Cloud computing, overall, is now well-established as a viable, even essential, element in how organizations use technology to achieve business goals. Challenges such as meeting the needs of users, deploying solutions to business needs faster and increasing demands on badly stretched internal IT teams are driving the discussion and adoption surrounding cloud computing, and hybrid cloud respectively.
Below, I'll discuss information from a recent Tech Target whitepaper on the business drivers of the Cloud overall, as well as the challenges your customers are facing as they adopt the Hybrid Cloud.
Business Drivers and Customer Challenges
The move to cloud computing is being driven by a number of substantive challenges that are forcing business and IT leaders alike to look for new solutions. These include:
- Budget constraints. Business executives are looking to trim what have traditionally been double-digit spending increases in IT capital budgets.
- Shadow IT. Many business stakeholders, frustrated by elongated application and deployment cycles, have started to go around the IT organization and begun to act as their own IT departments through such solutions as public clouds, inexpensive virtualization approaches and using their own consumer devices to access corporate data and services.
- Internal staff constraints. Not only have organizations put a brake on IT hiring, there often are fewer in-house specialists to handle unique technology or applications requirements.
- Need to preserve existing on-site infrastructure investments.
We've discussed the business drivers and customer challenges above for the cloud overall, but Hybrid cloud, however, has its own set of business drivers that stem from important customer challenges. For instance, IT infrastructure inside most organizations has evolved in a largely patchwork, often ad hoc manner, with disparate and even incompatible systems springing up over time to accomplish tasks that had once been isolated, but now need to be integrated.
Another important customer challenge that is driving increased hybrid cloud deployments is the need to preserve and even extend legacy investments in capital equipment such as servers, storage and networking equipment. Even power and cooling systems have proliferated in alignment with hardware expansion in the data center and nontraditional computing centers.
But probably the single biggest business driver fueling demand for cloud in general, and hybrid cloud specifically, is the ability of business users to quickly pilot, evaluate and deploy new products and services without having to wait in line for IT development to take place.
Technology Ideas Results
Regardless of the role a solution provider may choose for itself, there are several things to keep in mind when mapping a strategy for participating in, and profiting from, the growing prevalence of hybrid cloud computing. In the next coming weeks, I will be featuring key parts of the Tech Target White paper including: the Key Solution Components of cloud computing solutions, How You Can Meet Customers’ Expectations and Questions to Ask as a solution provider when getting started.
Can’t wait until then? Download the full white paper for free here: Leveraging Business Opportunities for Hybrid Cloud Solutions.
2 “IT and Business Flexibility Drive Interest in Hybrid Cloud,” Forrester Consulting (commissioned by Cisco Systems), January 2013