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Preparing private cloud services with a hybrid cloud future in mind

November 5, 2013 • Cloud Computing, Opinion, Southern Africa

The value of hybrid cloud environments continues to grow for enterprises as services are becoming more and more refined.  While perceived risks still remain, new management tools are quickly closing the gap allowing for data and applications to be managed seamlessly in blended IT environments.

 

Mark Ridley, regional director for Africa, NetApp. (Image source: NetApp)

Mark Ridley, regional director for Africa, NetApp. (Image source: NetApp)

There are three critical areas that companies need to prepare for a successful transition to the hybrid model: the business, the IT organisation and the IT infrastructure.

Prepping the Business

Organisations have traditionally looked externally to meet IT needs. Before a business can begin prepping the IT environment, it first needs to pull back so that all groups look to IT first. Essentially, IT professionals need to become brokers of services and partnerships with third party services and the company.

As brokers, IT departments will add value to the operational performance of the business: providing assurances that selected cloud services or hybrid services meet the company requirements; as well as ensuring that services employed aren’t putting the company at risk.

By becoming the intermediaries between the business and the third party service providers, IT departments can be the gate keepers to its data and applications; allowing for better management across hybrid environments and eliminating shadow IT, so business units can’t go and try to provision IT resources on their own.

Prepping the IT Organisation

Traditionally, IT has been organised in a very siloed fashion. However, the advent of virtualisation has collapsed this model and the transition to a more centralised, horizontal organisation – to accommodate cloud-based environments – has been difficult.

To minimise this difficulty during transition, restructuring the organisation is critical. By doing so, people won’t see outsourcing as loss of control or losing responsibilities. As brokers in a horizontal model, they will be accountable for managing the resources; elevating roles of IT people.

Prepping the IT Infrastructure

IT workers need to develop a framework identifying which workloads and applications can move to the public cloud and which need kept in a private environment – based on governance, compliance and regulatory measures.

It is important to build a blended IT environment that has the flexibility to allow data to move freely between different resources. When it comes to data management tools there are a lot of options. Whatever solution the business chooses, it’s critical to make sure you are buying into a platform that has strong commitment to building hybrid cloud management capabilities.

Ultimately, as hybrid cloud services continue to evolve and their benefits to businesses become more pronounced, the pressure from the C-Suite on IT workers to make the transition will grow. By taking the necessary steps now to prepare the IT organisation and IT infrastructure, businesses will be ready to extend their IT environments with a hybrid cloud future in mind.

By Mark Ridley, regional director for Africa, NetApp



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