Some folks think that there is no such thing as a ‘private’ cloud. By definition all clouds are public. Unfortunately, some times the confusion is around whether a cloud exists internally or externally rather than if it’s public or private. Yet, even in the case where this confusion doesn’t exist, the notion of a private cloud is sound. What it means is that there is value in cloud technologies being deployed behind the firewall in a corporate environment. Why is this?

It’s because cloud computing provides it’s primary value through self-service.

Enterprise IT, Utilization Rates, Hoarding and the Procurement Nightmare

Today’s average enterprise IT shop has arcane interfaces for getting help, usually through some kind of help desk ticketing system. I once saw the ticketing systems for Microsoft. There were at least 4 or 5 different systems and it was never clear which one to start with. This is a very common issue.

Combined with procurement times that some times reach into the 6 month range, any request to get your own IT infrastructure can become a show stopper for your department’s project. Even virtual machine requests can take days to weeks as there is usually no self-service method and if there was, no usage metrics or charge back mechanisms exist.

Typically this leads to hoarding where departments and managers purchase far more than they need to make sure resources are available when needed. Is it any wonder that the recent McKinsey cloud computing report predicts that even with virtualization enterprise datacenters can’t exceed 39% utilization?

Internal or Private, It Matters

The CIO must learn how to drive new efficiencies into corporate datacenters while showing how IT can provide direct business value. The primary strategy, despite McKinsey’s bleak assessment, is to embrace the notion of self-service, preferably in the form of internal cloud computing resources.

This is the future. This is the way to make IT the corporate star instead of the corporate cost center.