Hybrid cloud - bridging the divide between technology, business
To bring business and IT together to transform a company, it needs to understand and acknowledge the promise cloud brings, says Richard Vester, director of EOH Cloud Services.
Business and technology departments have long lived in disconnected worlds. Business strives to make profit, and meet the demands of the market, while technology departments administer the systems and infrastructure. The two have a long history of working next to each other without any cohesion, and while this weak relationship has always been an issue, its negative effects are magnified in the cloud.
For better or worse, the inception of cloud has changed the way businesses consume IT, as well as the way technology departments deliver it, says Richard Vester, Director of EOH Cloud Services. "This shift is forcing business and IT to adapt to the cloud, and they have to do it together if they hope to succeed."
He says redefining these roles can be an arduous task. "However, no matter how you look at the situation, the collaboration between business and IT will result in quickening business growth, boosting customer service, fostering innovation and streamlining processes. I can't think of any organisation that can afford to pass this by."
According to him, in order to bring business and IT together to transform the organisation, they need to understand and acknowledge the promise and potential that cloud brings. "Adopting cloud hosting can free up technology departments to focus on strategically advising the business and enabling innovation rather than the daily grind of managing systems, as the cloud simplifies management of technology."
However, although cloud is making it easier than ever for the business to implement and run technology without intervention from IT, this is not advisable. Any implementation driven by the business without proper input from IT could fail, as the project leaders might not understand the full impact of a particular technology.
Specifically, he says, the technology may have a bigger impact on the IT organisation than the business realises, as leaders may fail to take into account considerations like data and application integration, security infrastructure and support needs.
At the same time, Vester says any IT implementation that is driven by the technical department without proper input from the business could see the end technology not serving the right use cases, or meeting the business objectives. "Too often, IT enables technologies that are rigid and unable to do what the business users need them to."
He says this situation, if not managed properly, can result in a disconnect between the technology and business goals, such as growth, efficiency and improved customer experience. "This is why it is so important that business and IT work together to meet strategic objectives. One way in which they can and should be working together is leveraging cloud to meet the business strategy. Clever CIOs are looking to cloud for tailored and specific IT solutions that are agile, inexpensive, and designed to boost business growth."
With this in mind, EOH offers unified management tools to ease deployment and manage solutions that are right for each individual business requirement. "Today, it isn't about public vs private cloud. Most businesses are finding hybrid cloud solutions that are tailored to their needs. Hybrid solutions see some resources being managed in-house and has others off-premises. Hybrid cloud is best as it supports location-independent IT where workloads can run in the most suitable environment, whether locally or off-premises, whatever will be most effective."
A hybrid solution also supports self-service-enabled rapid resource provisioning for managers and application developers who need to be able to access localised IT resources quickly, but also need to access tools that are located offsite.
He says when choosing a hybrid cloud partner, businesses need to look at various factors, one of the most important of which is whether the solution is really totally integrated or whether it is just essentially storage delivered as a utility.
"Another important element to consider, is whether the hybrid provider's solution provides application and workload portability, and whether it offers a common architecture across the various domains such as networking, infrastructure management and suchlike. If it does not perform as a seamless extension of the data centre, managing all resources, both internal and external, as a resource that end-users can tap into as and when needed, there could be major problems ahead."