Cloud computing offers limitless benefits for businesses, whether it's in terms of improving customer relations or allowing the company to expand online operations with ease.
There are of course a significant number of additional applications, across every type of cloud deployment including public, private or some combination of the two (hybrid). However, it could be time for some to reassess the technologies, as unhappiness is brewing among those using private clouds.
This article will take a look at the current issues affecting businesses using private clouds, the need for proper management and how training in a framework can help.
Problems with private clouds
Distinguished analyst at Gartner Tom Bittman released the results of a survey earlier this year, noting six possible reasons why private clouds were failing. He obtained the results by polling 140 attendees at the Gartner Datacentre Conference in Las Vegas.
When asking attendees what was going badly with their private cloud implementations, a staggering 95 per cent responded that something was wrong.
Several of the key failings have been noted below:
- 31 per cent: Failure to change the operational model
- 19 per cent: Doing too little with the private cloud
- 13 per cent: Failure to change the funding model
- 10 per cent: Focusing on the wrong benefits
Incorrectly utilised private clouds are essentially money wasted for a business, and it's troubling to see so many businesses failing when it comes to the technologies.
Tom Bittman explained, however, that this presents a clear opportunity for what's called a cloud broker.
Managing services effectively
The Gartner analyst explained the danger of not managing cloud services, and outlined a recent example.
"I recently talked with a client who had no idea what their enterprise spend was on Amazon Web Services. They had no idea how many employees were already using their services. They had a third-party do an audit – not an easy task – and found well over 10,000 accounts – maybe ten times what they expected," he said.
Cloud computing offers limitless benefits for businesses.
"Worse, they looked into the actual usage, which is even harder, and estimated that about 30 per cent of the infrastructure that they were paying for was idle. Waste."
This certainly paints a picture of the danger of badly implemented and managed private cloud operations, especially given the substantial costs involved.
He noted that the low barrier to entry for cloud technologies (one of the main benefits) was also a primary challenge. Companies need to ensure that they've got a firm grasp over what departments are actually utilising the cloud, those that require larger implementations and any unnecessary usage.
Mr Bittman went on to explain that as cloud services continue to grow, and the use of the technologies matures, it's going to be important that the correct governance of the services is in place. He also explained that customisation for specific industry sectors was a must.
There's something else that can be of significant help when it comes to cloud implementations however, and it should rank near the top of the priority list.
Deploying a framework
Private cloud troubles point to a clear need for ITIL – a framework that has been designed specifically to ensure that IT services are aligned both to the needs of the business and that they support core processes.
ITIL helps to ensure that technologies continually deliver value to the business – a necessity when significant amounts of funding are tied up in the endeavours.
Private clouds will likely continue to expand over the next few years, along with public cloud services. Businesses increasing cloud investments should give the appropriate consideration to frameworks such as ITIL and other management methods.