Westpac, for example, recently noted that its IT division is able to provision new testing environments — a process that used to take up to two weeks — in just four hours. And ANZ Wealth Management, with a 500-strong IT team, is running three applications in the Cloud. Such private Cloud architectures may be based heavily on virtualization and centralised hosting, but the equally revolutionary part of their genesis is their ability to match those technologies with real business objectives.
No longer do IT executives need to nail down business leaders on fine details of elaborate infrastructure and systems; Cloud flexibility means new capabilities can be added almost at whim, explored, built upon, changed and decommissioned as business goals evolve.
Yet while the private Cloud architecture has won many strong advocates, discussions around channelling this enthusiasm to public Cloud services is drawing a different kind of reception.
Organisations of many types have explored Cloud services for years through well-known software-as-a-service (SaaS) Cloud players, such as customer relationship management vendor Salesforce.com and human capital management provider Success Factors, whose models offer ease of access and intrinsic support for increasingly mobile employees that have quickly moved them from renegade technology to IT must-have.
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