When I speak to organizations about the cloud, I find the majority of them are using the cloud in some form or fashion today. Many have opted to build a private cloud to allow cloud-based systems while maintaining total control over the applications and security of the cloud. Others are using the public cloud for some (or all) of their computing needs while others have built or are planning to build a hybrid cloud platform to have the best of both private and public cloud systems.
Many of the CIO’s and senior IT leaders that I speak with are continuing to look for new approaches and platforms that would allow them to move systems and functionality to the cloud. In addition to the platform itself, CIO’s are looking for platforms and approaches that allow for portability of workloads across cloud types and providers.
Imagine being a CIO and having access to three separate cloud providers. You use each provider for different aspects of your business and each cloud platform has different applications and processing capabilities.
What happens to your systems if one provider goes down? Can you easily move from one cloud provider to another? What if you had a hybrid cloud and your public cloud provider had a performance issue; would you be able to move your public cloud systems into your private cloud platform or to another public provider?
These are all valid and important questions for every organization using the cloud. The need to move workloads around between public, private and hybrid cloud is vital to ensure the cloud is deliver as much value to the organization as possible. With proper planning and the right vendors, these questions can be addressed.
One of the benefits that has always been used to sell cloud services is agility and responsiveness. The ability to roll out new systems and platforms on the cloud is claimed to bring great flexibility and responsiveness to organizations. There’s no argument that the cloud does provide agility, but if your systems and/or data get stuck within one one provider or cloud type, how much agility do you really have?
The cloud isn’t perfect but with the right planning, architecture and partners you can do quite a bit with the cloud that you might not be able to do without. The cloud provides value to just about every organization that implements cloud based systems. The vital thing to keep in mind when thinking about the cloud is to weigh all the options available and take your time investigating and implement cloud systems.