Are you cloud ready?

The cloud market is progressing rapidly. The stats speak for themselves…

Is your company ready for cloud?

CIO’s next move

CIOs are at a tipping point. They are challenged with innovating old, traditional systems while turning to new cloud systems to modernise specific functions of their infrastructure, all with the goal of improving user delivery. This is a difficult balancing act. Not only are they faced with blending old with the new, but data also has to flow between the traditional and newly modernised technology easily, effectively and securely.

Hybrid IT meets the needs of many CIOs in this position. Hybrid IT provides ideal testing environments, allowing companies to move operations into the public cloud in a more cautious, deliberate fashion. Also, a hybrid model is well suited for organisations that are unwilling to fully abandon their existing legacy systems yet want to take advantage of the cloud. By turning to hybrid, such enterprises can continue to use legacy, on-premise solutions as needed while moving other infrastructure into private or public cloud environments.

However, as CIOs evaluate their hybrid options, they need to keep in mind that not all hybrids are created equal. It’s a term that’s thrown out in the cloud landscape left, right and centre, however not every organisation approaches it the same way or even has the same definitions.

What’s the difference between Hybrid Cloud & Hybrid IT?

At SIPCOM we define hybrid cloud as a subset of hybrid IT. Hybrid Cloud refers to when an organisation uses multiple cloud models to respond to its business needs, which may include private, hosted, or public cloud options. However, when we add the organisation’s own on-premise computing capabilities and co-located assets into the mix, the model becomes hybrid IT.

“Many of our customers want to mix the agility, flexibility and cost benefits of public cloud with the added security and control of on-premise networks”, says Daniel Allen, CEO, SIPCOM. “Hybrid IT is a great solution for them.”

“Public Cloud is particularly useful for users with short-term needs for burst activity. You can add extra capacity very quickly to satisfy seasonal spikes or campaign related activity, without having to invest in new systems.”

We think a hybrid IT model can offer the best of both worlds for organisations which are particularly sensitive to security concerns or keen to sweat existing assets. For example, by using a mix of public cloud, private cloud and on-premise solutions, such organisations are granted the choice to keep the most sensitive data on the more secure options of on-premise and private clouds, whilst placing other activities on a public cloud.

How to get started

There is added complexity in deploying an Hybrid IT solution, so the planning process is absolutely vital. You need to consider which applications stay on-premise and which in a private or public cloud. Which is the most cost-effective way to do this whilst ensuring you have the security you need and scalability. Here are some basic questions you need to ask…

  • What do you need from the Cloud? What do you need from the cloud? Is this about saving money? Reducing manpower? Better managing peaks?
  • Should I build or find a provider? Do you want to build your own cloud or do you want to lease private-cloud space from a cloud service provider? Or simply lease from a public cloud?
  • How do I categorise my apps? What are you considering moving to the Cloud? How sensitive is that data and how secure does it have to be? Indeed, is it legal to move the data into a public cloud environment? What needs to stay where it is?  Don’t rule hosted solutions out because of security. Bear in mind that some companies, particularly SMEs often benefit from tighter security levels in a hosted environment than they can manage on-premise,
  • What can I learn from my peers?  Speak to other companies or a similar size to yours with similar requirements. Learn from their mistakes and successes. Find out what they paid and what features they are getting. The best place to start is with a recommendation for a cloud provider.
  • What is my vendor selection criterion? There are hundreds of cloud service providers with different specialisations, so you need to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Make sure you select based on the right criteria – do they have experience in your sector? Do they understand your pain points? How many customers do they have? How long has the company been operating? Ask for statistics on uptime, availability and security.

Once you’ve shortlisted make sure you speak to the CSP’s customers who are similar in size to you or who operate in the same sector.

Wondering how to get started? Why not speak to SIPCOM and book a free Cloud Readiness consultation.

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