Clouding the issue. Why a mix of on-premises, public and private cloud-based solutions could be the future

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1 Clouding the issue Why a mix of on-premises, public and private cloud-based solutions could be the future

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3 Financial services providers need to choose carefully when it comes to cloud computing It s fair to say that financial services providers have become more and more dependent on the agility and availability of their critical IT systems. Like other service organisations, they need to be able to move at the speed of light to meet changing business needs and launch new services quickly, reliably and costeffectively. And they have to do all of this against a backdrop of technology convergence, new global markets and increased regulatory oversight. Any one of the above business drivers makes a good case on its own. Put them together and there seems little argument against moving towards cloud-based services. However, any adoption has to be tempered with caution. The cloud brings its own unique challenges. Some of these will undoubtedly fall away over time as services mature and new capabilities emerge. But our advice is: choose wisely, not everything is suitable for cloud today. 3

4 Cloud formation What is the cloud? When people refer to the cloud, they usually mean computer hardware and software delivered as a service over a network. Recent advances in software and increases in network bandwidth have led to services where organisations can run their applications on virtual servers managed by a provider in the customer s own data centre, or more commonly, in the provider s data centre. These virtual servers can be created, scaled up and down and deleted in minutes depending on the demand, with storage attached to whatever virtual servers you create. As these cloud services are already pre-built, the lead times to get started can reduce from months to days, in some cases hours. All that s required is an appropriate network connection to access the service. This can be the public internet, a private network like BT Connect IP, or a specialist community network like BT Radianz. The advantages of this are clear: no upfront cap-ex just pay for what you use a lead time measured in minutes, not months vastly reduced support costs included in the tariff no downtime for hardware failures since the servers only exist in software. Infrastructure journey Basic infrastructure (sprawled) Virtualised (consolidation) Private cloud (real-time infrastructure) Resources in multiple silos Centralised Standardised Rationalised Physical co-location, centralised management, pooled resources Service-based Resources optimised based on business priorities Note: Not all real-time infrastructure (RTI) is private cloud (although all private cloud is RTI). To be private cloud, RTI must meet the same criteria listed for public cloud. This simplification has been made for clarity. Public cloud 1 Service-based 2 Scalable and elastic 3 Shared 4 Metered by use 5 Internet technologies Source: Gartner, Reimagining IT for 2011 and Beyond: The Role of Cloud, May 4, 2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or it s affiliates. All rights reserved. 4

5 The evolution of the cloud In terms of sharing resources on a common platform, the cloud is not a new concept. So it s worth exploring the evolution of cloud-based services. In the beginning, infrastructure was dedicated (and indeed many legacy and performance systems remain on a traditional dedicated platform) with large amounts of duplication of resources in multiple silos. We then started to see the emergence of standardised processes, with centralised and rationalised resources leading to a virtualised environment with physical co-location, centralised management and pooled resources. Server virtualisation within an organisation has become the de facto standard. Since then, the focus has been on the services being delivered rather than the infrastructure that the services are being delivered over. And the increased flexibility and increasing levels of bandwidth being delivered are proving to be a catalyst for this new cloud-based environment. How to spot different types of cloud Two distinct flavours of cloud-based services have emerged from this. Differing aspects of the cloud appeal to customers depending on their market segment and size of organisation. 1. The private cloud provides a real-time infrastructure where resources, owned by a specific client, are optimised based on an individual customer s needs. 2. The public cloud offers shared services, metered by use and often based on internet technologies. But there is a third way: community cloud. This addresses some of the public cloud limitations and is positioned somewhere between private and public clouds, depending on the particular implementation. Comparing clouds Private cloud operated solely for an organisation managed by the organisation or a third party exists on- or offpremises Community cloud restricted access to infrastructure shared by several organisations supports a specific community that has shared concerns (eg, mission, security requirements, policies, and compliance considerations) Public cloud available to the general public or a large industry group typically multi-tenant owned and managed by an organisation selling cloud services 5

