Adopting cloud services for enterprise mobility is a major challenge. A recent survey by Crowd Research Partners found that 45 percent of organizations have general security concerns, 41 percent are worried about data loss, 31 percent are reluctant to lose control, and 29 percent are concerned about legal and regulatory compliance.
If you don’t have expertise in cloud-based services and platforms, it is wise to look at a cloud aggregator or a cloud service provider. Spinning up an enterprise cloud service is not a trivial task for your internal IT department. It is much easier to partner with a third party that has a strong track record of delivering world-class cloud services.
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The state of cloud services
But before we get to that, a quick look at trends in cloud services. Companies continue to see a proliferation of the cloud within their environments, but the landscape is a complex mix of public and private.
According to Right Scale’s 2015 State of the Cloud Report,” 88 percent of enterprises are using public cloud, while 63 percent use private cloud. Today 82 percent of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 74 percent in 2014.
Cloud spending decisions are made in central IT for 62 percent of companies, and 43 percent of IT teams offer a self-service portal, with another 41 percent currently planning or developing one.
As you look to integrate mobility into a cloud service, these are some of the best practices to keep in mind.
1. A partner you can trust
A 2012 Lieberman Software survey found that 86 percent of IT professionals chose to keep their most sensitive data on the local network, rather than in the cloud, and 88 percent believed that some of their cloud-hosted data could be lost, corrupted, or accessed by unauthorized individuals. That really has to change.
Your chosen partner should have a solid framework around security and data sovereignty, so that you know your data is in safe hands. It’s vital to find a partner with deep domain expertise and a proven ability to execute.
Look for a differentiated portfolio that shows a depth and breadth of capabilities. A partner with long-term vision and a clear, tightly integrated roadmap and release plan can assuage concerns about security.
2. A tightly integrated and dispersed platform
Your partner should have a high-quality track record for release stability. You want to get the latest releases in your environment quickly, without any disruption to the business.
Ideally, there will be a balance between location and compute workload. Good global coverage can spread compute loads closer to where users are actually located. Avoid centralized, single-location offerings.
3. Consider economies of scale
One of the major advantages of cloud-aggregated partners is that they can take advantage of economies of scale. If you were to deliver the same thing internally, it would be far more expensive.
According to OilPro, the cost of network access for a typical company’s data center with 1,000 servers is $95/Mbps/month, whereas for cloud data centers it’s around $13/Mbps/month. That’s a staggering 7 to 1 ratio.
4. Standardized services
It’s important that capabilities are standard across the board to provide clarity and make it easier to understand what’s on offer. Standardization also drives a higher level of reuse. Bundles can further simplify feature complexity, while retaining the flexibility that you need to get the right outcome.
Bottom line: The cost to deliver industrialized cloud-based services is 40 percent lower than with ad hoc models.
5. Retain flexibility
This is still a quickly evolving market with many competitors. You don’t want to be locked into a single partner framework for the long term.
One of the advantages of cloud-based services is that they offer an easier and faster transition from one platform to the next. You can also adopt platforms that integrate into alliance partner services. It may not be convenient, but an open policy and balanced ecosystem of partners allows you to continually differentiate and evolve your business with the upmost agility.
The perfect pairing
MarketsandMarkets projects that the BYOD and enterprise mobility market will grow from $72 billion in 2013 to $266 billion by 2019. That’s a CAGR of 25 percent. When you have a disruptive growth of pace like that, the market will shift, and so you need some flexibility to leverage maximum gains.
The right partner will help you take advantage of economies of scale and will deliver a robust, dispersed platform that’s reliable and innovative. And you’ll be able to pick a package that delivers for your specific use case. You need to safeguard flexibility to adopt emerging technologies, innovate, and differentiate your business.