Choosing how to build an open hybrid cloud is perhaps the most strategic decision that CIOs and other IT leaders will make this decade. It’s a choice that will determine their organization’s competitiveness, flexibility, and IT economics for the next ten years.
That’s because, done right, a cloud services model delivers strategic advantages to the organization by redirecting resources from lights-on to innovation and meaningful business outcomes.
Not All Clouds are Equal
But only an open hybrid cloud delivers on the full strategic business value and promise of cloud computing. Only by embracing clouds that are open across the full gamut of characteristics can organizations ensure that their cloud:
- Enables portability of applications and data across clouds.
- Fully leverages existing IT investments and infrastructure and avoids creating new silos.
- Makes it possible to build an open hybrid cloud that spans physical servers, multiple virtualization platforms, and public clouds running a variety of technology stacks.
- Allows IT organizations to evolve to the cloud, gaining incremental value at each step along the way.
- Puts the customer in charge of their own technology strategy.
The Upside Opportunity
When the term “cloud computing” first appeared on the scene, it described a computing utility. The clear historical analog was electricity. Generated by large service providers. Delivered over a grid. Paid for when and in the amount used.
This concept has given rise to public clouds that deliver computing resources in the form commonly called Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings — based upon OpenStack, the leading open source cloud platform. Many characteristics of these public clouds are compelling relative to some traditional aspects of enterprise IT. Cost per virtual machine is much lower.
Users, such as developers, can use a credit card to get access to IT resources in minutes, rather than waiting months for a new server to be approved and provisioned. All this in turn leads to new applications and business services coming online more quickly and reducing the time to new revenue streams.
However, at the same time, most organizations are not yet ready to move all of their applications onto public cloud providers. Often this is because of real or perceived concerns around compliance and governance, especially for mission-critical production applications. Nor do public clouds typically provide the ability to customize and optimize around unique business needs.
Whatever the reasons in an individual case, there is great interest in the idea of building hybrid clouds spanning both on-premise and off-premise resources to deliver the best of both worlds — public cloud economics and agility optimized for enterprise needs such as audit, risk management, and strong policy management.
Choosing an open hybrid cloud enables organizations to:
- Bring new applications and services online more quickly for faster time-to-revenue.
- Respond more quickly to opportunities and threats.
- Reduce risk by maintaining ongoing compliance and runtime management while preserving strategic flexibility.
Act now! Your organization can harness an Open Hybrid Cloud solution.