Some argue that the evolution of cloud computing started back in the 1960s, but almost all can agree Salesforce was a significant milestone in its growth. Salesforce ushered in the concept of software as a service (SaaS) as an alternative to managing a product installed within the enterprise. Whatever its roots, there’s no getting away from the fact that, while early adoption was slow, cloud computing is now a major consideration for every CIO or head of IT.
The cost benefits and competitive opportunities of the cloud are huge and include:
Unlimited capacity on demand
Ability to leverage a large-scale, rich analytics platform
Adjusting the IT team’s focus from infrastructure to creating business advantage
Cloud solutions offer the potential to build and transform web and mobile apps that bridge the gap between the organization and its markets, while controlling costs and building solutions that win, serve and retain clients. But moving from an on-premises solution to the new paradigm is not a piece of cake.
The answer is rarely one cloud
Because there is a variety of drivers and constraints across different applications and their functions, organizations increasingly employ multiple cloud platforms, all of which have to be blended, governed and managed. We know that within every enterprise business there will be a wide-ranging set of applications and workloads that need to reside in different locations and leverage different platform characteristics to run optimally. As workloads move around in hybrid internal/external IT environments, the traditional role of the enterprise IT professional is changing. The new challenges are multi-faceted and can place significant demands on the IT team as they face the need to deliver and govern this hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Key to the success of any hybrid IT solution is that it must be seamless—from user experience and data integrity to support, security and compliance.
The user experience, whether internal or customer, should be consistent and reliable regardless of which platform is employed. Data must transfer between applications and across platforms smoothly with appropriate levels of security, recoverability, data protection and change management—and where the business already operates on-premises, the transition from existing to new can be extremely complex.
Managing multiple cloud elements
So how does an already stretched and busy IT team develop and maintain the skills needed to manage these different elements while driving business value and supporting the growth objectives of the business? Find a hybrid IT managed services partner, not just one operating as a vendor.
The right partner’s approach should offer you the choice of single public cloud or multi-cloud solutions, and assessment and design services to ensure that you have the best mix of cloud built for your business. You should have a wide range of venues within which to run their IT operations, including a managed service provider’s own private cloud platform, third-party data centers, co-location, on-premises, or up in AWS or Microsoft Azure public clouds. This is hybrid IT.