Cloud Computing in Plain English

posted Nov 4, 2012, 7:07 PM by Krish Ayyar
There is no doubt that Cloud Computing is a major Technology Driver of today and will probably remain so for the next 2 years. I have heard comments that Cloud Computing is nothing new and is just "Old Wine in a New Bottle". These comments just miss the point. I recently did some research on the Products, Technologies and Vendors available in this space and it is mind boggling. The complexity has just increased enormously in recent times and there seems to be no slowing down. Given this scenario, how do Business Executives and Non Technical CIO's make informed decisions on how to invest wisely in this area so that business goals are realised and their day to day problems are resolved? I have always championed the view that Enterprise Architects should be Products and Technology aware so that they can effectively develop Strategies and Architectures to address Enterprise problems but they should be able to articulate the related capabilities in "Plain English". 

To this end, I am giving below a Catalogue of Pre-Packaged, Pay-per-use Services which may be provisioned internally or within the Service Provider's Infrastructure:
  1. Business and Applications related
    •  ERP, CRM, HR, Communication, Collaboration and Marketing Applications from Service providers
    •  Tools for developing “Value Add” Applications to the above
    •  Tools for integrating the above applications to Applications internal to the enterprise
    • Work Flow Services
    • Bulk Email Handling Service
    • Software Development Environments for building web applications in-house and within the Provider's infrastructure
  2. Data and Content related
    • Distributed Processing Services for Data Warehousing, Data Mining, Analytics purposes
    • Database Administration Services for Relational and Non Relational Databases
    • Data Archival / Retrieval Services
    • Data Import / Export Services
    • Content delivery over the web
    • Content Search Service
  3. Technology and Infrastructure related 
    • Server, Storage and Operating System as a bundle
    • Internet Domain Name Translation Service
    • Direct Network Connectivity between in-house Data Centre and service provider's Data Centre
    • Storage for large amounts of Data
    • Connectivity Services for in-house software with external storage
    • Process and Data Integration over Message Queues Services
    • In-Memory Caching Services on the web
    • Monitoring Services external infrastructure assets
    • Alerts Service for externally hosted applications
    • Tools for building and managing Pre-packaged Services as above for internal Data Centres and operate them seamlessly with external services
This list is by no means exhaustive but I believe is a good starting point. How to effectively invest in these services for the benefit of the Enterprise will be the subject of an Enterprise Architecture Consulting exercise. We are happy to assist.