The cloud has played an important role in how businesses have responded to the pandemic. It suddenly became critical for employees to have access to their files, applications and teammates from anywhere, all tasks that cloud environments make significantly easier.
This dependence makes it more important than ever to have a solidified cloud strategy. At Dell Technologies World 2020, CDW Vice President of Data Center Solutions Conor Waddell noted that the way people are approaching the cloud is changing. Citing an Enterprise Strategy Group study, Waddell said that 92 percent of respondents see cloud strategy as inclusive of on-premises design.
“Think about three years ago when there was a cloud-first, cloud-only and, in some instances, cloud-at-all-costs strategy and how much that shifted now,” said Waddell. “The pendulum is coming back to the reality that there will be both on-premises and cloud-based environments in how we run IT.”
While the benefits of increased flexibility and accessibility are clear, implementing a successful hybrid cloud strategy involves exploring what your organization needs from the environment and how it can evolve with the business.
DISCOVER: Learn how to implement a cost-effective multicloud strategy.
Why Cloud Strategy Has Evolved Recently
What is behind the shift toward a hybrid model? Waddell says the answer involves a number of factors.
“Data has gravity,” he said. “Latency and throughput are still a problem we have to design around, and you can’t move faster than the speed of light.”
There are also economic realities to consider, Waddell said. For example, certain applications become quite expensive when scaled in a public cloud environment.
“And in other scenarios, we have legal ramifications,” Waddell added. “Compliance and data sovereignty need to be taken into consideration.”
Another reason for the shift is consistency: 83 percent of respondents in the study said there needs to be consistency between clouds, according to Waddell.
“That idea of consistency calls for the cloud-based pattern, not the infrastructure-based pattern,” he said.
“Cloud is a pattern, not a place,” Waddell continued. “It’s a set of principles and operating procedures that allow us to run infrastructure, whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud.”
The Three Phases of a Successful Cloud Strategy
A successful cloud strategy must fully enable the flexibility that the technology offers. Waddell said embedding that directly into environments is crucial.
“We can build flexibility into your application architecture,” he said. “We just need to alter our approach slightly from ‘plan, build, run’ to ‘plan, build, evolve,’ where we leverage our tried-and-true engagement model to help you drive adoption of these technologies.”
Those three phases are crucial, and making sure they are part of your full strategy can be the key to success. Waddell said that’s why taking a full-portfolio approach that has integrated, end-to-end accountability can put organizations a step ahead.
“The benefits from this co-engineering solution include one interface for managing the software-defined data center, along with hardware, as well as one-click lifecycle management across the infrastructure stack,” he said. “Once this hybrid cloud plumbing is in place, we can layer on operations insight, then hybrid cloud automation, orchestration features, and then integrate the public clouds for the workloads that belong there.”
“We don’t want to create a scenario where you introduce a solution that creates an operational silo within the organization,” Waddell said.
Find BizTech’s full coverage of the event here.