It’s no surprise that cloud computing has become a significant part of our conversations with C-Suite Executives and IT decision makers. Cloud opens up new opportunities, yet it also brings new challenges. The first hurdle is realizing there is no one particular solution or one particular right answer for how to best utilize cloud solutions.
The fact is, every organization’s cloud is a unique reflection of its business strategies, priorities and needs, and this is why there is a great variation in how companies go about implementing their specific cloud solutions. Some of our customers and partners may be at a point where they are just trying to understand their options while others are concerned about how to use cloud alongside the traditional silos of servers, storage and networking in the virtualized data centers they have today. How can you make sure the investments you make today will enable a cloud that is cost-effective, quick and agile? How can you make sure you implement a self- service, scalable, reusable, resilient, and truly future-ready cloud?
Public, private or hybrid?
Cloud offers a host of service and deployment models both on- and off-premises, across public, private, and managed clouds. Many organizations start with public cloud because of ease of entry and a perception of low-cost. You can read more on that perception here, where I talk about a trend called cloud repatriation. Some organizations, such as test and development groups, use public clouds because they need to quickly stand up infrastructure, run something and take it down, and this can’t be supported by their existing IT team. Other companies such as startups use public clouds because they simply don’t have the resources to build, own and manage a cloud infrastructure today.
Today’s reality is that most organizations are already using the some form of cloud environments for their specific needs, across public clouds that are managed by others, private clouds that they manage in-house, or a mix all three, better known as a hybrid cloud. With hybrid clouds, companies combine both on-premises and off-premises, private, public or managed cloud services for any given environment or application. This provides the benefits of all three types of clouds with better links to the business needs and outcomes.
One cloud does not fit all
As you can see, with cloud, one size does not fit all. When evaluating cloud options, look for solutions that enable the following business benefits:
- Faster Innovation: Does this cloud provide new ways to deliver value to customers in current and new markets?
- More Agility: Does this approach provide a more flexible, modular way to meet ever-changing customer needs and scale up or down as needed, quickly and efficiently?
- Increased ROI: How will this cloud generate increased value to end customers? How will it help optimize existing technologies and lower long-term TCO?
- Range of Choice: Does this cloud enable customized workloads? How does it address compliance and security concerns?
- More Simplicity: Will this cloud simplify or complicate IT environments? How will it be managed?
Ultimately, you need to look at cloud from a lifecycle perspective. It’s not just about standing up the infrastructure, it’s also important to analyze the utilization and results of these assets and all the costs along the entire life cycle. What does it take to create, manage, maintain, provision, patch, and keep the cloud controlled? How easily does the cloud create and how seamlessly does it deploy the workload that you are utilizing to deliver that business outcome?
Clouds mean business.
Clouds have become part of the fabric of how things are done and how business outcomes are achieved. Before deciding on your cloud approach, you must truly understand the possibilities that cloud technologies introduce. Then, you must agree on business initiatives, priorities, and desired results. The decision should not be which singular type of cloud to deploy – private cloud or public cloud. The spotlight should be on delivering the right cloud at the right cost with the right characteristics (i.e. agility, compliance, security) to achieve the desired business results – and this typically evolves over time and requires multiple clouds with a combination of both public and private clouds resulting in a hybrid cloud end state
You can also learn the latest on successful cloud strategies and implementation at Dell World 2015.