Welcome to the World of 'Cloud of Clouds'
By Andrew Wildblood, Head of Global Enterprise, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services
The way we work has changed dramatically in recent years thanks to the Cloud. The power of the Cloud has driven the emergence of mobile and social collaboration technologies, with more employees now expecting to be able to access the corporate data, network and applications they need, wherever they are. Consequently, organizations are under pressure to offer the technologies their employees demand and, in turn, need to look to service providers to best equip them. To cope with the plethora of digital environments now available, many businesses are moving from in-house technologists to managed service offerings. This allows them to take advantage of the level of experience and understanding service providers have of critical business applications, such as securing user data and implementing new forms of data backup, restoration, and access, while ensuring the delivery of services is not compromised.
"Service providers are a natural fit to provide end-to-end Cloud services with huge opportunity to enter new markets and generate new revenue"
Winning with New Business Models
Service providers are a natural fit to provide end-to-end Cloud services with huge opportunity to enter new markets and generate new revenue. However, service providers should also look at their current offerings and assess whether they are fit for today’s fast-changing business IT requirements.
From the original Cloud concept to Personal, Public, and Hybrid Cloud solutions, it is clear the Cloud has evolved into much more than just one basic, universal solution. In fact, from our experience, what is clear is that one size does not fit all.
Last year, research undertaken by the Everest Grouppredicted that Cloud adoption across global service engagements—a market measured at US $40 billion in 2014—is expected to continue its rapid growth through 2018, with 23 to 27 percent per year compound growth. In the coming years, a combination of web scale IT, Hybrid Cloud, Personal Cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) could also bring significant changes. This is likely to require IT providers to move away from simply providing telco infrastructure services to becoming more of a trusted consultant and partner to their customers.
IDG reports that 69 percent of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the Cloud, up from 57 percent 2012. 18 percent plan to use Cloud-based applications and/or computing infrastructure via the Cloud in the next 12 months, and 13 percent within 1 to 3 years.
With Hybrid IT solutions seem to be one of the most popular solutions for organizations at the moment, we predict that we will also soon see a lot more multi-cloud solutions and converged infrastructure being incorporated in the near future. While Hybrid Cloud consists of multiple deployment modes, a multi-cloud architecture consists of multiple providers—in fact, according to an IDC White Paper, businesses can benefit from this type of system, with faster time to market for new services, big reductions in down time as well as a reduction in costs.
Companies that work with a service provider to tailor their infrastructure to their needs, provide control, flexibility, efficiency and resiliency. They can maintain where and how data is stored in various locations and build a Cloud solution specific to their requirements and application workloads, all the while having a fully managed service that lowers the cost of hosting their own infrastructure.
From Buzz to Real Benefits
Welcome to the world of ‘Cloud of Clouds’, where service providers will act as brokers of all of these different types of services.
To achieve a cloud of clouds, collaboration is key. With best of breed service providers set to team up to assist flexibility and choice of Cloud services for customers, managing to right-source workloads to the Cloud and extract value from hybrid deployments has never been easier.
With organizations set to benefit from increased flexibility and collaboration from a variety of different Cloud environment options—it can work for all.
Global telecommunications and IT businesses have come a long way to embrace the opportunities presented by the Cloud, but undoubtedly the opportunities to find the ‘perfect fit’ are still plentiful. Service providers can respond by providing tailored and up-to-date Cloud options to customers, while continuing to listen to their needs in an ever expanding and evolving technologies and services landscape. Service providers that don’t put this at the top of their 2016 agenda are likely to find themselves at risk of falling by the wayside.