Andrew Cruise, managing director, Routed, a vendor-neutral cloud infrastructure provider, says that there is still a lot for local businesses to learn about cloud before they see the true benefits.
Not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, Cruise says that a cloud strategy is different for each business and that it is important for businesses to recognise that there are both different applications and types of cloud: “Certain applications are not suited to a cloud environment, while others are better suited. Cloud cannot be all things to all people, and clients must understand that a move to the cloud won’t immediately satisfy all requirements.”
According to Cruise, it is common to associate cloud with hyper scale public cloud providers such as Amazon’s AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft’s Azure. He says that where these public clouds are ideal for web-native, publicly accessible applications, which are more developer focused, there are other solutions for enterprise cloud that are more suitable for internal business applications: “Even with established infrastructure and systems, expanding or migrating into an enterprise cloud could see benefits such as fast provisioning, pay per use, built-in orchestration and automation, as well as compartmentalising and segregating risk, which is very valuable to the enterprise sector.”
While cloud is rumoured to involve hidden costs, Cruise says that there is an equally hidden cost in internalising the risk of investing in owned infrastructure, maintenance and support: “Cloud providers tend to have better security and maintenance procedures than most companies, what needs to be balanced is the companies' desire for full control of infrastructure with the segregation of risk, within the overall commercial impact of cloud.” He says that companies should also assess their appetite for relinquishing control of their infrastructure, noting that cloud providers limit clients’ own access and responsibility, leaving a high level of control of the cloud infrastructure in the service provider’s hands.
Cloud is more often than not being linked to many technology trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data and analytics. These often rely upon on-demand availability of storage, making it ideally suited to cloud concepts of fast provisioning, pay per use, orchestration and automation. Cruise cautions that because business requirements for this kind of data is often more stringent in terms of security, availability and resilience, a more focused enterprise approach is better suited.
Moving forward, the biggest growth element in cloud, according to Cruise, will be from businesses migrating legacy internal applications out of data centres and into a purpose-built, enterprise cloud: “We also expect significant growth from developers with web native focused, public cloud type applications. These would be more organic, where substituting internal infrastructure for cloud infrastructure will initially be exponential.”