Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Gopala Krishna Behara

Related Topics: IBM Cloud, @CloudExpo

IBM Cloud: Blog Post

Confronting The Culture of Cloud Computing

Addressing the cultural changes in cloud computing

Over the past two weeks I’ve been talking to IT architects and engineers from companies of all sizes and across many industries about cloud computing. It seems that many are moving past the talk and hype of cloud computing and looking into implementation details. Many of the companies I’ve talked with are either already leveraging cloud computing (both public and private), or they are currently researching or prototyping some sort of cloud computing solution.

I wasn’t necessarily surprised by the number of companies already involved in cloud computing. We’ve all seen the reports and numbers for some time now that indicate just how many organizations have turned to some aspects of cloud computing. However, there has been a common theme that has been a bit surprising. I expected to hear quite a lot about the technical challenges these organizations face when adopting cloud solutions, and to some degree I have.

However, it’s a different type of challenge that is sometimes proving to be as difficult if not more difficult than the technical challenge. That challenge is the cultural change and process disruption that cloud computing can present within an organization.

For quite some time many IT departments have organized themselves around sets of responsibilities. There is a team that deals with operating system infrastructure, a team that deals with applications, a team that deals with deployments, and so on. Traditionally, if a member of the application team needed to deploy a middleware environment to support an application they would go through some sort of request process with the deployment team.

With many cloud computing solutions, this traditional human-driven procurement process is being turned on its head. Now, authorized users can directly provision the resources they need to do their job. Depending on the cloud computing solution, those resources could be operating system instances, storage, network infrastructure, middleware environments, and even applications. Regardless of the resource type, users that need the resource are directly interacting with the cloud to have it provisioned.

This change to a more self-service model can surely bring increased agility and efficiency to an organization, but it does require thought as to how that maps to traditional roles in an organization. In a technical sense, this means cloud computing solutions must provide a robust system for defining users, user roles, and user access.

It’s important that the concept of user roles and user access is kept separate to allow for appropriate flexibility. For instance, members of the test and development teams may both have permission to provision cloud-provided application environments in which to carry out their work. However, it is not necessarily true that members of those teams would have access to the same set of application environments, so the cloud must provide a mechanism by which particular application environments can be assigned to particular users or user sets.

You may be thinking it’s obvious that cloud computing solutions (or any IT solution for that matter) need to provide a method to define user roles and user access. You’re right, but the capabilities that a particular solution delivers should not be overlooked. The granularity of user access and the degree to which roles in the cloud map to traditional roles in IT can go a long way toward easing the adoption of cloud within an organization.

There are many other cultural facets, both technical and non-technical, that cloud computing vendors will have to tackle. For vendors it will be important to remember that addressing this cultural disruption will be just as important as addressing the technical needs of their customers.

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...