"Mohawk has indicated that, by outsourcing integration as a competency, it was able to shift its strategic focus onto its core competency of managing business processes and master data (from its prior focus on acquiring integration technology and development work)," Lheureux wrote. "For example, when it needed reliable currency conversion to drive additional native-currency sales of its paper products, rather than on-premises or custom interfaces, it worked with Liaison to integrate and extend StrikeIron's foreign currency conversion service onto its SOA backplane. While Liaison focused on the technical implementation of doing that, Mohawk focused on successfully incorporating the external service into its various applications and processes to meet new business requirements."
Organizations that are ready to make the move to fully exploit cloud services need to adopt "services thinking," said John Seely Brown, independent co-chairman of Deloitte Center for the Edge.
"That's about defining operating models, business processes and technology components as services-within and beyond the enterprise," he said. "And it demands that companies develop a disciplined set of control points for an emerging services grid-control points with policies in place that flow up and down the stack. Unfortunately, getting a clear handle on the policy layer is often more easily said than done. Policies are often embedded across multiple layers of enterprise software, making them difficult to see, let alone orchestrate. It takes focus and resources to dig them out and make them fully explicit."
To successfully make this sort of transition, White and Briggs said it is essential that organizations first determine if cloud services models are even well-suited for their business problems and technical environments. They have a rubric based on the cloud definition of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that they use to assess whether cloud is the correct fit for a business problem. The attributes are the following:
Predictable pricing: Subscriber incurs a charge only when consuming resources, based on subscription and usage, not on perpetual licensing or allocation
Ubiquitous network access: The service is available wherever and whenever the network is available-enterprise network for private cloud, Internet for public cloud
Resource pooling and location independence: Multi-tenant, with shared resources that the subscriber cannot explicitly partition or specify
Self-service:: Users can directly access the service, provisioning is on-demand, and services are readied in near-real-time
Elasticity of supply: Ability to scale up or down to meet resource demands, with seemingly limitless upper bounds
White and Briggs said that if all five of the attributes are relevant to a business problem, cloud is a potential fit.