Hybrid Cloud is a clear and preferable strategic choice

The Cloud is essentially a Software Defined Data Centre in which infrastructure, platforms and a growing list of higher order capabilities are presented to the market “as a Service”.  These services are accessible only via API or UI rather than physically or via human delivered services.   Physical data centres underpin the offerings; however, they are not accessible to the public so the Cloud is not a place.  Cloud is an abstraction layer, in fact a second layer of abstraction; the first being the hypervisor.  The Cloud providers are in reality shielding the customer from or abstracting them away from the need to know or care about the hypervisor, operating systems, and/or the physical infrastructure and facilities. This is attractive on one hand and completely consistent with well-regarded business strategies of allowing a business to focus on core competencies and outsource non-core activities.  
An abstraction layer in IT usually comes with some trade-offs but core benefits to be derived from abstraction should always be efficiencies and flexibility. The Cloud as a layer two abstraction is no exception to this rule, but should be used with intelligence rather than blindly adopted.  There are three major Cloud providers and several second tier providers worth considering.  The reality is that services, features and capabilities differ. Costs and service levels also differ.  The “Cloud” is a highly differentiated and fast evolving market place.  Whilst understandable on one hand, I’m constantly surprised by the numbers of CIOs and senior business leaders making decisions to lock their organisations into a single Cloud offering under such market circumstances.  Yes a single Cloud may simplify things to an extent, but it is also a risk in several areas.  An alternate strategy exists and is viable.  Most businesses will find themselves, if not already at some stage in the future using multiple public Clouds for a variety of reasons.
Hybrid (Private & Public) Cloud is an even more prevalent and clear strategic choice with strong advantages.  It may add some complexity to manage and use multiple Clouds but for a relatively small and defensible cost, a business adopting a multi-cloud or hybrid Cloud strategy is providing themselves with future flexibility and options.  This is known as the third abstraction layer or “Cloud Management Platforms”. Embracing Cloud Management Platforms or CMPs can provided strong governance and visibility across your multi/hybrid cloud environments. To good advantage some large Australian Companies have already adopted RightScale’s CMP, regarded by major industry analyst firms as the world leading CMP.

CMPs offer the ability for business and IT teams to tool up at an abstraction layer above the individual Clouds and to then Automate and Orchestrate deployments of complex architectures and environments into multiple Clouds both public and private using the same reusable code and repeatable processes.

This is not fiction or a future promise; it is todays’ reality.   

At Offis, one of our key clients and best case study to date is now provisioning complex environments that encompass their entire corporate application architecture and IT Ecosystem into three separate Clouds (two Public and one Private) regularly in approximately one hour instead of many weeks, historically.  This can be done at any time, as often as desired and as many times as needed.  Infrastructure once was a constraint but is no longer a constraint for our client.  An individual environment for this client can include over 150 applications and all the underlying infrastructure, networks, DNS, firewalls etc. All of which has been reduced to Infrastructure as Code providing a great many advantages.
In an increasingly competitive, complex, volatile and uncertain world, every business should be obsessing about how to optimise costs, increase productivity, increase responsiveness and gain greater agility and flexibility.  The Cloud, if used more intelligently with a CMP in your tool chain is a sound strategic foundational capability to enable Hybrid Cloud as a clear and preferable choice.    
To learn more, contact the Offis Professional Services team.

2017 ANZ State of the Cloud Report.PDF

ANZ State of the Cloud Survey Results: How are you managing your oganisation's clouds?

In February 2017 we surveyed 168 technical professionals in Australia and NZ
across a broad cross-section of organisations about their adoption of cloud computing.
The 2017 State of the Cloud Survey for Australia/New Zealand (ANZ) provides data
on how organisations in ANZ are adopting cloud computing. We also compared the data from
the ANZ survey with our global survey data to identify areas where ANZ organisations differ.

Sponsored by Offis Multi-Cloud Services and Telstra

2017 ANZ State of the Cloud Report.PDF

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