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Clouds Here and There

The business case for public, private and hybrid models

Illustration by Travis Anderson

IT increasingly must help address business challenges and solve problems in a streamlined and cost-effective manner. As customers need to innovate and respond quickly, IT can respond with the right cloud—onsite, offsite or mixed—for the business.

Cloud computing, the latest in IT consumption and delivery, addresses cost reduction, scale, utilization, self service, IT agility and flexibility. Because cloud offers opportunities for significant IT cost reductions, interest in this model is growing. According to Market Insights and IPR Analysis, total cloud opportunity will reach $196 billion by 2015.

Cloud offers several opportunities, including doing more with less by decreasing capital expenditures and operational expenses; reducing risk by ensuring the right levels of security and resiliency across all business data and processes; elevating service quality by improving existing services and delivering new services; and breakthrough agility resulting from a greater ability to quickly deliver new services to capitalize on opportunities.

Perspectives on cloud vary. From an infrastructure-provider point of view, cloud is a set of virtualized resources that can be dynamically allocated to on-demand requests for end customers to run applications.

“For end customers, cloud is a different way of receiving and using compute application resources—without having their hands on infrastructure,” says Ari Kugler, director of business development, IBM. “Customers’ on-demand, self-service requests are input through a browser or other type of interface, resources are allocated and services are provided under a flexible pricing model.”

Ultimately, organizations have three cloud acquisition options. First, they can build it on their own or with outside assistance. Second, for key workloads or functions, they can acquire preintegrated systems or appliances that accomplish the task, and then run and manage it themselves. And third, an organization can acquire the IT, or IT support as a form of service, from a third party. Often, organizations choose from a variety of these options, making a hybrid cloud that suits their needs.

“The cloud works because of the economies of scale.” —Ari Kugler, director of business development, IBM

Tom Brandes is a freelance writer for variety of subjects, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, sustainability and more.



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