Over time, cloud computing services have increasingly appealed to businesses for various reasons. However, many companies are still apprehensive about the idea of giving up their servers and legacy systems for a shard in the public cloud. A lot of it has to do with options: The number of buzz words used to describe key metrics such as performance and bandwidth makes it incredibly confusing to pick anything, let alone a system that improves the company’s daily operations. Now that the cloud is entrenched in the private sector, online business solutions require clarity in order for firms to consider using them, meaning global standards in the concept would be greatly welcomed.
It’s all in the semantics
The main problem with cloud computing solutions is that there are no defining metrics that make sense to end users, whether they are individuals or businesses, InformationWeek noted. For example, the cloud host Amazon Web Services uses something called an Elastic Compute Unit to describe the computing power of its server shards, while Google uses the Google Compute Engine Unit. Both of these require extensive research to find out exactly what they mean, along with additional research to determine exactly how they compare towards one another. This is done instead of just listing the CPU type, number of cores and processing speed, which customers can usually understand if they were comparing regular computers.
This situation presents a high level of opacity for the enterprise, especially small-to-midsized businesses that are exposed to a greater level of risk in switching services. If a company doesn’t know exactly the performance level of their cloud solution, they risk hitting cost overruns from having to scale up their services at times when it shouldn’t be required. An example of this would be a manufacturer having to request an increase in data storage during times of average demand. Given that the benefits of cloud computing are only realized if properly implemented and managed, needing more power during regular business means that the provider isn’t delivering enough at the basic level.
Making things work everywhere
In addition, there are crucial points that allow businesses to stay agile and competitive where standards in cloud computing, especially in business intelligence, would be extremely helpful. An example of this would be portability of applications and infrastructure, according to CloudTweaks. This is the movement of large stacks of data between different providers. This allows companies to have an actual choice if they want to switch to a different solution at the end of their contracts. In relation to all this, some firms that still wish to utilize some degree of IT services at their offices also seek to integrate cloud solutions seamlessly.
Along with portability, there remains a general concern about ways there are to gauge service availability, as determined by a report from consulting firm Booz and Company. This issue matters to a lot of companies simply because, in the event of a service outage, there isn’t really an opportunity for them to go directly to the source of the problem because the data center where their information and apps are stored is often hundreds of miles away. When there is no standard procedure for when the cloud is down, that generally means the client has to trust the data center’s judgment, which isn’t particularly helpful.
When standards are put in place, it gives companies a sense of confidence that they are making the right choice in transitioning to the cloud. It also establishes a certain level of accountability among all cloud providers so that dealing with problems doesn’t cause even more troubles.
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