As we’ve discussed in two of our latest blogs, more organizations are moving away from an all public cloud strategy in favor of a combination of public and private cloud solutions that can better meet agility, control and security requirements.That’s because hybrid cloud provides significant benefits to organizations – workloads can move between environments as computing needs and costs change, interdependent applications can run across multiple landing zones, and automation and orchestration capabilities minimize the movement and rebalance of applications. All in all, this means increased flexibility and cost savings.
But where do organizations start when it comes to building out their hybrid cloud strategies? Here are seven key steps every company should consider:
- Cloud Governance – When embracing hybrid cloud, governance is an important part of a cohesive strategy. With cloud governance, organizations can define applicable policies, maintain control and strengthen security.
- Team and Support Model – By creating cloud implementation, operations, support and governance teams, organizations can better establish specific roles and responsibilities, and therefore increase success.
- Onboarding Practices – Enterprises should develop a practice for onboarding cloud vendors and auxiliary services. Proof of concepts, training programs, and an established support infrastructure each contributes to long-term success.
- Cloud Provider Selection – It’s critical that organizations select the right cloud provider(s) to use with their internal infrastructure. Among other traits, look for organizations that can tailor their services to meet your specific business needs.
- Defense Against Lock-in – One of the biggest complaints about public cloud is cost. Many organizations don’t understand how expensive public cloud services can be. To avoid these issues, companies should define guidelines for how cloud services should and shouldn’t be used to avoid lock-in and cost overruns.
- Network Connectivity – Connectivity is the lifeblood of your company. Understanding the data flow requirements across your hybrid environment is paramount to minimizing bandwidth costs and overcoming latency concerns. Moreover, data security needs to be a key concern in designing your hybrid network connectivity.
- Financial Management Framework – Defending against lock-in isn’t the only way to control cloud costs. Organizations must define policies, procedures and systems to manage purchasing, accounting and cost allocation of cloud services.
Which of these key steps do CIOs find most challenging? From our research and client conversations, network connectivity is a key stumbling block in developing an efficient hybrid cloud infrastructure. Governing how cloud resources are used and tracking the financial implications of its usage come in a close second and third.
Finding the right combination of cloud solutions to optimize workloads and applications isn’t easy, but by focusing on these key hybrid cloud steps, organizations can move toward a cloud environment that is cost-effective, flexible and secure. At Markley, we believe that service providers should work with organizations every step of the way to make this happen, as opposed to taking a one-size-fits-all approach.