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Cloud Computing - the Potential and the Pitfalls

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In the forefront - the benefits of cloud computing...but there are shortcomings In the forefront - the benefits of cloud computing...but there are shortcomings

PA Consulting Group and National Computing Centre (NCC) launch new Guidelines

PA Consulting Group and the NCC have launched a new set of Guidelines to help organisations identify both the potential and the pitfalls of cloud computing. The Guidelines in the report show organisations how to identify where cloud services might fit for them and how to deploy them in a way that meets their business, security and information governance requirements.


Alastair McAulay, IT expert at PA Consulting Group, says: "Cloud services are capable of delivering a long list of significant benefits.

These include cost savings; scalability; anytime anywhere, any device availability; and resilience. But for any organisation other than a start-up with a completely greenfield requirement, moving to the cloud also requires careful planning, analysis and a clear business case. Businesses cannot just muddle through and hope for the best."


Over the past year cloud computing services have moved from the limited pilot stage to larger scale implementation. New start ups have been eager adopters, embracing the opportunity to secure off-the-peg services that rival those of their larger competitors but avoid the need to build costly IT infrastructures. Small businesses can use cloud to access better service such as data protection than they could provide themselves. However, established IT departments tend to see the cloud as threatening to their role as gatekeeper to IT services and providing them with a raft of technical headaches.


Steve Fox NCC Managing Director, commented: "As organisations seek to rationalise and optimise their IT investment, they currently view cloud computing, server virtualisation, mobile email and storage area networks as the most important technologies for the next two years - we are now seeing investment in a range of complementary technologies such as virtual desktop infrastructure, that together can offer an effective and robust solution to creating a more flexible business."


The report highlights the particular challenges for large organisations in integrating cloud with established infrastructures and IT departments, especially if the solution is a direct replacement for an existing self-provided service. The report then goes on to outline how integration challenges can be overcome. Organisations must start:


·         thinking differently, and understanding this is not business as usual but business in an entirely new way. Traditional implementation models will not work

·         using an approach that pays attention to ensuring that implementation is properly controlled, yet which also allows quick win projects to be fast tracked whilst all the time ensuring that tangible benefits are delivered to the business.

For more information or a copy of the Guidelines visit http://www.paconsulting.com/smart




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