Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From behind the (fire)wall to the cloud

Being in an IT services company, I envy product vendor’s sales reps job. Whenever they bring any new product to their customers, the promises they make are just too big to believe and the jargons they use are just too confusing to the customers (like the subject of this discussion). One of my clients who made 6 digit investments in buying all the hardware, security suites and BPM packages to implement one-off BPM programs using SOA principles was given the sales pitch that public cloud computing is the way forward for BPM.

Imagine the state of the client who has not even seen the break-even for her investment is given one hour session on new technology buzzword cloud computing. As soon as she was released by these sales reps, she was aghast and came by my desk …. Is public cloud computing going to replace traditional enterprise IT?

Donning my IT consultant hat, I said I don’t think so. Public cloud computing won’t replace traditional enterprise IT however few years down the line service IT providers may sell business services using the new technology of virtualization. But rest assured your recent investment in BPM tools and hardware will not go waste. You will still need privately hosted hardware, customized services for your key business processes whose security, privacy, performance and availability cannot be compromised.

As this virtualization technology matures and organizations gear for adopting BPM enterprise wide, they may see cost advantage in moving certain BPMS components to public clouds like

  • business process modeling and analysis tools, repositories

  • collaboration and social networking tools

  • test and demo environments

  • monitoring and optimization components

But at any point of time, it is not practically possible to move all IT business processes hosted behind the fire(wall) to the cloud.


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