Working with the Right Cloud Model: Key Business and Partner Considerations

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By: Bill Kleyman|

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Cloud computing will continue to evolve. As more users connect into the cloud, organizations will find new ways to deliver services and offerings via a cloud solution. Remember, cloud computing is an ever-changing, highly dynamic platform. This is why it’s important to work with a partner that can take you to the cloud – or get you there in a hybrid fashion.

Gartner recently pointed out that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years. This will make cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.

“Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world,” said Ed Anderson, research vice president at Gartner. “The market for cloud services has grown to such an extent that it is now a notable percentage of total IT spending, helping to create a new generation of start-ups and “born in the cloud” providers.”

To that extent – there are some core topics to understand when creating the right type of cloud model and the types of partners you plan to work with:

  • Cloud remains agile and dynamic – your partner must be capable of the same. Resources will fluctuate, user counts will change, and new systems will require more resources. This is the nature of cloud computing. It will be in a state of constant change and in the need of proactive monitoring and constant tweaking. The only way to properly control and deploy a cloud solution is to plan it out well and work with a data center partner that can handle the dynamic nature of cloud computing.
  • Leverage fewer products and aim for better partnerships. As mentioned earlier, the dynamic nature of the cloud requires a dynamic provider capable of keeping up with the changes in the cloud. This means proactive monitoring and consistently maintaining your best interests in mind. In working with a data center partner, you are able to create goals and set policies in place which will help control costs and keep your environment very agile. Cloud computing, data center colocation, and managed services solutions are not “set it and forget it” services. They require a highly responsive data center partner that has clear visibility into your environment and is as dedicated to your success as any internal team that you would deploy.
  • The cloud is just a piece of the puzzle. The technologies around cloud computing can offer some great benefits to organizations looking to expand their environment. Still, cloud computing is only a piece of the entire infrastructure puzzle. Although data centers are the home of the cloud – they are also home to many other technologies as well. This can be virtual platform delivery, various types of services offerings, or providing data center extension services. In some cases, cloud computing is either not required or is used in a small fashion. Remember to analyze all necessary services with your data center partner before jumping on the cloud bandwagon. This is why it’s so important to work with a provider which can show the difference between a full cloud offering and something a bit more localized. Furthermore, this same partner should have the capability to deploy a truly powerful hybrid solution – should the need arise.

Let’s focus on that last point – that cloud is only a piece of the puzzle. This means that organizations must analyze solutions outside of the cloud as well. Consider the following:

  • Managed hosting and data center services. As new demands become more complex and as the business environment expands at ever-increasing speeds –organizations are moving towards some type of managed service as a viable option to offload their environment. In fact, managed services offerings are an aggressively expanding field. The managed services segment is already slated to grow at double-digit rates over the next four years as business demand increases for reliable IT and telecommunications alternatives to fixed costs. Why is this happening? More organizations are moving towards the Internet and the cloud to deliver business functionality or services. These can be in the form of simple information or entire applications. Not only is this increasing in frequency – this also increases complexity. From an organization’s perspective, Managed Services enable corporations to handle this growth, while outsourcing the most complicated elements to the skilled data center service provider.
  • How much cloud do you really need? The reality is that almost every organization operating now has to interact with the Internet in some way. Arguably – they are already using the cloud. However, when we look at the modern data center, true cloud services aren’t always required. In some cases, organizations simply deploy private environments without access to a public cloud platform. It’s important to understand that there is a lot of flexibility when working with a data center provider. One of the most powerful solutions is a hybrid option where all services can be utilized in concert. The key is finding a partner and data center provider that can unify these services for you. Leading data center providers will tailor a hybrid infrastructure solution to your unique requirements, ensuring:
    • Performance & scalability of all workloads
    • Availability and visibility across the infrastructure
    • Agility & adaptability as needs change
    • Consultative support to right-size your solution and navigate technology options

The cloud model is a powerful platform. However, in some cases the entire cloud stack is just not needed. It’s important to work with the right type of provider that can help you place cloud into the right piece within your organization. In today’s massively distributed data center environment, working with a partner who can stay as agile as you will be very important. This type of partnership creates a logical connection between IT and overall business goals.

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About The Author

Bill Kleyman

Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies

Bill is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in datacenter design, management, and deployment. His architecture work includes large virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues around everything that is technology. During the day, Bill is the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, where he interacts with enterprise organizations and helps align IT strategies with direct business goals. Bill’s whitepapers, articles, video blogs and podcasts have been published and referenced on InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Data Center Knowledge, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and many others. Most recently, Bill was ranked #16 in the Onalytica study which reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape, globally.

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