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Photo: Ron Totton
The cloud is a cornerstone of business success in this digital age. However, enterprises continue to play it safe despite knowing the benefits that the cloud can deliver. Rather than going for a high-impact overhaul of current infrastructure that drives long-term business results, companies are opting to take piece-meal steps in implementing short-term, tactical cloud projects aimed at quick wins.
This tentative and cautious approach short-changes organisations with the appetite for the operational flexibility and commercial benefits that cloud computing can deliver. They recognise that the cloud is a great gateway and platform for increased innovation. They are also aware of the gains from cloud-based interoperability which enables connectivity on multiple levels, a must-have for organisations in today’s fast-paced digital world.
A clouded vision
CIOs tell us that they are keen to make the most of these opportunities that the cloud has to offer. While they agree that the cloud can solve some of their toughest business challenges, there remains a reluctance to make the transformative move. Very few organisations are comfortable putting all of their business on the Internet. They are concerned about security issues; the lack of expertise to manage hybrid clouds; retaining control; complying with regulation; assuring end-user performance; and having access to the right internal skills.
How secure will their data be? Will they still comply with regulations once it is in the cloud? Will their applications perform well enough? How will they manage multiple suppliers? These are some of the issues that organisations grapple with.
Cloud of clouds: A transformational shift
The journey to the cloud is not an easy undertaking. To fully embrace the cloud, CIOs need to take on a more visionary stance in their cloud strategy. It is not as simple as just buying ‘the cloud’. Technology is only one aspect. The management of people and processes is another. This is where the Cloud of Clouds vision come into play.
The cloud of clouds model is the integration of cloud services within a single end-to-end network that prioritises applications, manages access to data and optimises performance. This is based on the premise that the cloud’s performance is only as good as the network behind it. It offers a practical route to cloud computing and helps organisations realise the possibilities in the cloud.
Enterprises currently operate in diversified IT environments, using a combination of cloud services, public, private and hybrid, engaging multiple cloud service suppliers at the same time to address different operational and commercial requirements. A cloud service integrator is thus needed to bring it all together into a cloud ecosystem.
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