Balancing compute options: How IBM's Smart Business Cloud can be a catalyst for IT transformation

The availability of cloud services – defined as Internet-based subscription services for applications, platforms or infrastructure – is rapidly reshaping the way businesses provision their IT. Simple, consumer-style offerings make it easy for end users to self-provision compute capacity – with or without the blessing of IT. The option to add public cloud compute capacity makes the sourcing decision of CIOs and IT Managers more complex as they balance a mix of on-premise, cloud and other deployment options to meet all of their business, financial and IT requirements.

How IT is sourced is now a search for the right mix of options: for a compute architecture that matches IT requirements; for the contract options that balance capital versus operating expenses; and for a vendor with the right offerings, expertise and experience for the long haul. Purchasing compute capacity has broader implications as one component of a holistic IT operation. Abstraction technologies, such as virtualisation, automation and standardisation, enable a continuum of IT delivery options, including traditional on-site capacity, hosting, private clouds and public clouds. CIOs and IT Managers must address the question of how to transform their business, using IT as a lever, including building bridges to cloud and operationalising cloud in their IT infrastructure.

Additionally, public cloud compute buyers have to consider how to integrate and leverage their existing IT investments. Making full use of an integrated public compute cloud depends on how well customers can leverage the software assets they already own. Customers should ask if they can move select software and workloads to the compute offering instead of having to buy or rent new licenses. Customers are seeking the architectural benefits, as well as the contract benefits of public cloud offerings, but only for requirements that make business sense.

This whitepaper examines the challenges CIOs and IT Managers face as they attempt to select a cloud computing vendor that can help them address their immediate requirements, as well as address their long-term needs for a holistic computing strategy. Download the whitepaper below to read more.