No business can reasonably claim “disruptor” status based solely on their having moved all or part of their operations to the cloud. While going to the cloud was once considered trendy, it is now generally seen as inevitable. A recent report by Gartner Inc. suggests 90 per cent of all companies will have adopted hybrid infrastructure management capabilities by 2020.
And yet, some corporate decision-makers remain cautious. The chief concern is often whether cloud will give them top-shelf performance without an appreciable risk to the security of their data. However, they may also be looking for visibility, the ability to detect bottlenecks, and minimal capacity issues related to misallocated resources.
With so many cloud options out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or frozen by the indecision that comes when you like only some of the features of most options. Here’s a quick look at your basic choices for cloud:
With on-prem cloud, all your hardware and software is located on and operated from your business’ physical premises. On-prem was the form of infrastructure in the pre-cloud world. Although on-prem gave you flexibility and accessibility, you had to manage all risks (loss from fire, flood, hardware failure, security, etc.), and to assume all equipment, licensing, maintenance and support costs.
With public cloud, you think of email, photo sharing and design services — all of which businesses can access for a fee. Public cloud services may offer high availability and a relatively low cost, but they tend to be standardized and inflexible. They can lack both speed and security.
Private cloud is essentially everything you get with public cloud, but it’s more tailored to your business’ specific needs. Private cloud offers nice flexibility and high availability, but demands heavier investment and higher support costs than public cloud. Speed can be an issue considering that data is not always local.
Hybrid cloud combines public and private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared. Hybrid gives businesses the ability to scale computing resources as the situation demands, and helps them avoid having to make huge capital commitments to handle spikes in demand and when local resources must be freed for critical data or applications. Companies using hybrid cloud pay only for what they need and use, and thus get to enjoy the “best of all possible worlds.”
Before you decide on the cloud that right for your business, there are a number of key considerations you need to explore as you develop a corporate cloud strategy:
- Clarity: You need to have a clear understanding of your company’s motivations. What do you hope to achieve? Is your organization chiefly interested in reducing costs? Off-shifting workloads? Becoming more efficient? If you know where you want to go, this will help immeasurably as you design the process.
- Milestones: Transformation is often about iterations. Make sure your major goals are broken down into smaller, more manageable ones. The outputs should involve phases, or short-, mid-, and long-term benchmarks.
- Security: The integrity of your data – the crown jewel of most businesses – must be front and centre in any successful cloud strategy. There really is no point to cloud technology unless it can offer at least as much security as on-prem.
- Order: Be clear about the way you migrate your business units to the cloud. The connection between speed and carelessness is the critical factor. Rushing the process increases the likelihood that elements will be overlooked; this is precisely when and why critical data is put at risk.
Of course, a cloud strategy is only part of the solution. Even the tightest, most intelligent cloud strategy can be compromised if a company fails to implement the right management solution — one that’s easy-to-use and provides maximum system visibility.
Micro Focus Cloud Optimizer capacity planning software empowers IT to detect and troubleshoot performance issues in a virtualized environment. Micro Focus Cloud Optimizer is a user-friendly platform, one that helps you optimize your business with multiple functions from a single point. There are many ways a business can benefit from this tool:
- At-a-glance insights in your virtual, cloud, and physical environments;
- The ability to “right-size” your environment, with an eye to future demand needs;
- Forecasting and what-if modeling to identify critical capacity thresholds;
- Extensive real-time troubleshooting reporting to detect and resolve issues;
- Smart alerts to mitigate system anomalies;
- Business metric analyses to assess the impact of changing business conditions;
- Out-of-the-box reports for capacity performance and capacity usage trends
With a cloud platform selected and a management in place, today’s next generation of disruptors can begin asking the important questions like: Can we move from outsourcing to automation? or Can we scale our business to any scenario? It’s how companies answer these questions that will determine their fate — as leaders, followers, or as no longer in business.
You can enjoy a free, no-strings 60-day trial of Micro Focus Cloud Optimizer by visiting the Micro Focus website.