An Enterprise’s Move To The Cloud – An Architectural Perspective
The cloud is not just some virtual server in the sky where one can just pick up an application and throw it in, consequently getting all the benefits associated with the app. The dare in this situation is that an enterprise has to re-architect its existing applications to fit the cloud in a way that maximum value can be mined from it. Placing a cloud into a broader context of an enterprise’s IT environment is the biggest issue, which is almost always overlooked.
Business objectives, which point to missions and goals of an organization, drive the technology strategy of an organization. So the strategy is based on the solution of an equation which comprises of the prevailing enterprise architecture, the stand point allied with the resources stacked up by an organization, and the way an organization moves forward. Helplessly, a cloud now has to fit into this story, as opposed to the general notion that a cloud solves everything by itself.
Three key areas have to tweaked and optimized by an enterprise from an architectural point of view.
- Application modernization, being the first one, signifies taking something old and putting it through an evolution cycle to adapt to the up-to-date environment. As necessary as it may be, application modernization may sometimes not be the best option to consider, and hence, the second option of application rationalization comes into the limelight.
- Application rationalization focuses on the concept of how a company extends its legacy capabilities, and leverages cloud based aptitudes, in order to extend existing assets the enterprise is not willing to retire, for commercial reasons.
- Leveraging cloud based services is the third way of incorporating the cloud into the enterprise’s architectural strategy; whether they are SaaS, PaaS or IaaS, a business can extend its competences by using the cloud services.
Keeping these things in mind, the enterprise architect has to put together a cloud computing roadmap. The first thing is that the architect needs to decide the amount of risk that the organization is willing to take. After this, the specific goals of the business have to be found out; are they financial goals, operational goals or competitive goals. Moving on, the architect has to quantify the paybacks and see how much the enterprise is saving or how much value is added to the company, in the long and short run. Only then is an organization able to put together a tactical plan which will make it achieve what it plans to achieve.
By John Evans