In a fast growing and ever changing Information Technology world, the variety of IT solutions, tools and services is increasing on a daily basis. How do we keep up, and how do we focus on providing the best solution to the business units?
For numerous years IT delivery in FAO has been centralized and IT delivery has been performed in a more traditional manner. The infrastructure is centralized through a corporate data center, the software is developed on an ad-hoc basis to meet the ever-changing needs of the organization and keeping up with such a fast-paced demand is becoming more and more difficult.
One of the avenues being explored is going to cloud based solutions. Moving to the cloud poses many challenges and we need to analyze diverse criteria before taking the plunge. In this article I will discuss some of the major considerations that were taken in the IT division. Cloud based technology is not new and is increasingly becoming the dominant model in IT. Unfortunately the lack of knowledge on cloud based solutions has been the biggest challenge in most organizations.
FAO has a traditional IT infrastructure with a centralized data center in each of the major offices and delivery of IT solutions has been through development projects based on the user’s requirements. Most of the organization’s IT delivery is managed in-house, with occasional assistance from software development companies, and for the majority of the corporate systems there is a history of continuous customizations due to policy changes that require continuous updates to the systems.
We have recently completed several applications using the Google suite of data tools including the Google Earth Engine and Google Maps which gave us access to an unprecedented volume of geospatial data, compute power through which we have been able to analyze in real-time satellite imagery to deliver actionable information. Without cloud services the solution would have been prohibitively costly and time consuming as it required the compilation of terabytes of satellite imagery and computer power far in excess of that available in a computer center geospatial data.
New skills are required including network configuration, security, server and database administration and systems operations and integration.
Solid fast Internet connectivity is paramount as availability and performance are directly dependent.
Moving large amounts of data to and from the cloud needs to be carefully considered e.g. massive amount of legacy geospatial or multimedia…