Making hybrid cloud work for your customers
According to research by Markets and Markets, hybrid cloud is set to grow by more than 20% per annum until 2021. This is a significant uptake in a relatively short period of time, representing a great opportunity for Arrow’s partners. As a word of caution though, industry research also suggests that a high percentage of organisations don’t get hybrid cloud right at the first attempt – wasting time and money, having failed to recognise and address the potential pitfalls.
So, to help your customers avoid making those mistakes by learning from those that have already made the transition, here are Arrow’s top tips for succeeding with hybrid cloud:
Keep IT simple
There’s no escaping the fact that organisations will still have to manage their legacy infrastructure and applications, so it makes sense to enable cloud services by using templates and mediations to rapidly and securely integrate with and access back-end systems – taking advantage of APIs to help simplify and govern data access. Use Public Cloud (SaaS) strategically to avoid the hassle and expense of building, operating and maintaining both app and infrastructure – only paying for what’s actually needed and avoiding ‘re-inventing the wheel’.
Don’t leap head-first into a major project. Start with a small trial project that enables the customer to review their processes – making changes in real-time and building up operations incrementally. That said, it’s important to prepare for ‘hyper-scale’ by enabling an elastic infrastructure that can handle increased and unpredictable workloads – automating health monitoring and corrective actions to avoid complexity.
Spoken to HR yet?
Having the right people in place is critical when deploying a hybrid cloud. New technologies may well require new skillsets, which are currently in high demand so not always easy to recruit and retain. Integration of on-premise and public cloud services will be key, along with adapting the organisation’s business model to take advantage of the new systems, so building the right team of in-house and contracted expertise needs to be a priority.
Don’t let security stop you
There’s nothing more likely to a stop a project in its tracks then concerns over security and compliance. The key is to fully comprehend and document procedures and processes up front – determining how sensitive data will be stored, protected in transit and accessed securely.
Keep your balance
It’s going to be a careful balancing act – allocating the right levels of capital expenditure for the infrastructure needed to host on-site systems, with the operational expenditure associated with public cloud services. Many organisations fail to calculate the total cost of ownership for hybrid cloud correctly, causing budget and board-level issues further down the line.
Expect the unexpected
Whether applications and data are stored on-site, off-site or in the cloud, you need to be certain that it will still be possible to achieve the required levels of availability in any event. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning should form an essential part of any hybrid cloud initiative – ensuring that recovery time and recovery point objectives meet the organisation’s needs.
Stuck in traffic
Calculating the level of bandwidth and speed of connectivity needed to transfer, replicate and access data across in-house and cloud networks is critical to the success of any hybrid environment. It’s also essential that both platforms are compatible and fully integrated to avoid performance management and scalability issues as workloads change.
Recognising the need to adopt cloud technologies alongside legacy infrastructure as a means of working smarter is one thing, but actually selecting the right technology and approach can be a daunting and complex process for many organisations. Get hybrid cloud right and it will give a significant boost to the customer’s bottom line. Get it wrong and it can have a negative rather than positive impact on productivity and innovation. Don’t be afraid to ask the question and start the conversation about cloud with your customers. We’re here to support you all the way – from identifying opportunities to closing the deals.
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