“Cloud can be the centerpiece of an overall organizational transformation,” writes Meenagi Venkat for IBM’s Thoughts on Cloud blog. That is today. His team in a recent survey asked: how are organizations currently differentiating themselves using cloud. 78% of the executives they surveyed identified their cloud initiatives as “coordinated or fully integrated.” That is a big jump considering that Mr. Venkat’s team also found that in 2012, just 4 years ago, cloud was considered “special.” A special project, a pilot project – no longer for enterprises, today, cloud is opening up new markets and revenue streams for businesses across many industries. And much of successful cloud use is a combination of public, private and internal systems – hybrid.
Why has the cloud allowed many companies to succeed in new ways? One reason Mr. Venkat’s team points out is its natural on-demand and scalable features. These cloud features have created new testing environments that are quick and automated enabling what he calls “rapid experimentation.” Companies can more easily test new ideas and find out failure or success faster, and when they find success they can move quickly to roll out and expand. Often businesses are achieving this success through a blend of public cloud, private cloud and traditional IT services. They are taking the approach that a hybrid model should be molded to best fit their company needs.
What if your company is just getting started or has had some success and wants to go further? Mr. Venkat’s study found that common considerations or questions that you should start to address are the following:
- Hybrid. How will your company blend public, private and your own IT systems to take your strategy and operations to the next level?
- Investment and monitoring. What level of investment can your company make? What will your company need to regularly monitor and how does that change over time?
- External expertise. Firms achieving success in the survey are also taking advantage of outside resources to gain expertise and efficiency. How effective is your company with utilizing external expertise?
The cloud can open up new doors for your company but you need to have a solid strategy and the right tools and people in place. Approach the different models not as all or nothing, but instead blend the models into a hybrid approach that works best for your company – that is cloud today.