Changing the (cloud) conversation – At Cloud Expo Europe 2019
By Robin Ferris, Solutions Architect, Pulsant
I know that it’s called Cloud Expo Europe for a reason; it’s an exhibition about cloud. Don’t get me wrong; cloud is great. It can bring great benefits such as cost savings, increased agility and help spur innovation, but it’s not necessarily a fit for everything.
Maybe it’s the ideal time to take a step back and broaden the conversation?
While the prevailing industry narrative may be focused on moving everything to cloud, does it mean it’s the correct thing to do for your business now? Maybe it isn’t and that’s not a problem. While this might be a future end goal, in the meantime, you need to ensure you’re getting the best from your existing technology and evaluating if a move to cloud is actually needed and if so, which elements are best suited to such a move.
Let’s look at the reality on the ground; you’re likely already using cloud in a number of ways. Whether that’s hosting, Office 365 or SaaS, your business is reaping the benefits. But maybe you also have servers hosted on-site or collocated in a third-party datacentre.
In effect, you have a hybrid environment. And let’s face it, hybrid is here to stay. Maybe what you currently have — this mixture of cloud services, on-premises hosting and colocation — is working for your business, with your workloads located where they are performing the best. Or perhaps some of your applications simply aren’t ready for cloud migration; or they are only just fit to be in a virtualised environment. Some software just isn’t up to scratch yet.
The key here is understanding which elements of your IT infrastructure are best suited to moving to cloud and which elements are doing well where they are. You should be looking at what’s best for your business, across your processes, people and technology. This will help find out what’s working, what’s not, and where cloud or other hosting options can add value.
In effect, you should centre the conversation not around cloud, but what’s best for your business. Cloud might become part of that conversation, but the focus should be on your business. Your IT should enable your objectives and support your organisation in moving forward, growing and embracing innovation. To put it tritely, technology is the vehicle and not the destination.
Critical in helping you on your journey is working with the right partner.
While commercial flexibility is important, your technology partner also needs to have the right set of tools and skills to support and enable you across all hosting disciplines, whether that’s private or public cloud, colocation or managed hosting. Your partner should, ideally, be vendor agnostic. In this way, they will work with you to define your needs, assess what you’ve got, where you need to go, and which technology is going to help you get there. They’ll suggest the best fit for your organisation and not the solutions they have in their product portfolio.
In the long-term future, it’s a fair assumption that the majority of services will be cloud based. But for now, getting the right mix of solutions is essential so that you can achieve your business objectives, and establish a solid foundation from which to grow, innovate and ultimately succeed.
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