First came the concept of cloud computing, this was swiftly followed by the public cloud model and the private cloud model, and this led on to the hybrid cloud model, however how should a company decide whether it should move it’s IT systems to a hybrid cloud computing system? This choice is not likely to be easy and will require consultation and advice from experts.
The hybrid cloud model will deliver a bespoke IT delivery model that will meet a company’s complicated business requirements. It will provide a pick and mix method to IT outsourcing, which enables companies to run their information technology across a selection of private and public model based cloud systems. If they desire, companies can combine these cloud based systems with non cloud options including on-site information technology provision.
These top tips will help companies choose whether implementing a hybrid cloud system is right for them:
- Take time to understand the various and possible benefits and difficulties of the different cloud models. Is a public or private cloud the best option for your organisation? Don’t just choose one if it doesn’t align with your business goals. For example, a company that holds a large amount of confidential, private and mission critical data will unlikely want to choose a public cloud model. If one option doesn’t fit, don’t choose, it, a mixture of cloud models may be the best option for your organisation.
- Make sure you have a clear idea of how these different IT systems will interconnect and fit together once you’ve rolled them out. Take the time to put a strategy in place at the beginning.
- Will you be able to ensure that your different IT providers and services will all work together? It is vitally important that all your cloud providers and managed services providers need to work closely together. Ideally, use one provider to manage all your IT including cloud and non cloud based IT services, this ensures interoperability between the systems
- Make sure you know geographically where your data will be hosted in different cloud systems and the laws and regulations your data will be subject to. Ensure that you adhere to data protection and compliance agreements are in place. Take time to be familiar with the laws, especially if you’re looking to move your data between regions.
- Look carefully at your service level agreements (SLAs). You need to be very clear about what you expect from your cloud provider and make sure your SLA is in place to protect your interests, try to get them matching between cloud and non cloud providers.
- Make sure your understand the escalation routes when looking at logging issues with your IT providers.
- Make sure you are clear about when the contract starts and ends for each of your IT services. Ensure you renew at the right time. Try to get them all renewing at the same time, this will ensure more efficient administration.
- Ensure that your cloud based services and applications will work with your current service desk procedures. If they are incompatible, you will have to upgrade them and this could be a costly venture.
- Make sure that your data is backed up and replicated into he cloud, make sure that you have a very clear business continuity policy document and process in place.
- Consider your exit strategy, understand what happens to your data when your contract comes to an end.
Moving to a cloud based system and be a complicated venture that can carry some risk. It is vitally important that you work with an expert advisor that your trust with experience in the cloud and none cloud arenas. This person will be a member of your team and will be in an ideal position to guide your organisation through all the challenges a move to the cloud will likely generate.