6 The next phase of cloud evolution Public cloud offerings continue to mature and develop and have seen good adoption rates. However issues such as security, right to audit, regulatory uncertainty, privacy concerns, data protection legislation and lack of end-to-end SLAs have limited uptake by large financial services enterprises. Private cloud offerings do have some of the same issues but are generally regarded as safer. They are attractive to financial services enterprises that want the advantages of cloud but don t want to DIY their own solutions. Most likely to be deployed as a hybrid with selective services held in the private cloud and others held within the enterprise. The strategy for delivering cloud will continue to evolve. The trend today points very much to a blend of public and private cloud solutions. A hybrid architecture is the most likely scenario for large financial services enterprises for the foreseeable future. A hybrid of cloud and traditional internal IT will be best practice for the next 3-5 years Today Enterprise Hype Enterprise Hybrid Enterprise Services IT IT IT management IT management Mix of in-house, outsourced and offshored Everything in the cloud Mix of in-house, outsourced, offshored and public and private cloud Source: Adapted from Bittman, Private Cloud Computing and the Future of Infrastructure. 6

7 What cloud model is best? While the benefits of cloud computing are manifold, not all customers are going to move all their applications to the cloud at the same time. In fact, there will be some applications that companies will never migrate to a shared infrastructure, although they may want to take advantage of some of the technology advances that are available. It s therefore important that a range of service models are available. Then there are the security concerns. Financial services businesses will be reluctant to share the same computing infrastructure with non-financial companies, and are wary of using the public internet to access their applications. And finally, control over where data is stored and processed may also be an important factor for an organisation. This could be because of company policy or regulatory reasons. With this in mind, it may be that a community or private cloud would be more suitable. Controlling the cloud Early adoption of cloud services has largely been driven by the business, sometimes despite and often without the knowledge of the internal IT departments. In many cases cloud services are purchased directly by staff members and claimed as expenses, bypassing fiscal controls and reducing the ability of the organisation to drive bulk discounts or special pricing. More worryingly, this can lead to a potential governance gap with uncertainty around what data is being exported, stored and processed on the cloud. Further uncontrolled cloud adoption can easily lead to orphaned data and cloud services that are no longer required but haven t been ceased and appropriately deleted resulting in ongoing charges. The challenge for IT and audit departments is tracking each external cloud service. Cloud service brokers can help alleviate these problems, while at the same time allowing the business the freedom to purchase services it requires on demand. How to decide when and what to move There are opportunities for every company to take advantage of emerging and existing cloud technologies. To what extent and in what areas companies embrace this, may depend on a number of factors, such as: where they are in their technology refresh cycle whether they re running an established application estate, but want to reduce costs whether new, collaborative communications across multiple devices would make the organisation more efficient whether the computing and voice needs of the business are steady or if there are peaks in demand, eg during a new share issue, during a marketing campaign, or closer to the ends of the tax year if there s a demand for accessing the company s applications from a variety of different devices, eg. tablets, smartphones, etc, if they regularly launch new products and services if they need new applications. An organisation can choose to adopt Cloud Computing on a number of levels depending on the nature of the applications. It may be that a mix of service models is deployed to suit the needs of the different departments in a single organisation. 7

8 Consider a company launching a new application or service using traditional IT methods System overloaded Usage Investment Wasted money Launch Time A company launching a new application or service using traditional IT methods must consider: the need to invest in infrastructure upfront prior to service launch step-change investments ahead of increased demand long lead times mean additional investment before revenue demand peaks will lead to overloaded and slow systems investment in computing is sunk cost With cloud computing, you can scale your computing power according to the demands on your system, saving cost and shortening your lead times. Voice, video and messaging services In the world of cloud, unified communications voice, video and messaging are just different types of data, but they need special treatment to ensure a business level quality of service. As voice and video are just data that is processed then the widely accepted benefits of cloud computing are equally applicable to unified communications. So if an organisation occasionally needs to ramp up the number of its call centre agents quickly, it probably has spare capacity sitting idle just in case. But if its call centre were virtual hosted in the cloud then more agents could be brought on line quickly, used when required and closed down as the load decreases all without the capital investment of installing and maintaining capacity for peak loads. And because the call centre is virtual, agents can be located across the globe. Similarly, some companies don t wish to invest scarce cap-ex on PBXs for their premises. Nor do they want the overhead of managing multiple vendors in multiple countries. By using cloud hosted voice solutions, organisations can avoid the investment, costs and overheads of maintaining their own systems in the knowledge that they can have the latest unified communications features and scalability of a cloud provider s hosted system. 8

