Chapter 6 of a Dissertation

Title:Roles of Cloud Operation Management Framework in improving the ability of IT managers to manage associated organizational resources for cloud services

6.1 Chapter Overview

 In this study, an artefact design has been developed which is characterised by different processes which include cloud operations, roles, and responsibilities linked to cloud operations, and KPIs for measuring the success of implementations. Following the analysis of the mixed methodology analysis in the preceding section, this chapter draws on the relevant conclusions on the basis of the identified study objectives. It equally generates an evaluation of recommendations on the best implementation of the artefact to ensure that all the stakeholders are cloud-ready and hence increasing the increased usage of the cloud products. At the end of this chapter, relevant suggestions for future research are offered.

6.2 Conclusions

6.2.1 Opportunities for Cloud Services

As part of the study first objective, the researcher engaged in establishing the opportunities for cloud services in Kuwait and Middle East Region. On the basis of the study findings, it can be concluded that there existing significant opportunities for IT firms providing cloud products and services in Kuwait and the Middle East.  From the study results, it is evident that there exists an increased market opportunity for IT firms that deliver cloud computing products and services in the region of focus. A high number of enterprises are currently adopting cloud computing as an effective approach of backing up their data, mining data and accessing sophisticated computing resources on the cloud platform. In regard to the channel partners or providers, the available opportunities have been identified to be inclusive of assisting enterprises in configuration and integration process for the provision of consultancy services for the firms adopting the cloud platform. It is projected that the demand for the market services would continue to surge as the involved firms appreciate that the cloud platform has a potential of a significant reduction of accrued business costs through the transformation of the capital expenses to operating expenses. This is part of the processes of cloud computing as identified in the artefact design.

6.2.2 Role of IT managers in Management of Cloud Services Organisational Resources in Kuwait Market

The second objective and the artefact design component of identifying the roles and responsibilities related to cloud operations. From the study results, the IT managers and other channel partners involved in the implementation of cloud services play an instrumental role in facilitating the uptake of cloud computing among the organisations in the KUWAIT. In this case, they act as an instrumental intermediary between the cloud vendors and the end user firms.

From the study findings, it can be concluded that the IT managers roles in the cloud services management can assume distinct dimensions. First, the IT managers can opt-in acting as consultants playing the role of a cloud vendor. The IT managers can guide different enterprises in overcoming the identified challenge through the provision of the essential expertise. The conclusion is in line with Ackermann et al. (2012) that the IT managers offer brokerage services between the channel partners and end users of the services. Secondly, the IT managers can play a critical role in assisting the enterprises in integrating their internal systems to distinct forms of cloud such as private, public and hybrid.  As part of this critical role, the IT managers can equally guide the customization adoption of distinct vendors for suiting their enterprise’s desires. Lastly, the IT managers can actively collaborate with channel partners and the vendors in performing their roles efficiently to create improved market awareness. Their detailed market knowledge factors position them in an ideal place in understanding he end-users needs and provision of awareness of the different cloud services accessible.

6.2.3 Challenges faced by IT managers and partners in their process of transitioning from traditional to cloud business models

A critical objective of this study involved an evaluation of the challenges and barriers that the IT managers face in their transition process.  On the basis of the sourced results and artefact, a significant challenge includes the limited uptake of the cloud services by different entities.  This challenge in real sense generates a translation of the risk of reduced revenues for the companies transitioning to the cloud.  The study increasingly deduces that the limited uptake of cloud computing in Kuwait, as opposed to the more advanced jurisdictions, is an attribute of the cloud security issues.  From the results provided by some of the study respondent’s, this challenge can significantly be mitigated by ensuring that the organisations embracing cloud computing are conversant of the different security issues linked to cloud computing.  Previous research reviewed and integrated into the artefact has underscored the desire of encouraging hybrid cloud deployment model as it is inclusive of the features available in both the private and the public models (Bayrak, 2013, Subashini & Kavitha, 2011). The current study results equally generate a conclusion guaranteeing the security of data through a demonstration of emergency responses and adoption of a high-level encryption policy which can successfully overcome trust issues. The approach can equally solve the challenge of disruption of revenue patterns as resellers currently possessing highly variable subscription-based payments.  Increased subscription revenues are instrumental in their short term with a likelihood of leading to inconsistent cash flows.  Despite the issue being inevitable in a short-term basis, the revenues are projected to increase over the medium and long-term basis.

A different critical barrier that has insufficiently been evaluated in the past studies but captured well in the current study results is the cost incurred in the transitioning from the cloud model channel partners. As a consequence of the security and reliability issues among all their clients, this study has found that the IT managers must possess successful local data centers. The incurred initial cost of putting the infrastructure is instrumental hence a limitation of the IT managers from improving a timely transition.

6.3 Recommendations for Evaluation

In line with the study results and evaluation, several recommendations can be put forward that can be integrated into the artefact to improve the capability of IT managers in exploiting all resources available to their disposal. First, this study recommends the IT managers to prioritize on improving the market awareness of the gains of integrating the cloud platform among enterprises in Kuwait and the Middle East. Increased awareness creation should be initiated by existing customers of the traditional IT products and transition gradually to their new customers.

Second, the current study has recommended on the need of IT managers proactively demonstrating on prevailing security measures that must be undertaken for ensuring that the stored data in the cloud is safe. As aforementioned, the IT managers offer their organization security guarantee and increasing levels of awareness of distinct cloud deployment models and their impact on the security of data. In short term, the IT managers would equally require to have the need for sourcing funding for creating their local data centres. This is essential in line with the finding that a significant number of organisations are still sceptical relating to the availability of the business data hosted by the overseas vendors.

The third recommendation entails IT managers focusing on distinct specialism areas and differentiating their overall value-added services. In this context, market specialism can be adopted with an aim of building the level of knowledge and expertise and as such increasing the preference by enterprises in sourcing superior quality cloud services.  The areas of specialism would include data loss prevention, security management, data analysis, integration and endpoint management among others.

Lastly, the current study has advocated on a gradual transition with an aim of avoiding substantial disruptions in the levels of revenues accrued. In this recommendation, the IT managers should not promptly drop the adoption of their traditional IT products. Instead, they are supposed to make an introduction of the cloud offerings as they gradually and systematically phase out their traditional IT models. The success of the transition could assist in ensuring alignment of the channel partners to growth trends in their cloud computing market.

6.4 Recommendations for Future Research

This research has offered knowledge of how cloud operation management framework will improve the ability of managers to manage associated organizational resources for cloud services. Nevertheless, the studies on this area has been limited and hence the need for further research. As evidenced from the interviews, successful transition with minimal issues being faced in the cloud computing and resources management is a major issue. Hence the direction for future research would be in the identification and measurement of successful transition in their operations. Future studies could also be done for testing the level of validity and success of the framework through a realistic implementation. Also, through the adoption of the developed framework, it would be possible to create future best practices and improvements.