Exploiting the hybrid cloud: how to meet the challenges?
Cloud Computing: Leading companies take up the challenge and manage a combination of on-premise and hybrid cloud services.
As the adoption of public cloud services grows, companies are looking for ways to integrate these services with their existing IT infrastructure and business processes. Despite the many attractions of using utility computing on demand from an external provider, the integration of these services can lead to many technical, regulatory, licensing, billing and other complications for businesses.
Here are some of the approaches that large companies take to manage a combination of public and in-house cloud services.
What is hybrid cloud computing for?
The hybrid cloud is primarily used to provide basic, undifferentiated services on demand. It is therefore not surprising that it is mostly used for generic administrative tasks, such as human resources and finance.
This seems in any case to be true for SAP customers, who choose to focus internal IT resources on areas that differentiate the company.
Gartner, for its part, says its customers plan to make greater use of hybrid cloud computing services by investing in software as a service (SaaS) to quickly get the technologies and expertise needed to seize the hybrid cloud- new business opportunities, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to get platforms to test new ideas.
For Michael Ibbitson, CIO of Gatwick Airport, not having to manage the infrastructure that underpins a service facilitates the use of an alternative when a better choice arises.
“We can choose to switch to another provider” as-a-service “practically when we sing,” he said at the time.
“We can add a new service and test it with a core group of users – if it works better for them than before, we can migrate everyone a lot more simply than when we had to set up and manage all the infrastructure. ”
Take back control
Of course, discussing what needs to be migrated to the public cloud assumes that the IT entity has control over the public cloud services used by company employees.
This is not always the case. The tendency of staff to use public cloud services for personal use has been revealed by figures showing that the most used cloud storage services are mainstream offers from Dropbox and Google, rather than targeted alternatives on companies, such as Box.
Blocking these unapproved services is not an effective way to restrict access. In some cases, banning connections may lead staff to adopt a less secure online service, and the logistics of blocking access may be complicated because of the plethora of devices that can connect to these services.
Some companies are starting to experiment with a way to regain control by developing a business app store that provides staff with easy access to alternative online services that the company approves.
The license puzzle
Even when the IT entity has a say in the hybrid cloud services that the company uses, licensing can be a real headache.
David Wilde, CIO of Essex County General Council, noted that licenses make it difficult to share services between the board and its government partners.
His organization provides services for at least half a dozen other public agencies, but currently cloud computing licenses make it difficult to set up such arrangements.
“And I do not understand why: everything is done between public sector organizations and I can count them down. What is the importance of us or an employee of Basildon Hospital?”
Policies for using cloud computing
Instead of trying to prevent staff from buying cloud services, the BBC has set up a central group to regulate their use and inform employees about the adoption of these services.
The broadcaster defines and communicates policies for using cloud computing and also determines compliance workflows that guide employees through the questions they must ask when they make purchases, step-by-step. The group consists of representatives of a certain name number of departments, including legal, information policy, security, architecture and IT provision, as well as a large number of users.
According to Paul Boyns, the BBC’s infrastructure and infrastructure strategy manager, the approach is to accept the reality of how IT staffs are using a modern business.
“I’m not saying that they are the right people to buy cloud services, but it’s a practice that is very hard to stop, so we need to ask how to mitigate the risk associated with this practice. We have services that are satisfying enough to make staff less likely to go elsewhere. “