More and more businesses are interested in outsourcing their IT infrastructures to the cloud. In fact, Gartner predicts that 80 percent of all companies will close their own in-house data centers by 2025. Greater innovativeness along with a simultaneous boost in a company’s agility and flexibility in terms of time to market and price — those are just a few of the advantages offered by the cloud. To actually benefit from those advantages, however, they need a well thought-out strategy. Ultimately, though, it’s not about moving individual applications into the cloud, rather about transforming the business and its underlying IT in their entirety. For this to happen, both the existing IT landscape as well as IT procurement have to be analyzed and reorganized. The focus will then move away from hardware and traditional software licenses and shift instead to the needs-based procurement of resources for specific divisions of a company or even the entire company as a whole.
Setting the pace
Accordingly, a step-by-step approach is advisable when moving to the cloud. Which data and systems will benefit most and should be outsourced? And where can the data be stored? How quickly should the change be implemented? These are the crucial questions that companies ask during the strategic process. Of course, a company could choose to replace all on-premises installations with cloud-based solutions all at once. There are two consequences to this approach, however: One is that the newly obsolete in-house IT infrastructures will stand around unused in the server room and take up space that could be used for other things. The other is that it takes quite a bit of time to dismantle the systems — that ties up capital, burdens the balance sheet and prevents these funds from being invested elsewhere.
The cloud ecosystem as an enabler
Implementing a flexible solution that allows existing IT infrastructures to be dismantled and permits a gradual transformation therefore makes sense. This is precisely what happens in a cloud ecosystem. There, companies find both flexible physical housing in a certified data center plus a variety of cloud solutions. Ideally, these will be available in both an externally hosted private cloud version and a public cloud version with direct connections. That also resolves the matter of data security requirements. Sensitive data can be transferred seamlessly from the current physical IT infrastructure to the private cloud model, both of which are contained within the same ecosystem.
A suitable cloud ecosystem not only takes the physical transformation of IT into account, but also offers another type of assistance. Since every company has different needs and requirements, it must have a network of partners at the ready to provide guidance – whether for strategy, security, system integration or application development – throughout the transformation process.
Having the right partner and an extensive cloud ecosystem puts companies in a position to ensure that their transition to the cloud is implemented using an approach that’s right for them. At a pace that’s in line with their business model and strategy.