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August 22, 2014

Cloud's Future Is About Freedom of Choice

Posted by Saju Sankarankutty (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:41 AM


9 Cloud Trends for 2014 by Infosys [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuumIUXt8wU]

We know the old adage: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. It seems that global enterprises are overwhelmingly using this maxim when it comes to adopting a robust cloud strategy.

They are accomplishing what I like to call a cloud 'freedom of choice.' That is, first adopting the appropriate hybrid clouds for their organizations and then choosing multiple clouds among those hybrid models. Such a multi-faceted strategy is not surprising when you consider the fact that spreading your enterprise's data and operations exposure to multiple sources reduces risk and creates many lucrative business opportunities.

Beware of fragmentation, however. Imagine storing your eggs in various baskets, but the different basket owners won't let you transfer eggs between the baskets. They're cajoling you into using one, overarching Cloud service (their service, of course!). Well, that defeats the point of enjoying Cloud diversity and freedom of choice. The dangers of fragmentation are why organizations need the right Cloud Ecosystem Integrator. That way they can leverage multiple, hybrid Clouds and maintain compatibility between all of them, regardless of the Cloud provider.

What's most exciting is that we're only at the beginning of this story. Within just three years, according to analysts, hybrid clouds will emerge as the preferred model for about half of all large companies. That prediction comes on the heels of a prominent survey that revealed three in four companies will make the hybrid strategy their core focus over the next five years. Depending on the industry and sector, corporations treat the Cloud with varying degrees of acceptance. In the realm of financial services, for example, banks want to know not only where their data exists but what other company (or companies) is sharing that space on the Cloud. The multi-tenant concern is a cultural norm among banks. Organizations in most other industries tend not to fret about with whom they're sharing a Cloud. That's why the mix-and-match nature of multiple hybrids keeps an organization's data in enough different places so that they're not wedded to one data neighborhood.

The major advantage of multiple hybrids, of course, is cost. An enterprise can address its unique needs along the entire cost-performance-risk matrix. Doing so forces vendors to remain competitive in terms of pricing and features. Organizations that once built and maintained enormous in-house data warehouses are enjoying an entirely new paradigm when Cloud vendors jockey for their business. They end up saving millions of dollars in storage costs over the long haul. Big companies actually leverage this competitive tension into the fabric of their Cloud ecosystems. Their goal is to form an architecture and environment that is always up for bids. The enterprise - and not the Cloud vendor - remains in the driver's seat. Why would any organization want to continue to deal with expensive, unwieldy, legacy data warehouses?

To be sure, plenty of challenges await organizations that are shopping around for the right Cloud combination. In the long run, make certain that these challenges play out so that your organization ends up with the most optimal Cloud set-up. For instance, as Cloud architecture becomes an intricate and fragmented network of solutions, managing this dynamic and complex environment will become one of the biggest challenges for CIOs. No longer is IT architecture governed by one comprehensive set of policies. Enterprises can use the fragmented collection of services and the distinct operational nuances that come with them to their advantage - provided, or course, that they have the right Cloud Ecosystem Integrator.

That's why so many enterprises are embracing a solution that can address the tensions between the IT and business sides and between multiple Clouds. As it stands now, there are all sorts of mandated processes that have been instituted for a traditional environment and that a company must reconfigure. As such, the business side (that is, the non-IT side) will continue to view Cloud options and challenges as being prone to entropy - or, at the very least, inefficiency.

Suppose your organization has three different applications on Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services, and on a private cloud. Those apps should be able to avoid fragmentation issues and talk to each other, right? Companies naturally want to move seamlessly between Clouds by shifting data, workloads, and applications across different computer environments. That's why the right Cloud Ecosystem Integrator works so well. This solution balances the dynamics of multi-cloud consumption and hybrid deployment in order to create an environment that is, well, you name it: elastic, flexible, agile, interoperable, and contestable!

Moreover, a potent Integrator can de-link organizational policies and processes relating to security, management, and delivery from those of the individual Cloud service providers. Imagine creating a virtual layer that resides between your company and the Cloud so as to filter out unnecessary Cloud processes while serving up only enterprise rules to your end users. That's a lesson in efficiency. Your end users shouldn't be saddled with redundancies served up by your data host.

The tendency for any technological improvement to an already sophisticated product is to move towards complexity. It's only natural. That's why the best Cloud Ecosystem Integrators are so innovative. They simplify and streamline what matters most to an enterprise - for both the IT and the business sides. The virtual layer they create is key. First, you overcome the fragmentation issue. Plus, your organization can strip away for the end-user everything he/she doesn't need to deal with so that the result is a focus on expanding your business and saving on operational costs.

Comments

Well Said Saju. As Industry move towards "Federated" Cloud Models which interweave resources across many Cloud Service models to deliver agile services, Cloud EcoSystem Integrators will be Cloud of Things (CoT) to enable intelligent virtual layer which cut across all service & deployment models.

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