It once made sense to run data center consolidation programs that were widely focused on virtualization, but the cloud has since become one of the most flexible computing infrastructures for enterprises. As a Senior IT Strategist, I frequently interact with customers who are trying to shape a cloud strategy. This adoption process can be challenging, but the proper deployment of a cloud platform is likely to produce long-term savings in time, money and human resources – who can ultimately be repurposed for true value driving business initiatives. Cloud also affords scalability and elasticity that traditional IT models are unable to accommodate.
One misconception among enterprises is that virtualization is the only method of consolidation. Virtualization focuses on reducing capital expenses, but nearly any application that can be delivered in-house as a service or is web-based can produce a greater opportunity for savings if it is moved to the cloud. This is because a cloud platform leaves it to service providers to manage infrastructure that will save you time, while also teaching you how to leverage the latest technologies in ways that enhances your competitive advantage. While consolidating through virtualization means better utilization of hardware, the way applications are developed and later evolve through that system doesn’t change. Virtualization also consumes precious internal infrastructure, which can be avoided through the more flexible option of a cloud platform.
True cloud adoption involves adopting a DevOps mentality. The cross-functional nature of a DevOps organization increases innovation while maintaining the highest standard of operational efficiency and quality. Stepping away from a traditional IT model through the adoption of a DevOps mindset is key to shaping an enterprise’s strategy around the cloud. While traditional IT thinking has always started with “Let me build an application from the ground up;” a top-down approach enables enterprises to pursue a platform that supports their particular workload most effectively. Rackspace has built a solution that combines dedicated hosting with cloud through RackConnect, which enables customers to take optimal advantage of the cloud while providing the benefits of traditional hosting.
The cloud is much more than affordable, on-demand infrastructure, or a place where one moves an application stack, as-is, from a data center. It’s a sophisticated business tool that requires an equally sophisticated conceptual approach. Cloud is a business model, not just a technology. In the end, the adoption of cloud means refining the way enterprises design, build and evolve applications, which leads to swifter innovation.
Be sure to check out the latest installment of the Enterprise Cloud Forum, in which Rackspace Senior IT Strategist Brian Jawalka and Rackspace Vice President of Software Application Development Krishna Prasad, along with guest host Mark Majewski, Cloud Solution Architect, discussed how enterprises need to approach DevOps to ensure cloud adoption success. You can tune in to an mp3 recording here and the presentation slides are available here.