consistent threat profiles across all layers of the cloud architecture. Service providers can also implement monitoring platforms that provide a single view of all cloud environments, Mehta says. He cites Gartner research that predicts 10 percent of overall enterprise security capabilities will be delivered in the cloud over the next two to three years. Many companies are not waiting. Instead, they're adopting cloud computing to run their enterprise applications, but with "green field" applications that provide entirely new business functions and have no functional equivalent in the data center. Then, as they gain experience with cloud services, some are moving "brown field" or existing enterprise applications to the cloud as well, says Volk of EMA, who is the author of a 2013 research report, "Demystifying Cloud." These include business intelligence and analytics, email and collaboration, HR, payroll processing and custom applications. In addition, software delivered as a service also provides an opportunity to reimagine decades-old applications and business processes. "It's a new dawn for IT," says Gijo Mathew, VP for Product Management, IT Business Management, at CA Technologies. "Cloud computing exposes new technologies and new ways of delivering services to users. IT needs to look at this as an opportunity to focus on the business user and how quickly it can provide services to enable the whole organization." Speed Drivers The need for security in the cloud is borne out by a recent survey, jointly conducted by research firm Everest Group and the Cloud Connect conference. In their report, "Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey 2013," they found that one of the strongest drivers of cloud adoption is the ability to reduce time to market. Perhaps this is why SaaS is the most widely adopted type of cloud service. More than 56 percent of the Everest Group survey respondents said they had already adopted enterprise applications with SaaS, and another 22 percent said they plan to do so in the near future. This contrasts sharply with other cloud services, such as Platform or Infrastructure as a Service, which had a 35 percent adoption rate, the survey found. For example, SaaS provides new ways for marketing departments to create, manage and analyze advertising campaigns that span traditional and new media channels such as social and mobile. The services provide new levels of agility with which marketing professionals can deploy campaigns, view the results and make informed business decisions. The popular applications offered by, for instance, deliver sales and marketing capabilities as services that can scale on demand without the need for hardware purchases or software-license upgrades. Hybrid-cloud company Rackspace recently launched a marketing campaign using a SaaS tool. The goal: monitor social sentiment among potential cloud customers in conjunction with the campaign. The project was undertaken jointly by the IT business-intelligence group and marketing. Within three weeks, they selected a tool and had it running. The team could then quickly correlate campaign results and social-media mentions, says Mark Roenigk, Rackspace's COO, who is also responsible for the company's IT services. The project also shows how SaaS can accelerate business decisionmaking, he adds. Cloud computing has also brought a sense of empowerment to Rackspace, says COO Roenigk. In the recent past, he says, the IT department had a business intelligence (BI) approach that "was not user-friendly and took too long to generate reports," he adds. Rackspace's IT department responded by adopting a cloud-based BI tool. The service was modern, had an intuitive interface and enabled business users to produce reports for themselves in a matter of hours rather than weeks. Today, more than half of Rackspace's employees use the BI service directly. "The new self-service approach has Top Mission-Critical Applications Moving to the Cloud I Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) I Customer Relationship Management (CRM) I E-commerce I Business intelligence/analytics I Web applications I Collaboration and content management I Custom business applications I Application development and testing I Email I Disaster recovery, storage, archiving SOURCE: Everest Group and Cloud Connect, "Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey," global survey of 302 enterprise IT buyers, solutions providers and consultants, March 2013 2013 • SMART ENTERPRISE 7

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