Having a defined cloud strategy is essential for any enterprise seeking to optimize their technology environment, but the path to the right cloud strategy isn’t always clear. The hallmarks that make the migration to the cloud attractive – agility, self-service, and full automation – also need to be balanced with the goals of the organization, existing systems, security, performance requirements, and developer enablement.
To achieve this balance, leaders are increasingly looking to hybrid cloud platforms, which bring the security and control of the private cloud with the value and scale of the more commoditized public cloud platforms together under one compatible and fully optimized environment. This approach can enable leaders to create a cloud strategy that is not only designed for specific workloads and IT efficiency but also to accommodate end-user priorities and core business goals.
The journey toward creating a best-in-class hybrid cloud environment begins with building a private cloud strategy.
If your organization is considering taking the first step toward a hybrid cloud environment, following are five key trends and insights from Forrester analyst and private cloud expert Lauren Nelson that you need to know in order to develop the right private cloud strategy for your enterprise.
1. “Cloudwashing” is everywhere, and your company may be doing it too
Making a few tweaks to old technology, networking it together, and calling it a “cloud” does not make a true private cloud. This trend, commonly referred to as “cloudwashing,” is pervasive. In fact, according to Forrester, only nine percent of private clouds meet all the criteria of being truly private. This criteria is important – like self-service access, full automation, and auditing of resources. Lacking any of these critical elements can prevent enterprises from fully realizing the benefits private cloud has to offer.
2. There’s more than one kind of private cloud
Cloud solutions are sort of like – clouds. There are many variations, and there is no single private cloud solution. There are some best practice solutions though, and here are the four most common according to Forrester: enhanced virtualization cloud, testing and developing private cloud, public cloud-lite, and the transformational cloud. Below are the criteria and the keys to success for each one.
3. One size does not fit all
As a natural extension of the above, it’s worth noting that one single cloud environment often won’t perfectly fit all of your company’s operational needs. Many organizations deploy a number of private clouds, public clouds, and/or a varying combination thereof to create a hybrid cloud environment. How do you make the decision that fits best for your company? It’s important to consider all of the options based on the variables associated with your company’s specific workloads, such as privacy, compliance security, geography, etc. as this will clearly impact the decision-making process in determining the ideal cloud environment.
4. Private cloud starts with buy-in at the top
Getting your leadership team onboard with your cloud strategy is a critical step, and one that involves showcasing the business benefits offered by the cloud, such as real-time response to customer needs, faster time to market, and a direct impact on the bottom line. Once your leadership team is onboard, the next important step is to create a roadmap for seamlessly replacing outdated infrastructure without creating organizational bottlenecks.
5. Platform or infrastructure as a service – know and live the difference
Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can sometimes blur together, so how do you tell them apart? Both services share app containers, app lifecycle management, and development tools to customize the technology based on a company’s needs and employees’ skill sets. Below are some helpful criteria to tell the similarities and differences.
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