Enterprise cloud adoption rates have climbed in leaps and bounds over the past several years. In fact, IDG Research released results of a survey last year, Cloud Adoption: Hybrid Is the Future, which found that the majority of businesses have either deployed applications or workloads using hybrid cloud or are in the process of doing so. Moreover, two years from now, respondents said that they expect their hybrid cloud application/workload deployments to triple.
Whereas cloud was once seen as being a way to reduce costs, cloud users are finding it’s now much more than a matter of saving money. As business needs have evolved, so has cloud technology’s value proposition. Today, business processes and applications have become increasingly complex while also becoming more automated. Cloud offers flexibility, reduced capex, rapid service delivery and other business benefits that all go back to one thing – speed. As a result, it is agility, not cost savings, which can be the most important benefit resulting from enterprise cloud adoption.
However, moving to a cloud environment should never be a rushed judgment. There are a number of things to keep in mind when determining your cloud strategy and whether public, private or hybrid cloud makes sense for your business. If not done properly, implementing the cloud could become unnecessarily costly, confusing, and negate the whole reason you wanted to move to the cloud to begin with. From our standpoint, there are three key things to keep in mind when looking to implement a hybrid cloud strategy that could ultimately make a huge difference in how beneficial cloud is to you.
Start with a Clear Business Model: When looking at cloud provider platform capabilities, your first priority should be to choose your offerings and services with your desired flexibility in mind. From there, you can consider leveraging emerging container technology to ensure a standardized approach to workload moves. Hybrid cloud is gaining traction because it affords companies the opportunity to pick and choose the services and providers that best fit into their overall business model.
Find Ways to Reduce Complexity: The multi-vendor hybrid cloud environment may lead to added complexity, which means that architecting a cloud management solution that takes service level objectives, governance and compliance into account is necessary. Seek out cloud management services that are geared toward streamlining and simplifying these complex environments by enabling an integrated view of your hybrid landscape. Additionally, you can also help simplify things by centralizing your organization’s cloud expertise, outlining and communicating best practices, and leverage pre-established contracts with vendors to streamline customer service.
Don’t Forget to Look Big Picture: Cloud speeds up everything, and that can be a good thing in today’s business environment when it decreases time to revenue. But before implementing a cloud-based IT environment, organizations must ensure that their infrastructure, organization, and processes are equipped and ready to adjust to the rapid pace and change that comes with the hybrid cloud transformation. That not only goes for your company’s culture and communication structure, but also your policy and process. Also, because the technology associated with enterprise cloud implementation is still rapidly evolving, make sure you and your employees are constantly scanning the horizon for disruptive technologies and services, and how you plan to accommodate them so that when the time comes, you’re ready.
In the end, when looking at ways to optimize the organization, it’s important to acknowledge that cloud strategies can have many goals – not solely cost reduction, renovating IT, or even enabling business innovation. However, by looking at the business as a comprehensive structure and identifying your needs, particularly around agility, you can determine and design a cloud strategy that will set you up for success.