Step 1: Describe Cloud Computing Your supervisor, Sophia, BallotOnline’s director of information

Step 1: Describe Cloud Computing

Your supervisor, Sophia, BallotOnline’s director of information technology, has tasked you with creating a presentation that will convince the executives that using cloud-based computing to accommodate BallotOnline’s future growth rather than trying to expand the current infrastructure will help the company do business faster and at lower cost while conserving IT resources.

Key Points

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to the creation and use of remote servers over the internet, instead of via local servers or devices. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cloud computing is a model for enabling “ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction” (Mell & Grance, 2011).

Major cloud providers include

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Microsoft Azure

Google Cloud

An important part of your presentation to the BallotOnline executives is to help the executive leadership understand cloud service models and cloud deployment models. It will also need to cover the two basic components of cloud infrastructure: cloud compute and cloud storage. 

Review

In order to describe the capabilities of cloud computing, you must first have an understanding of network basics and computer networking technologies.

In this step, you will write a brief summary to your executive leadership describing what cloud computing is and the capabilities of the cloud.

References

Mell, P., & Grance, T. (2011). Special publication 800-145: The NIST definition of cloud computing. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved from https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-145/final

Step 2: Research Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Now that you have defined important terms and summarized the basic capabilities of the cloud, it is time to explore the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.

Currently, BallotOnline is running at full capacity and needs to expand its IT infrastructure to accommodate its growing needs. Instead of expanding current on-premise IT infrastructure by building or acquiring a new data center, Sophia has suggested that the cloud may be more efficient and cost-effective than adding more traditional physical data center space.

This information that you research will be useful in your final presentation in the last step.

When you have completed the research, move to the next step, where you will consider the budgetary aspects of a move to the cloud and the implications for the organization.

Step 3: Analyze Economic Implications

Now that you have weighed the benefits and drawbacks of cloud computing, it’s time to take a close look at the economic implications of a move to the cloud. All organizations (for-profit, nonprofit, or government) have finite budgets. Management must allocate these financial assets appropriately so that the leaders can make sound business decisions and meet the objectives of the organization.

Information technology (IT) is a key strategic function to help support the objectives of an organization. Businesses first used information systems to replace paper-based methods of helping management perform these functions, and that use continues today. Managers must be able to understand different IT models to make the best financial investment decisions for the organization.

The financial requirements for the cloud computing model are different than the financial requirements for an on-premise model. Cloud computing shifts budgets to a pure operating expense model, whereas the traditional on-premise computing model requires both capital and operating expense allocations.

Several free calculators to help estimate the cost of cloud services exist on the web, including the AWS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator and Azure TCO Calculator. Alternatively, you may find other calculators to estimate your cloud cost. Most cloud providers have their own cloud cost estimator tools. If the calculator that you selected does not show on-premise data, then you can recalculate using one of the other calculators that do provide this data.

For your economic analysis, enter the information from BallotOnline’s IT Budget and Infrastructure Summary into your chosen calculator to estimate TCO for the current physical IT infrastructure configuration. Then estimate TCO for a comparable configuration in the cloud to estimate the potential cost savings.

Write the summary of the economic implications, showing the savings and how you arrived at them, and submit it after reviewing the instructions below.