[Column] Setumo Mohapi: Finding the right cloud strategy for your business
2021 will be the year defined by business’ attempt to recover, build better resilience and restructure their operations following a tumultuous year of change as a result of the global pandemic.
The ability to adapt to the new world of work and the additional challenges that now lie ahead in 2021 will be the defining factor for those who will maintain business success – and those who won’t.
Although companies had previously set long term goals for their digital transformation, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital solutions to ensure business continuity and sustainability.
Hybrid cloud has provided enterprises with a trusted and capable foundation to adapt to changing market needs.
In a hybrid cloud landscape, there are five key reasons that amplify the case for adoption:
Hybrid cloud brings agility, business resilience and continuity to the fore
Agility has always been a crucial outcome for most if not all enterprises. The ability to innovate and respond to changing market conditions is vital. Yet the speed, scale, and intensity of the impacts of Covid-19 has exposed certain deficiencies that may not have been considered. In our experience, it is often the case that the infrastructure and services requirements for transformation of the end-to-end network are understated when planning deployments of cloud solutions. The hybrid network that supports hybrid cloud deployments and services must not be the single point of weakness for organisations that require the full-stack capabilities to support agile, yet resilient businesses. The hybrid network must be programmable, flexible and allow for methods of consumption and billing that are standard in the cloud world.
Hybrid cloud brings security and compliance complexities
As distributed workloads become the standard, and the security attack surface expands and potentially becomes as dynamic as the dynamic hybrid intelligent infrastructurte in the network and across the hybrid cloud environment, the overall response to the new security challenges must be equally up to the task. From conceptualisation and design of IT interventions, integration of OEM solutions, and finally, full-stack operations within the enterprise, organisations have to adopt the mantra of secure by design, covering cloud, infrastructure, access, application and data security enabling business continuity seamlessly. In this respect, embedded security moves from being a cost centre to being the critical transformation enabler under shared organisational responsibility.
Hybrid cloud is a driver for cost efficiency
A more efficient total cost of IT operations is the biggest driver of hybrid cloud adoption, and it’s easy to see why. The shift to a distributed workforce model has meant people require access to both data and applications in new, different, and often complex ways – and organisations want to enable that in not only a cost-efficient manner but in a high-performance environment too. SD-WAN has emerged as a more cost-effective way of connecting to the cloud but it’s critical to note that optimising traffic flows across multiple connectivity options requires proper architecture and ongoing analysis and management.
Hybrid cloud simplifies internal operations through automation
It is complex to implement, but hybrid cloud ultimately simplifies internal operations through automation and streamlines the management of IT resources. This increases overall efficiency by reducing the time spent by IT teams on managing supporting infrastructures. To take advantage of hybrid cloud, understanding exactly what works in any given scenario, as well as how and where it can fulfil the needs of a particular business model is crucial. Mixing public and private cloud leverages the best of both worlds, each for different reasons and of course, different workload priorities.
Hybrid cloud offers business and IT leaders the chance to meet changing business demands head- on. While continuity and business resilience are fundamental, improving customer experiences and growing revenues still features highly on the list of business objectives.
You don’t have to go it alone
The role of partners also brings to light not only how much organisations rely on their partners’ skills and expertise, but how they drive greater efficiencies through the provision of integrated and flexible intelligent platforms and automation, led by cloud solutions. With more and more enterprises shifting a majority of their IT infrastructure to various third parties, customers can now fully benefit from the guidance and strategic counsel offered by vendors that are specialising across the OEM ecosystem.
“We believe that no two clouds are the same, and as such that no two implementations or approaches should be identical. Each cloud offering must be developed to serve a specific need and to answer a specific question.”