The cloud brought organisations grand promises of scalability and transformation. However, many organisations have been distracted by this shiny new tech, and ignored the needs of their business, to try to retrofit their organisation’s requirements in to these new shiny solutions.
Some companies have migrated entire data centres, or in some cases their entire business, to the cloud. But many have since suffered huge losses. Unexpected costs have crept up further and further as more and more is transferred to the cloud. Businesses have found themselves locked-in to escalating and expensive single vendor contracts.
Thankfully, IT leaders have recognised that a hybrid cloud strategy can help them to avoid these risks and give them the flexibility to choose solutions that cater to their business needs – a true WANacea, as I like to refer to it. Sometimes, the best solution for a specific element of your business or operation is to stay on-premise, where others are best suited to cloud environments. Hybrid cloud connectivity gives you the luxury and flexibility of choice.
With this recognition, many enterprises, even the likes of Dropbox, are moving elements of their operations away from the cloud – known in the industry as de-clouding or cloud repatriation. If you’re looking at your own cloud strategy, make sure you take a step back from the shiny tech attraction. Understand your business needs and objectives first, to create a strategy that fits – be it hybrid cloud, or indeed multicloud – and most importantly helps you to achieve your goals.
There are 3 areas to consider when starting this journey – I’ve shared my thoughts to help you jumpstart yours:
Cloud vs risk – what’s the reality?
As mentioned, the cloud has always touted itself as the cheaper and easier option for organisations looking to transform their operations. However, if you consider how much traffic is running over the internet these days – from streaming videos, to gaming, to trawling social media, to sending WhatsApp messages amongst the group, before any other business services have even begun – imagine the pressure it’s under. There’s only so much it can withstand.
Cloud services providers promise SLAs of around 99.99% uptime – but that equates to around 1 hour of downtime each year. What would happen to your business if it couldn’t operate for an hour or maybe more?
Customers are no longer willing to wait for services to be back up and running, or for you to provide new services to them. Your competitors will be ready to offer them the solution they want, when they want it. By housing services both on-premise and in the cloud, you mitigate your risks and keep your customers happy.
Cloud vs costs – what’s the reality?
Again, I’ve talked about the unexpected costs that cloud infrastructure can bring. It is true that on-premise data centres can typically be expensive but what you have here is a clear view of the costs when compared to the sometimes hidden and escalating costs of the cloud – which is where you can get caught out.
Dropbox is a great example of this. They saved a whopping $74.6m on operational expenses by moving off the cloud and into its own data centres.
By being more savvy on your business needs upfront, you can define a strategy that fits your requirements and implement solutions to help you achieve them, rather than joining in on a fad.
Cloud vs security – what’s the reality?
A data centre provides clear security benefits. We describe this as a single door which is easy to see and protect. You can retain control of your data and feel satisfied that you’ve taken measures to protect yourself.
With such varying security requirements across a business, one cloud provider can’t cater to all. A multicloud approach gives you the best solution for you to ensure security for these different requirements – and for the different needs across the business. Every cloud has its own set of features and benefits for different aspects of your business, therefore a multicloud and hybrid cloud approach gives you the confidence that your business needs, and security needs, are being met.
The future is absolutely hybrid cloud and multicloud. Make sure you’re taking advantage of both cloud and on-premise solutions to best serve your customers as well as protect your business.