Successful IaaS projects prioritize user demands, scalability

Infrastructure as a Service is rapidly gaining momentum in the business world, but decision-makers are often unsure how they should deploy the services. Since companies have the private, hybrid and public cloud model to choose from, many executives are unfamiliar with which strategy will yield the most benefits.

A recent study of more than 140 enterprises by the IT Process Institute revealed that IaaS projects in hybrid and private environments are often highly advantageous for organizations.

"IT departments are racing to get in front of their users' demand for quick, easy and low cost provisioning through cloud services," said Kurt Milne, managing director of the ITPI. "The study reports on success factors that are unique to top performers. We were surprised to find that top performers don't focus on cost reduction or operational efficiency, but on higher level concerns like agility and scalability."

The study also revealed that top IaaS users also deployed the model in a unique fashion.

Deploying IaaS effectively
ITPI noted that organizations using efficient IaaS solutions put an emphasis on employee demands before, during and after the implementation. In doing so, decision-makers could recognize what individuals needed and build the virtual environments around these requirements. As a result, the finished products were much more efficient and user friendly, enabling workers to leverage the tools without problems.

"The more successful cloud deployments build cloud services specific to user needs, even bringing in a product manager to help drive the effort," Milne said.

Additionally, ITPI said the hybrid approach to private IaaS projects is often much more effective. Although companies often want to use their own data centers for IaaS, deploying an "external first" strategy, in which the firm starts workloads in the public cloud for its scalability and then bring operations on-site, can yield more long-term advantages.

A separate report by In-Stat forecast the IaaS market to generate approximately $4 billion in revenue by 2015, largely driven by smaller organizations implementing the technology to take advantage of a scalable environment capable of handling large workloads without hiccups.

As organizations of all sizes continue to recognize the benefits of using cloud computing solutions, it will become increasingly important that decision-makers understand how to implement the services successfully. By focusing on user demands and taking a hybrid deployment approach, firms will more likely experience success.

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