Self-service and chargeback, the ideas that changed the face of computing and had an active role in popularizing cloud computing, are largely being ignored by Indian CIOs. This was one of the key findings of the CIO Cloud Computing survey, conducted by CIO magazine Indiain March 2012 in which more that 250 IT leaders participated.

While 41 percent of the respondents said that they don't have or need a self-service process for consuming cloud services, 42 percent said that IT organization continues to handle approval and provisioning of cloud services.

Self-service has been touted as one of the transformational ideas about cloud computing. With self-service cloud computing simplifies how IT is consumed by users. Self-service gives users on-demand access to applications, and services, with the ability to upload, build, deploy, schedule, manage, and report on their business services on demand.

Self service portals would help rapid provisioning of IT services, which would mean less administrative work for the IT department. All of this will ultimately lead to greater business agility. Given that business flexibility (74 percent) and faster provision (51 percent) are the main drivers for cloud computing, as revealed by the survey, it comes as surprise that the concept of self service is not catching up.

Perhaps the biggest reason would be the IT department's prodigal fear of losing control. Loss of control over data was citied as among the top five biggest cloud concerns by the survey respondents.

The other largely ignored concept is that of chargeback. As controversial as IT chargeback can be, it is universally agreed that pay-per-use is a fundamental to the concept of cloud computing. Chargebacks have been a contentious issue in cloud computing, and the survey reveals that it hasn't found favor amongst Indian CIOs with 49 percent of the respondent confirming they don't have a process for chargebacks.

The oft-sited reason against chargeback's is the inability for IT department to measure the cost of IT service. However, the Amazons of the world have build an entire business model (and a hugely successful one at that) based on the ability to measure and bill IT services precisely.

The other rather intrinsic concept of cloud computing is rapid elasticity. However, only a fully public cloud set up can actually deliver a true elasticity where you increase or decrease capacity at will. With less than five percent of respondents keen on following a public cloud strategy, that, too, remains a remote possibility.

It appears that the cloud commuting experiences inIndia are cases of highly virtualized infrastructure governed by a central pool of resources. Self service, pay per use and ubiquitous networks have a long way to go to see light of day.

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