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 surrounding cloud computing.
As VARs and solution providers aggressively embark on their journey with hybrid cloud solutions, it’s important to keep in mind the different discussions their customers are having based on their roles within the organization. We pulled a piece from a recent Tech Target whitepaper on Hybrid Cloud that discusses the varying expectations of hybrid cloud solutions as they apply to Line of Business and IT executives.
Meeting Customers’ Expectations
Who actually “buys” or influences the purchase of hybrid cloud services? In most cases, you’ll find that hybrid cloud purchase decisions are highly collaborative between business executives and IT organizations, especially at very high levels. Customers looking to move to the cloud for the first time or perhaps expanding their initial cloud efforts do so because they expect tangible business benefits—not just to find a way to reduce capital expenditures in the IT budget.
Senior Business Executives
Senior business executives and other line-of-business managers tend to view hybrid cloud’s attraction through dual lenses: competitive benefits and financial improvements. One of the big reasons that organizations are rapidly adopting a cloud based model is to move quicker in deploying new products and services for their own customers, rather than having to wait for an overworked and typically understaffed IT department to build, test and deploy new solutions. This quest for “speed to market” is one of the key drivers for organizations; the ability to quickly pilot new capabilities through affordable public cloud systems has driven even technically limited business managers to move to cloud initiatives without the IT department’s knowledge or direct support. Hybrid cloud solutions, in particular, are attractive here because it allows organizations to maximize their legacy systems as well as any initial cloud capabilities they may have implemented. By tying both on-premise and cloud solutions—as well as linking public and private clouds—organizations can more easily test new initiatives and deploy them faster.
Business leaders also like hybrid cloud solutions because they provide maximum flexibility in selecting the operating model that works best for an organization, rather than forcing them to change the way they work to align with the technology constraints of a specific approach to IT infrastructure.
Finally, business leaders see great value in the financial benefits of hybrid cloud. Since this architectural approach doesn’t require companies to continue buying significant amounts of new hardware, it lets them cut capital expenditures while giving them a predictable way to forecast IT on a subscription-based model.
IT executives see hybrid cloud as an attractive approach because it has the potential to dramatically and quickly extend their ability to support end users’ requirements. This allows CIOs and other internal IT executives to spend more time focusing on transformative applications and services rather than on relatively mundane, “keep the lights on”-type of activities such as help desk inquiries, onboarding new users and refreshing software and hardware.
Another key benefit for IT: Hybrid cloud preserves existing infrastructure and applications investments, rather than requiring “forklift” deployments that rip out old systems and replace them with new ones. Hybrid cloud also supports the key IT requirement of scalability that quickly and affordably reacts to sudden, even unanticipated shifts in business volume that would otherwise require investment in new systems in order to keep up.
Finally, hybrid cloud can be an attractive and reliable way to address some of IT departments’ biggest nightmares: security and compliance. By working with VARs, solution providers and cloud service providers, IT organizations can leverage best-of-breed knowledge and experience in new security threats, perimeter defense and applications availability, as well as ensuring that organizational data is protected according to a variety of tightly mandated regulatory requirements.
Providing the technology and business expertise necessary to deploy and manage hybrid clouds often means that VARs and solution providers of all profiles need to be an experienced, reliable and well-resourced partner that can help companies come up to speed quickly.
Although this wraps up my Tech Target White Paper series on Hybrid Cloud, you can download the full white paper here for more information: Leveraging Business Opportunities for Hybrid Cloud Solutions.