A very solid case could be made for the term "Cloud" to be added to the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The term Cloud, referring to the benefits and approach associated with internet based computing, has long spread its wings beyond the vernacular of the IT industry for mainstream recognition amongst, well, most people at your next social gathering.
While consumer recognition of the benefit of cloud services is high, my experience visiting enterprise clients throughout Asia Pacific, is that many organizations continue to grapple with many questions. Those questions I would group into the following dimensions: security, performance and availability. There were others, but these were the most contentious in the minds of systems managers.
Answers were often demanded to questions addressing security: "how do I enjoy the cost reductions of incremental billing on a shared infrastructure whilst keeping my key workloads secure?". Oftentimes performance and availability was the issue: "can you guarantee the same latency and uptime as I currently have today from my internal IT team?".
In a development which I find personally exciting, today IBM announced IBM SmartCloud. Why is this a significant evolutionary step with regard to Cloud? Well, for the first time, enterprise clients will be able to select key characteristics of a public, private and hybrid cloud to match workload requirements. The critical element is that this can be done across five key dimensions:
· Security and isolation
· Availability and performance
· Technology platforms
· Management Support and Deployment
· Payment and Billing
This is a pivotal step forward because it is my opinion that this flexible approach addresses what I have heard client's speak at significant length about. How do I apply Cloud to my business? IBM SmartCloud is the vehicle.
IT Managers are now in the driver's seat. Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services, had this to say: "The new IBM SmartCloud allows for the best of both worlds – the cost savings and scalability of a shared cloud environment plus the security, enterprise capabilities and support services of a private environment. In thousands of cloud engagements, we have discovered that enterprise client wants a choice of cloud deployment models that meet the requirements of their workloads and the demands of their business.”
I believe Erich has it right. Clients the world over need our help to illuminate the choice and control which now exists with regard to how flexibly "Cloud" can be deployed.
In the end, it's about our client's businesses, their strategic imperatives and their plans for a prosperous future. IBM SmartCloud offers our client's the control to deploy Cloud in a way that makes sense for their business.
IBM SmartCloud is currently being piloted with key clients around the world. Below you will find the full write-up, but don't hesitate to get in touch for more information.