Unisys diagnoses symptoms and prescribes the best way for IT to make cloud investments pay off
BLUE BELL, Pa., September 6, 2011 – Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) has advice for CIOs seeking to get the most out of their investment in cloud computing: before plunging in, consider how the proposed cloud solution can best be integrated with the organization’s existing mission-critical systems and IT processes.
This analytical approach, Unisys says, is the surest defense against “cloud in a corner” syndrome, where new cloud solutions become isolated from the rest of the IT environment and don’t contribute the business value they should.
“By some estimates, well planned cloud computing solutions can reduce the cost of IT operations by as much as 20 percent while improving responsiveness and quality in delivery of IT services,” says John Treadway, director, global cloud computing solutions, Unisys. “However, it’s easy to become entranced by new cloud technologies and lose sight of how those can best be integrated with existing resources. By courting ‘cloud in a corner’ syndrome this way, CIOs risk zeroing out savings and even potentially increasing operational costs.”
Treadway advises IT organizations to look out for telltale signs that they have fallen prey to “cloud in a corner” syndrome:
- Your team is evaluating a “cloud stack” solution without first putting in place a comprehensive strategy and framework for integrating it with your existing IT environment;
- You lack clearly articulated criteria and metrics for cloud success from both IT and end-user perspectives;
- You’re well into implementation before all stakeholders agree on use cases, roadmaps and expected changes to IT and business processes;
- The technology underlying your cloud is so new, none of your IT people know how to operate it and you have no readiness plan in place so they can learn to do so;
- You need to create duplicate service, security and risk management processes because your new cloud environment won’t accommodate those you already have;
- You have not defined and communicated how your team’s roles and responsibilities will change with a cloud service delivery model; and
- You’re already developing a second cloud solution because the first one didn’t meet the organization’s needs.
Treadway says that the way to avoid “cloud in a corner” syndrome in the first place – or to approach follow-on cloud initiatives – is to raise the focus above the technology and instead create a comprehensive blueprint for cloud success. The first step in this process is to look at cloud delivery models in the context of the total IT infrastructure.
“No enterprise will move 100 percent to a cloud model any time soon,“ Treadway says. “Traditional IT delivery – both internal and outsourced – is not going away. The trick is to recognize that IT is moving to what Unisys calls a ‘hybrid enterprise’ model, where an organization makes cloud, traditional, internal and external IT delivery models all work together to lower costs, reduce risk and improve quality of IT services.”
The Unisys Hybrid Enterprise approach guides organizations in making the best decisions when integrating cloud delivery models into three key areas of IT:
- Applications – Assess which are best suited to a specific IT delivery model – whether a traditional data center, traditional outsourcing or a particular type of cloud – based on a range of application and data characteristics;
- Data Center Services – Manage a portfolio of data center services that meets the needs of their applications and, where necessary, build new cloud services in a way that best matches and integrates with existing environments while avoiding virtualization and automation technologies that don’t work well in heterogeneous environments; and
- Management – Devise a consistent management approach covering policy and governance, monitoring and service event management, security and risk management, financial management and service management. Avoid monitoring and management solutions created just for cloud and not capable of easy integration into existing systems and operations.
In a new post, “Inoculate Yourself Against ‘Cloud in a Corner’ Syndrome,” on the Unisys “Disruptive Trends” blog, Treadway provides guidelines for avoiding the pitfalls of an isolated cloud strategy and instead implementing a successful hybrid enterprise approach.
Unisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialize in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilization of their data centers, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernize their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With approximately 23,000 employees, Unisys serves commercial organizations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.
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Brian Daly, 215-986-2214