Technical blogs are awash with articles about the benefits of the cloud for business. It’s sometimes difficult to separate genuine plus points from buzzwords and hyperbole. I spend a great deal of my time at Dell discussing cloud products and services with customers. The discussion often starts with me asking ‘do you want to make money or to save money. These basic business questions allow everyone to clearly see the objectives and focus on achieving them.
So strip away the hype behind the cloud and get back to basics. Just why should you consider cloud computing solutions from Dell? The answers are a lot more straightforward than the tech press may have you believe.
1. Integration makes cloud work better for you
Treat cloud as another potential IT service stream. In the past, servers would have been standalone physical boxes; now, thanks to the cloud, “the computer” is no longer the point of focus. The focus can be the end result. When you use Public Transport, do you worry that different routes might have different makes of bus?
Dell believes that cloud solutions should support your business. Integration is the key. Integrating cloud services into your existing systems will build flexibility and agility into your business. Using cloud services integrated with existing services is becoming the norm.
2. Plan for Security and keep informed about status
This is important. Your users, either internal or external, will view your security as an expression of your how much they can trust and value your organisation. In all cases, plan and keep adapting/updating your security processes and policy. Sometimes you may wish to bring in external security specialists for services, products or expertise. Dell can bring to your security planning world class products and services. The key is to protect your data invisibly and robustly.
3. Maintain, Measure and Monitor Affordability
The cloud’s best asset is that it’s adaptable. So for example, many organisations use Cloud to create a buffer when internal capacity is reaching its limit. Like all resources, monitor your cloud usage across the organisation. It is imperative that a wise investment does not become a forgotten overhead.
4. Put Cloud Elasticity to the test
No business is static, and the cloud can adapt to your company’s changing needs: that’s what it’s made for. When planning your cloud service or negotiating with your service provider, start the discussion with your exit strategy. If your cloud service is truly elastic, this should not be a problem. If the service provider struggles to understand what you mean, then you risk getting stuck with “Hotel California” syndrome (you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.)
5. Cloud Maturity
It’s impossible to pinpoint the date that the phrase ‘cloud computing’ was coined, though experts claim Google’s Eric Schmidt first gave it credibility in a 2006 speech. Cloud is no longer new and untested. So here comes the awkward moment. If you are not using the cloud to help you make money or save money; then it is highly likely your competition already has an advantage over you.
When is a good time to move to the Cloud?
Simple answer: When you have the business need. Start with the make money/save money question. Pick one. It focuses the mind and forces the business discussion to happen first. Next time we can look at what sort of projects might suit the cloud. For now; speak to your Dell representative about cloud computing solutions and start the make money-save money though process.
Improve your business processes with Dell’s great range of secure and scalable cloud solutions, which can be found at dell.co.uk. Make sure you check out the site for the latest solutions on offer.
About the Author: Paul Brook is Big Data & Cloud Program Manager at Dell.
E-mail: paul_brook[at]dell.com | Twitter: @PaulBrookatDell