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Smart Enterprise: Greater Expectations

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PHOTOGRAPH: COLIN ANDERSON/GETTY Tech Chatter loud computing is changing IT in profound ways. One of the most visible changes: business manag- ers, who previously relied on their CIOs to recommend, purchase and install software and services, are taking matters into their own hands. Today, anyone can order cloud-based applications and services with a click of the mouse. At least on the surface, this change means the IT requisition process becomes more efficient for the business manager. But it also means the CIO has to deal with a serious challenge. Namely, how to help the business harness the flexibility and agility of the cloud while still retaining control, ensuring secu- rity and meeting regulatory requirements. Without control, it can be difficult to ensure the performance and security of corporate networks, data and applications. Unfortunately, these are not problems that will go away on their own. Market watcher IDC expects cloud computing sales to grow at an average compounded annual growth rate of 27 percent through 2014, when worldwide revenue from public IT cloud-based services will reach $55.5 billion. Another market watcher, Gartner, predicts that by 2012, 20 percent of all businesses won't have any IT assets of their own. As the cloud permeates corporations, IT will need to embrace a supply-chain model, in which IT manages a web of internal and external resources, mixing and matching them to deliver the services that support the business requirements. "The role of IT management will change significantly from being a keeper of the data center to being more of a supply-chain manager," says Gregor Petri, Cloud Computing Advisor at CA Technologies. "IT will sit between the busi- ness units and the suppliers of IT solutions." This shift will require new tools to man- age and automate the process. "You need the technical underpinnings to support this," says Bernard Golden, CEO of Hyper- Stratus, a cloud computing consultancy. "If you don't have the infrastructure and the automation tools to implement this, if you're still carrying on manual processes in an environment where your customers expect immediate service, then you have no hope of getting to this new world." Tools and services are being developed to help CIOs transform their organizations into ones that embrace the supply-chain model. CA Technologies, for example, is developing what it calls its Cloud- Connected Management Suite. The suite is designed to meet the needs that arise at each step along the path as CIOs incorpo- rate cloud computing into their companies. The suite provides: ■ A way for IT to stay informed about what cloud services are available ■ A method for using a standard rat- ing system, enabling IT to compare products and services, which leads to smarter sourcing decisions ■ Opportunities to dynamically switch out components of the supply chain to achieve optimal performance Leveraging new tools can help wring ( even more ) opportunity out of the cloud. | By Tam Harbert The CIO Rainmaker C How do you choose from an ever-growing number of cloud service providers? It's not enough to look at uptime, security or reliability statistics, since there's no standard for measuring these metrics. But that may change — and soon. Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, an extension of Carnegie Mellon University, recently launched a consortium charged with developing what it calls the Service Measurement Index (SMI) — a standard way to calculate the benefits and risks of cloud computing services. "There are nebulous risks about the cloud that sometimes scare management away," says Jeff Perdue, a Senior Scientist at Carnegie Mellon and one of the lead- ers of the consortium. "But you don't know what the risks are in what you are doing now, internally. It does carry some risks. It does carry certain costs. But none of this is quantifiable. What you need is an objective way to compare external services as well as your own internal stuff." The SMI will comprise several key performance indicators, such as quality, agility, risk, capability, cost and security. CIOs can weigh the various indicators depending on how important each attribute may be to their particular environment. Initially, SMI will use data from its own research and surveys from market research firms to provide SMI scores on e-mail services, compute-on-demand services such as virtualization, and e-commerce services. But the ultimate goal is for data to be provided by IT professionals, service organizations and benchmark studies. – T.H. RATING CLOUD SERVICES )'('SMART ENTERPRISE 9

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