It is well known that cloud is increasingly becoming the default IT option for businesses with many looking to cloud for some, if not all of their infrastructure needs. This interest primarily stems from two areas – firstly the cost benefits, flexibility and speed at which large scale cloud infrastructure can be deployed; and secondly from a business desire to innovate more but with decreased risk.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The process of #innovation cannot take place without a strong #data management strategy” user=”NetApp @comparethecloud”]

While the cloud has been sold as the key to innovation for many companies, that process of innovation cannot take place without the business having a strong data management strategy in place across their entire IT footprint, whether that is in the cloud or on-premises. The implementation of a Data Fabric can give companies that data management strategy.

Finding your cloud comfort level: what businesses need to consider

For technology decision-makers, notably CFOs and CIOs, the new reality is that their organisation’s computing technology and data will likely be cloud-based. What businesses are now faced with is deciding what to move to the cloud and when to move it. Linked to this is the general consideration of how to transition from an on-premise to a cloud computing technology environment well.

the new reality is that their organisation’s computing technology and data will likely be cloud-based

When starting out the transition the most important thing for companies to keep in mind is that they need to understand the true value cloud computing can bring to their business. CIOs and CFOs must remain closely aligned on IT decision-making to ensure that cloud is used in the most appropriate ways for the organisation. This involves assessing technology in the context of business purpose, risks and cost.

There is no point in trying to transition too much too soon. Architecting applications for the cloud can have pitfalls and attempting to run before you can walk is a sure fire way to cause an IT issue during a cloud migration. It is best to take one area, get that right and then consider other areas of the business’s IT landscape.

For example, many businesses look to use the cloud for disaster recovery first. Instead of having a secondary data centre location for back up, they choose cloud. Disaster recovery in the cloud can be used by making exact replicas of data saved on private cloud storage. Once this is right businesses can look to other areas to move to cloud.

The benefits of deploying a Data Fabric management strategy for cloud

Moving applications to the cloud is the logical next step for businesses. That said, disaster recovery is one thing, moving whole applications can be more difficult particularly with regards to ensuring data control, portability and flexibility is maintained. This is where a Data Fabric data management strategy comes in.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Moving #applications to the #cloud is the logical next step for businesses says @NetApp” user=”comparethecloud”]

Businesses need a data management strategy that makes all IT infrastructure work as one – whether it is public cloud, private cloud or legacy on-premise systems. This is what a Data Fabric does. It lets companies use their existing data-centre practices on data residing in the cloud. IT teams can easily share applications across different clouds, and move their data to the most appropriate place. With this, CIOs are not locked into one cloud supplier. Instead they can move workloads from one cloud to another, based on the service level, costs and capabilities needed for the relevant business outcomes.

A Data Fabric can improve efficiency and accelerate innovation in the business. Industries can benefit from being able to tap into different types of clouds, using a common application model, without worrying about learning unfamiliar cloud scale-out programming techniques. They can build applications that collect and analyse data from people and processes, and they can run them across these different cloud models without having to change them.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The era of cloud-centric IT operations is just beginning” user=”NetApp @comparethecloud” hashtags=”cloud”]

The era of cloud-centric IT operations is just beginning. The future will include multiple cloud providers, woven together operationally, wrapped in a fabric that unifies the view of the data. What lies ahead is the freedom to pursue new ideas that weren’t feasible before. CIOs cannot hesitate. The future is finally here and they need to embrace it.

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Laurence James, Products, Alliances and Solutions Marketing Manager, NetApp NEMEA Laurence is responsible for driving market awareness for NetApp’s products across Northern EMEA. Working closely with the EMEA Product, Alliances and Solutions Marketing team, his focus is on business growth and aligning NetApp’s offerings with customer and market needs. Laurence works across all of NetApp’s product areas, and has an in-depth understanding of diverse customer requirements to deliver value across the entire range of the product suite. Leading the marketing activities, Laurence is responsible for ensuring that NetApp’s offering is market-leading, of the highest standard and guarantees customer ROI. Working with a dedicated and experienced team, he assists in developing and implementing marketing campaigns that support the positioning of NetApp’s products and its reputation. Laurence has many years’ experience working with all aspects of Enterprise IT and held roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and StorageTek.