When assessing an IT road map for the next three to five years, you’d be remiss to leave cloud options out of the process. The business agility and potential cost savings of an IT-as-a-service-focused cloud architecture can catapult a business ahead of its competition.
From an enterprise IT perspective, the decision is two-fold: Does a cloud make sense for our business, and which cloud model? In most instances, the cloud model will make sense if we think of it as a flexible, on-demand IT resource pool from which services can be rapidly provisioned. It’s really a no-brainer.
Business needs change, expand and retract; the last thing IT wants to do is slow down or hinder those changes. The more responsive IT can be to the business needs, the better positioned for success the company will be as a whole.
The decision of which cloud model to go with--public or private--is a more difficult one. Both options have pros and cons that will be different for every organization. Public cloud offers a pay-for-use model that private cloud can’t match due to the capex of infrastructure purchase. That being said, public clouds will not be right for every company or even specific services within an organization.
There are several issues to consider when evaluating a private cloud for your organization:
Security and compliance In many industries, security and compliance are a major barrier to cloud adoption. This is not because public clouds are inherently less secure, but, because the data is not in direct control of corporate IT, there is a reliance on the cloud provider to ensure the data is secure across the multitenant cloud infrastructure. When things like national security, health records and financial data come into play, this can be a tricky situation, as the responsibility for protecting the data falls on the cloud customer, not the provider. Within these environments, private cloud may be the only option, or the preferred option, for compliance, reporting and security reasons.