Almost every business today has Cloud as part of their IT- directly or indirectly, through adoption of Microsoft, Slack, Evernote or any of the other emerging workplace applications – Cloud is there!
So Cloud Phase 1 is well underway- but what about Phase 2? Do I use a single cloud provider, should I silo how I use cloud platforms, or run multiple clouds, how can I cope with complexity fragmentation brings? At the heart of these questions is what is the best way to take a multicloud strategy. So what is the best way to embrace phase 2?
There are 3 considerations:
Choose the right platform
Whilst there is a perception that every Cloud is the same, reality is different. Some perform better in certain regions or applications, others are designed to satisfy certain regulartory requirements and standards. You can therefore have a hybrid solution where your business requirements are met by different providers.
We are also seeing the growing importance of IT departments forming application development operations for their companies. IT has become less static and demands greater fluidity in how the Cloud is used is vital for effective application development. For example, many businesses separate out application development (in the Cloud) and production (on-premises).
It is therefore important to understand specific business goals and requirements before choosing how to deploy Cloud services as this can save you lot of time and money in the long run. Once you are clear on the technical service requirements, you can start shortlisting potential providers.
It is all about relationship building
Cloud affords fantastic opportunity for business. This in turn does create some complexity in the IT landscape and uncertainty for the retained IT team. Where do they fit? Key to the success is working with a Cloud provider that can help you build and then deploy a tailored infrastructure that is specific to the needs of the organisation- one you can trust.
The number of public Couds that companies should deploy depends on the organisation’s requirements and strategy. Again, this is where a good relationship with a cloud provider can play a crucial role. Instead of pushing products and services, a trusted Cloud provider will understand what an individual company needs. Companies should not add more public Cloud just for the sake of it. Whilst it may be tempting to think that having more options offers more flexibility operationally having too many options can actually have the opposite effect and make a company less efficient.
The most important consideration when exploring the best way to deploy in the Coud is security. Keeping data safe has become one of the greatest vulnerabilities a business can face, and the biggest financial and reputational risk if not done properly.
The Cloud has made tremendous advances and may invariably more reliable and secure than traditional on-premises solutions. However, some business owners worry about having their information ‘somewhere out there in the open for hackers to access’. Indeed, there is a risk in going ‘multi-cloud’ that everyone will think data security is someone else’s problem. We have lost count of the number of times our customers tell us that they thought their data was automatically backed up and stored forever by Microsoft office 365 (it isn’t!). Data security is vital and can’t slip through any cracks and this concern needs to be front and centre as organisations explore the cloud.
How do you approach the Multi-Cloud conunudrum? take a multicloud approach? There is a different answer to that question for every business depending on their business model and data sensitivity. In addition, it is not just the Cloud that businesses should look to adopt but the network and partners of the appropriate third party solution providers. This is crucial and it is important that they understand the importance of hybrid integration when it comes to connecting on-premises IT resources with Cloud services.
Ultimately, businesses should look for a managed service provider that has a network of partners that compliment and assist in the creation of a robust and scalable Cloud strategy that supports the overall business objectives and a comprehensive Cloud strategy. A well rounded partnership will allow to have a proposition focused very heavily on both physical and logical security, which is very appealing for customers today. This is exactly the environment that we have created between EACS and Memset in our new partnership.
Cloud has rapidly matured and while some successful companies have taken Cloud-first strategies, many still struggle with their core business processes when it comes to managing their cloud strategy. Managed service providers with strategic partnerships can offer a much more integrated service where businesses can have some of their core processes on a public cloud infrastructure, some hosted internally, and perhaps some hosted as a software subscription service.