9 Where are cloud-based services heading? Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Analysts forecast significant revenue growth for IaaS offerings over the next 3-5 years, with predicted adoption rates second only to Software as a Service. IDC and Forester then predict a period of commoditisation and price deterioration followed a decline of total revenues. SMBs are at the forefront of IaaS adoption for all IT services, while larger enterprises are more selective, placing non-sensitive work packages, such as test and development, on public clouds. Platform as a Service (PaaS) PaaS offerings are currently individual point solutions that don t integrate well with one another, but this is changing. We can soon expect to see the rise of small groupings of interoperable PaaS services, while, longer term, whole suites of PaaS services will emerge, providing a one-stop shop for all PaaS needs. Software as a Service (SaaS) SaaS is predicted to be the strongest cloud growth area with several services, notably SalesForce, already having made significant inroads against the traditional enterprise-hosted solutions. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) compute, storage, and network resources (typically virtualised) delivered as a service managed by service provider metered and billed by usage characteristics (eg, memory, capacity, and bandwidth) Platform as a Service (PaaS) computing infrastructure and solution stack delivered (ie, OS and platform software) as a service managed by service provider metered and billed by solution stack and usage characteristics Software as a Service (SaaS) software distribution model for end-user applications delivered as a service managed and evolved by service provider usually billed by subscription based on capabilities and number of users 9

10 Standing out from the cloud BT can be seen as a niche player in the cloud market. We offer public, private and community cloud services as well as a number of cloud enablers such as our world class network infrastructure crucial to any cloud solution that requires any form of end-to-end service guarantee. BT can offer highly functional IaaS as well as PaaS and SaaS for certain vertical markets. BT Radianz: the community cloud in action The BTRadianz product set provides community cloud services to the finance industry. It provides cloud enablers such as a secured, reliable extranet network and IaaS via Radianz hosting. Solutions can be combined with BT Cloud Compute to provide customers with the benefits of a virtualised facility. BT Cloud Compute offers both public and private IaaS variants which can be remote or on site. It can be accessed via the internet, BT Connect IP or BT Radianz. SaaS services are available by partnering with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to offer services to community members. BT Unified Trading, Unified Trader Voice and Federated Identity also provide IaaS services to the BT Radianz community. 10

11 Summary The future financial services enterprise IT environment will be a mixture or hybrid deployment of on-premises, community, public and private cloud-based solutions. Pressure to adopt cloud-based solutions will be driven by the lines of business within the enterprise looking for cost savings and new capabilities. Enterprises will need to prepare for the impact of : hybrid cloud computing becoming an imperative cloud brokerage to facilitate cloud consumption cloud-centric architecture/design becoming a necessity cloud computing influencing future data centre and operational models the shift from capital-intensive to operational cost models Platforms from service providers will need to evolve to meet the needs of the enterprise in the areas of: security and data protection performance and agility configuration and manageability governance, regulation and compliance. There was a time when every household, town, farm or village had its own water well. Today, shared public utilities give us access to clean water by simply turning on the tap. Cloud computing works in a similar fashion. Just like water from the tap in your kitchen, cloud computing services can be turned on or off quickly as needed. Like at the water company, there is a team of dedicated professionals making sure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isn t on, not only are you saving water, but you aren t paying for resources you don t currently need. Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO, United States Government 11

12 We can make the cloud clear Visit for more information on BT for Financial Services Offices worldwide The telecommunications services described in this publication are subject to availability and may be modified from time to time. Services and equipment are provided subject to British Telecommunications plc s respective standard conditions of contract. Nothing in this publication forms any part of any contract. British Telecommunications plc 2012 Registered office: 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ Registered in England No: Designed by Westhill.co.uk Printed in England PHME 66141

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