Irrespective of an organization’s capital budget/expenditures, its in-house technical expertise or its geographic locations, it must proactively evaluate “disruptive technologies” and ensure that the organization’s supported and offered Information Technology (IT) services are aligned with its vision, strategies, and operational objectives.  One universal tactic is to weave into an organization’s short and long term strategies Cloud Computing Services’ inherent capabilities to realize agile and elastic allocation, deployment and implementation of IT services.

But why Cloud Computing? Cloud Computing is one phenomenon that people in all industry verticals have quickly become aware of. Its power is undeniable. Many IT and business leaders acknowledge the significance of Cloud Computing and have either adopted it or have plans to do so. With references and ads now appearing in mainstream media, the term Cloud Computing has also become familiar to the general public. With good reason.


The ability of Cloud Computing to provide convenient, on-demand and unlimited computing resources with little or no initial investment and lower operating expenses can be extremely attractive for businesses.  At the same time, it can also be disruptive to the traditional IT world. With IT behemoths like IBM, Microsoft, Google and Amazon having entered this market and with several choices available for a technology that is yet to be distinctly defined, the question nagging IT managers around the world is: How should they approach and take advantage of the Cloud?  With all the buzz around Cloud Computing, they too are struggling to find the best answers.

Donald Houde and his colleagues at Houde Consulting leverage their extensive expertise to guide their client partners in evaluating the various types of Cloud deployments and the building blocks of a Cloud environment. Many of these building blocks have been available since the dawn of computing. They include hosted environments, virtualization technologies, consolidated storage, self-service portals, etc.

Although some small and medium-sized companies have been using Public Cloud services, the larger organizations have a lot to think about and test before they can move to Public Clouds. They have spent decades building their fault-tolerant IT infrastructure, resilient datacenters and several hardened layers of security to meet the needs of the internal business units and regulations in their industry. Now with advantages of Cloud Computing such as on-demand unlimited resources, pay-per-use models and clear cost savings, businesses need to make tough decisions on whether to use the Cloud or not.

Here are some questions to help guide the decision:
  1. What Cloud-based services are to be offered to your customers?

  2. What Cloud-based services would support an effective operation?

  3. What are your service level agreements (SLAs) with your clients?

  4. Which compliance or regulatory requirements do you need to satisfy?

  5. What services can be hosted on an external IT infrastructure versus having to host them internally?

  6. How much control do you need on the infrastructure hosting the services?

  
It is also important to realize that Cloud Computing is evolutionary. The initial goal could very well be just to provide a few services using the Cloud. Later, when users gain more comfort, more services can be provided by the Cloud. The advantages of cost, convenience, availability, and scalability depend on the type of Cloud users plan to deploy. Currently there are four main types of Cloud Computing environments in use:   
  1. Private Cloud

  2. Community Cloud

  3. Public Cloud

  4. Hybrid Cloud

  
Leveraging the fast maturing Cloud market and the diverse offerings of the innovative entrants into the marketplace, Cloud models, and the flexibility they offer, are high on an organization’s list of priorities. These entrants continue to offer an expanding range of solutions and are evolving their critical roles in offering Cloud Computing Services.   

Donald Houde and Houde Consulting have extensive expertise in analyzing and implementing Cloud Computing Services. As a continual contributor to the Cloud Computing conversation and a co-author of the book “Cloud Computing Black Book” (recently published in India by Wiley & Sons), the approach of Donald Houde and Houde Consulting to an organization’s Cloud Computing Analysis and Certification begins with defining and clarifying the specific relevance of common aspects of Cloud Computing. Examples of key areas supported in his approach include:
  
  1. Common terms and definitions of Cloud Computing Services

  2. The history, evolution and current state of Cloud Computing Services

  3. Early and current examples of Cloud Computing Services and their successful implementation

  4. Types of client access devices such as mobile, thin and thick clients

  5. Key components and considerations of Cloud Computing Services

  6. Similarities and differences between Cloud Computing Services and Virtualization

  7. Key features of Cloud Computing Services

  8. Various Cloud types such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, etc.

  9. Cloud deployment models such as Public, Private, Hybrid and Community

  10.  Business scenarios that benefit from Cloud Computing Services

  

The approach of Donald Houde and Houde Consulting to a successful transition and integration of Cloud Computing Services also addresses one of the greatest impediments to implementing any emerging technology: the misconceptions and myths surrounding that particular technology. The IT industry has a habit of latching onto buzzwords and applying them everywhere. Cloud Computing is no exception. Its adoption can be hindered by socialized myths or misconceptions. Given Cloud Computing’s potential economic benefits, pay-per-use model and real-time flexibility, many times leadership has an ill-informed, misguided, exuberant approach to an organization’s pursuit of Cloud Computing adoption.  Even though some myths may have elements of truth associated with them, the Houde Consulting approach to Cloud Computing implementations includes a communications strategy that visits these conversations and generates clarifying responses based upon the unique requirements of each client partner. Examples of these conversations would be Cloud Computing:

  

  1. is another temporary IT craze or whim 
  2. is not secure
  3. is not reliable, highly available or scalable
  4. has performance challenges in a multi-tenant environment
  5. has a lack of standards resulting in sustainability challenges
  6. locks an organization in without the ability to withdraw
  7. always provides improved efficiencies within an enterprise
  8. is best implemented, is more easily managed and more agile as a Private Cloud
  9. is simple; the vendor does it all
  10. more readily supports the Operating Expense (OpEx) but loses the benefits (e.g., tax depreciation) of Capital Expense (CapEx) financial models
  11. is cheap
  12. is universally and strongly preferred by leadership
  13. is not effective for an organization's mission critical or core applications
  14. is another term for outsourcing
  15. specifically the Public Cloud, and IT Commoditization are necessarily the future of IT Services
  16. specifically the Private Cloud, will provide the same cost benefits of the Public Cloud
  17. is not suitable for enterprise environments that serve a large number of diverse users
  18. replace the need for internal IT teams and expertise
  19. moves all the control to the Cloud vendor and results in vendor lock-in  
  
As these conversations exemplify, there are many assumptions and myths that have been socialized about Cloud Computing that can impede planning, proper implementation, continuous progress and prevent an organization from realizing the maximum potential of their Cloud Computing investment. The approach of Donald Houde and Houde Consulting to incorporating Cloud Computing as a strategy and tactic for Constructive Transformation© is founded upon an implementation framework that systematically addresses the aforementioned key areas in a manner that demystifies these and other Cloud Computing related conversations.   
  
The approach of Donald Houde and Houde Consulting to Cloud Computing implementations is an extension of their expertise in:

`  

  • governance (IT, Data, Project, Public relations and security)
  • business analysis
  • implementation strategies
  • enterprise data management
  • business intelligence and research data usage
  • Independent verification and validation (IVV)
  • leadership
  • effective data provisioning and consumption
  • quality assurance

Cloud Computing  Consulting Services

Cloud Computing Certification

Donald Houde and Houde Consulting provide Business Management, Cloud Computing, IVV, Executive Leadership, Governance and Information Technology Consulting services.