|By Patrick Burke||
|December 10, 2012 08:00 AM EST||
Cloud computing is changing the way big business communicates and is fast becoming the new technological standard for enterprises.
With employees working across so many devices from numerous locations, cloud computing is taking on a growing importance for a seamless work experience. Whatever solutions companies decide to buy, they all have to work on the range of devices people now carry. According to an article on CalgaryHerald.com, cloud computing is making business life easier by allowing users access to the same information regardless of which gadget they have logged on with.
A new mobile workforce means that software and file storage must be accessible anywhere, on any device, and cannot be stuck in one static place anymore. People want to be able to access work while at the beach or the soccer field. Simply dropping a file into a centralized location using cloud storage technology offers easy access and version control with the click of a button. This also means that your IT team will be able to focus on their core competencies rather than getting bogged down by contextual issues from their fellow, less tech-savvy colleagues.
Successful Cloud Adoption: It's All in the Fit
The way to make cloud computing successful is to find the business problems that make sense to attack, according to an article on InfoWorld.com.
According to InfoWorld's David Linthicum, cloud computing providers tend to push their technology as the solution to any and all business problems. Unfortunately, there is not a universal fit for cloud computing technology, so you have to be careful to match the business problem you're looking to solve with the technology that best addresses it.
Some issues you may encounter, according to Linthicum, include:
* In some instances, the value is not there. A cloud computing solution may end up costing more and providing less than the traditional IT technology. Such cases are atypical, but you have to run the numbers before considering the cloud.
* Larger organizations are often a tougher fit for cloud computing. They have an investment in hardware and software, and they frequently find that migrating from traditional systems to cloud-based systems adds too much risk and cost.
"Cloud computing is not special in the fact that the fit varies, so make sure to learn from the mistakes and the successes of the past, including the rise of the PC and of the Internet," writes Linthicum.
What Bilbo Baggins Teaches Us About Cloud Computing
Cloud computing and the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins? When looking for an analogy for cloud computing, you'd certainly be forgiven for not pairing the technology with the J.R.R. Tolkien epic. Yet B.K. Winstead of WindowsITPro.com does a bang-up job drawing similarities between the two.
"What might they have in common? On the surface, you'd have to say nothing. But I've been thinking about The Hobbit lately, with the much-anticipated Peter Jackson epic set to debut in theaters soon. Although I'm sure J. R. R. Tolkien had no notion of cloud computing, or computers for that matter, Bilbo's story can still be read as an allegory for the journey that many IT pros take when they move to the cloud -- with many of the same lessons to be learned," writes Winstead.
At the start, Bilbo is quite content in his little hobbit hole, Bag End, in the Shire. Think of that as IT pros in the traditional mode of on-premises deployments. Had he been left to himself, that's exactly where Bilbo would have stayed. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), Gandalf chose Bilbo to accompany the dwarves on their quest across the wilds to the Lonely Mountain. We can say Gandalf is like a CIO or CEO or some conglomeration of super powerful execs. And the dwarves? We'll call them end users that Bilbo has to successfully move along to the cloud.
So what can be learned about cloud computing from this story? A number of lessons can be read that apply both to the IT pro and to the business as a whole.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
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