Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

The Cloud – Is It Your Actual Destination?

Remember, the cloud is not the destination – it’s the conduit to help you get there

How often have you heard someone say ‘We're moving to the cloud' or ‘It's all in the cloud now'? Going to the cloud has become part of the vernacular in everyday conversation. The cloud is the place to go, the place to be. If you haven't gone to the cloud you are being left behind. There is no denying, the cloud is a growth industry. Gartner predicts that the bulk of IT spend will be for the cloud by 2016. They also believe that ‘nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.' IDC forecasts ‘Worldwide Public IT Cloud Services Spending to Reach Nearly $108 Billion by 2017.'

Given all that, it's not hard to understand the desire to ‘go to the cloud.' Those numbers are what drive vendors to slap the word ‘cloud' on just about anything, providing us with yet another wonderful buzzword, ‘cloud-washing.' But, ask yourself, is the cloud an actual destination? Is it the end point, that just by going there, all my business challenges are resolved? The cloud itself is not the true destination. The true destination is solving business challenges and providing value to the business. The cloud is simply a vehicle, a conduit that can help you reach that destination. The cloud can offer a variety of ways to help you get to your destination depending on where you want go in solving the challenges and providing value to the business.

The multiple dimensions of ‘going to the cloud'
One of the reasons everyone is ‘going to the cloud' is the multitude of ways the cloud can provide value to a business, or help solve a business challenge. At its simplest, the cloud is a model for on-demand access to a shared pool of computing resources. These resources allow for on-demand access to many business services from many sources to many devices. It is the underpinnings of the SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) technology disruptions of today, what Gartner refers to as ‘The Nexus of Forces.' Cloud offerings/solutions are usually defined by one of three key service models:

  • IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service
  • PaaS - Platform as a Service
  • SaaS - Software as a Service

These models can be viewed through different perspectives of purpose, abstraction, visible value to the end user, as well as control and governance when crossing the dimensions of public through to private clouds.

So many choices, so little time
As you can see by all these dimensions, in the cloud world there is a large multitude of ways to provide business value and solve the challenges. Add to this dilemma the pressure of time; the need to deliver this value as quickly as possible. Combining these two challenges can and for some businesses already has led to ‘cloud sprawl.' Cloud sprawl is exactly what it sounds like. It is the unplanned, uncontrolled spreading of applications and services into the cloud for a company and/or organization. As many of you that have read my earlier blogs know, one of my favorite mantras is ‘no technology negates the need for good planning and design.' Cloud is no exception. You need to determine the business drivers, what the challenges are you need to address, and what the business value is you are trying to achieve.

Doing this is not a trivial effort. As a colleague of mine, Zach Slayton, recently wrote in his blog Accelerating Business Value by Architecting for the Mobile Web - ‘architecting for the mobile web is hard work.' Planning and designing for the cloud is hard work. It's our responsibility as technologists to do that hard work. We need to help the business reach their destination and achieve the value they need in today's rapidly changing Nexus of forces.

When planning a trip or vacation, you don't choose how you are going to get there before you decide where you are going to go. Remember, the cloud is not the destination; it's the conduit to help you get there. Figure out where you are going first, and then plan on how to get there.

More Stories By Ed Featherston

Ed Featherston is VP, Principal Architect at Cloud Technology Partners. He brings 35 years of technology experience in designing, building, and implementing large complex solutions. He has significant expertise in systems integration, Internet/intranet, and cloud technologies. He has delivered projects in various industries, including financial services, pharmacy, government and retail.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Venafi has a platform that allows you to manage, centralize and automate the complete life cycle of keys and certificates within the organization," explained Gina Osmond, Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Venafi, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discussed how a new approach is neces...
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.