Cloud computing is moving in the direction of public utilities as a cost-effective, centralized resource. Image Courtesy of

When you think of ‘the cloud,’ coal may be furthest thing from your mind, and yet cloud computing has traced a similar evolution to the story of public power utilities.

In the Second Industrial Revolution, manufacturers in the coal-deprived European countries had to develop their own power systems to increase production to meet rising market demands. Coal was rare and steam powered engines were expensive even for large industries. Alternate solutions such as the water wheel worked for small companies but failed to scale power generation fast enough for rapidly expanding industries.

It was not until electricity was made available as a utility when industries just plugged into the grid and invested in production to yield immediate returns on investments (ROI). The potential for industrialization widened exponentially as business owners implemented the ‘Power as a Utility’ business model. Fast forward into the 21st century, and almost every corporation in the world runs on utility power systems.

Similarly, cloud computing is moving in the direction of public utilities as a cost-effective, centralized resource. However, ‘plugging into the grid’ doesn’t work the same for businesses ‘migrating to the cloud.’ Adopting hybrid cloud solutions is far more complex than leveraging ‘power systems as a utility.’ While the latter promises huge capital expenditure savings immediately, driving business value with cloud investments is an ongoing process.

Businesses often leverage multi-sourced hybrid cloud ecosystems in efforts to maximize cost savings and increase ROI. In fact, Gartner predicts almost half of all enterprises pursuing cost savings will deploy hybrid cloud solutions by 2017. As a consequence of over-reliance on the economics side of cloud computing, businesses face several challenges in managing, supporting and scaling a diverse application portfolio.

After all, hybrid cloud management isn’t possible through a ‘single pane of glass’ – in the foreseeable future, at least. Hybrid cloud model is all about employing distributed IT resources for reasons beyond cost savings. Integrating legacy IT infrastructure with multiple services from multiple vendors in both public and private cloud environments creates a web of challenges for businesses lacking necessary expertise.

A recent IDC study exposes the widening skills gap in cloud computing. The research firm finds 1.7 million jobs in cloud computing were left unfilled in 2012 and predicts the number of new cloud jobs could reach as high as 14 million in 2015.

Seamless integration between public cloud and on-premise infrastructure is crucial in moving between your different infrastructures on demand. And, to connect distant workplaces, establishing well-integrated IT networks is essential to bringing a mobile workforce together.

Effective control and visibility are at the core of maintaining the security of IT stacks migrating to virtual machines in public cloud environments. Lack of visibility makes it particularly challenging for businesses to enforce security policies on cloud-bound IT workloads. Even if IT departments address integration issues, IT monitoring inevitably remains a fragmented process due to diversity in the underlying IT infrastructure and among service providers.

What are your organization’s specific IT needs? This is the first question your team will address when making a cloud computing decision. Cloud computing has always evolved as a business model and the transition is more than just an IT change. Making a hybrid cloud solution work requires an enterprise-wide cultural change in how employees access and use cloud services. This applies to the companies who have yet to jump on the bandwagon of cloud computing.
Businesses cannot afford to wait for the technology to mature substantially and offer a ‘one size fits all’ IT solution. If you’re seeking high business value with your hybrid cloud deployments, it’s time to act fast. For professional support with your hybrid cloud solution, please contact us at Mosaic NetworX today!