The rush to the cloud is underway in both the public and private sector. Companies such as Vivantech ,a Higher Education ERP service and implementation provider, by introducing Cloud Centric software deployments are certainly changing the outlook for the traditional rack and stack server deployment. Although there are still concerns about security, , bandwidth and redundancy the cloud movement continues gaining strength. Rob Vandenberg says, that former U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundrachanged the game for the government cloud. He implemented the aggressive “Cloud First” cloud migration strategy, tasking government agencies with migrating 80 services to the cloud within 18 months. The move is projected to eventually save the federal government between $5.5 billion and $12 billion per year. The federal government plans to further streamline its $80 billion IT budget by closing 472 federal data centers by the end of this year, and nearly 500 more by 2015.
What is your timeline for moving to the cloud? If you have not begun mapping this out now is the time. ABI research says that by 2016, 41% of all enterprise communications users, or 386 million lines/seats, will be on virtual infrastructure.
Your on premise inventory and management plan also needs a look. ABI research analyst Subha Rama says, “For CPE vendors, the cloud threat is real, By 2016, the communications CPE market will only grow 4.3%, while cloud communications will grow by over 21%, reaching $8 billion in revenues.” Just as the time of the Twinkie came to an end, premise equipment vendors will likely be “Twinkied” if they cannot the make the cloud transition seamless and without performance penalties. If you are counting on your favorite premise equipment provider to be there five or more years down the line you may need to come up with a contingency plan.
At my current shop, Casper College, we are adopting a mixed approach to cloud migration. While certain applications are part of our cloud experimentation, others are retained on premises and still other core applications are already on the cloud. Mixed environments and hybridization will likely become the norm, especially with larger enterprises. There are many issues still impacting decisions for cloud migration. Rural institutions such as mine have even more such as lack of bandwidth options, which are often assumed in most urban environments. Better tools must and will become available to manage hybrid clouds and to enable seamless movement of applications instances across different vendor clouds and existing premise equipment deployments.