IT departments must needed transformation in the face of the cloud revolution

IT departments must needed transformation in the face of the cloud revolution

IT departments must needed transformation in the face of the cloud revolution

Traditionally, in an on-premise environment, putting together an enterprise application involved building out three pieces: the data store, the server and the client. Between the hardware, the software and the infrastructure associated with the previously mentioned on-premise application, there were millions of rupees worth of up-front capital expense. The project team was forced to justify their project and their work to the Management. Management was forced to place that initial bet without knowing whether the application will succeed or not.

Of course, computer hardware is just like any other electronic appliance. The washing machine I bought a year ago continues to wash my clothes at the same rate as it did on the day I bought it. But my family has grown and we now have to do laundry for four people.

Likewise, as the business grows and business requirements change, the original hardware and software purchased for an on-premise enterprise application will not keep up with the demands. And so project teams are forced to periodically justify increased capital expenditures. The process of explaining one’s existence to the IT department, the Managements starts all over again and takes months.

We don’t want our developers to get into the software field to keep thinking about infrastructure. Developers should only have a passion for building applications that are useful and meet user needs. Cloud Computing provides the solution to this problem.

In a cloud environment like AWS or Microsoft Azure, one or two developers working out of their kitchen or a garage can build and deploy an application that will be useful to millions in a matter of days. Their only upfront cost is their time and effort. Their infrastructure only costs them per unit of utilization. If their idea succeeds and becomes profitable they can scale their application. As new services and technologies become available, the developers can utilize them to cut costs, to offer better performance and more valuable functionality. If their idea fails, they can shut it down and stop paying for the resources.

With great power comes great responsibility. While the need for a dedicated IT department goes away, but the need to properly train and monitor developers becomes more important. In an on-premise environment, the IT department acts as the gatekeepers to the use and evolution of the IT infrastructure. The cloud requires a new way of thinking.

Cloud computing socializes developer and ends user productivity at the expense of transparency and IT control. Since developers and users are able to provision and utilize resources as needed, it is easy for costs, overall architecture and security to get out of control. Rather than getting in the way of productivity, however, the IT departments must evolve their role from that of the gatekeepers into that of enablers.