Can Private Cloud Adoption Cause a Public Brawl?

This discussion about private-cloud provisioning is about to turn into an epic brawl.

During his keynote address to EMC World 2012 in Las Vegas, EMC CEO Joe Tucci suggested that the business world would soon fill with hundreds of thousands of private clouds, on top of thousands of companies relying on public clouds.

He backed up that assertion with figures, pointing to recent surveys suggesting that 78 percent of respondents apparently had some sort of plan for a private cloud, with another 77 percent prepping for public-cloud adoption.

EMC has a vested interest in an everything-cloud world, of course, as many of its new products focus on some aspect of cloud-data storage, virtualization, and security. That aside, it’s true that more businesses are at least considering the cloud as a way to host their infrastructure and applications.

But adopting a private cloud comes with its own difficulties, including the possibility of opening a fissure of sorts between the business and IT sides of a company.

According to Lauren Nelson, an analyst with Forrester, the “consumerization of IT” is forcing organizations’ business and IT departments to interact in new ways, despite a sometimes-chilly relationship between those entities. The introduction of a private cloud could thaw that relationship and draw the two closer together—or it could backfire in spectacular ways.

“Promising the business a cloud delivered within your own data center, and then failing to provide basic functionality of a cloud will just make future initiatives and interactions even harder,” she wrote in a May 22 corporate blog posting. “In the meantime, the businesses will continue to circumvent your department.”

Some companies make the mistake of deploying private clouds that “often use pieces of the management and automation capabilities but aren’t using the full functionality of these solutions,” she added. Other common cloud mistakes include setting up a self-service access for a small team, while leaving the rest of the business to operate on a ticket-based system; installing partial automation, with IT still involved in provisioning cloud resources; and making resource-tracking reports and costs of cloud usage unavailable to whomever requests.

In other words, before actually jumping to cloud, it pays to plan out how the transition will affect your company on a departmental level.

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