What you need to know about hybrid cloud solutions

Cloud services are becoming an increasingly common solution for businesses, but dealing with multiple platforms, vendors, locations and compliance can be tricky. Rik Harris from Cloud Strategy at Telstra spoke to us about how hybrid cloud can help.

Why are so many organisations considering hybrid cloud?

“Firstly, most IT organisations are somewhat constrained with the activities they can afford to invest in.” explains Rik, “This means they want to spend their limited resources on business value-adding capabilities. So, organisations start to move some of their capabilities to external service providers, whether an infrastructure provider on which they build their applications like Azure, AWS, or a software provider to consume entire applications like Office 365 for email or Salesforce for CRM.”

“Secondly, there is a measurable trend where employees are making decisions to consume cloud services independently of the IT organisation. Examples such as marketing executives purchasing a marketing analytics service or file sharing application or sales executives purchasing a CRM/sales force management service.”

“The combination of these forces leads to a variety of requirements and therefore a variety of target deployment models (public cloud, private cloud, internal virtualised platform, hosted clouds, etc.)”

Rik says “We also tend to use the term ‘Hybrid IT’ rather than hybrid cloud, because the reality is that most customers will use cloud for only some of their workloads, so they will need to operate both cloud and non-cloud environments.”

What are the challenges of running a hybrid cloud environment?

According to Rik:

1. CIOs have spent years managing issues within their data centres, such as single identity, monitoring, capacity planning, financial management, audit/regulatory compliance, etc. Introducing cloud services means that many of these previously solved problems are reintroduced into the organisation. For many CIOs the complexity and financial challenges of these issues can be a large burden.

2. Each cloud provider operates in a different way. Network connectivity, identity management, role management, service definitions all vary between providers, even if the product looks similar.

3. Dealing with multiple providers, most of which are not interested in working with each other, can be time-consuming and frustrating.

“In response to these challenges, Telstra Cloud Services is an ideal solution to manage multiple vendors through a single partner on a single secure network.” Rik says.

What are the benefits of a hybrid cloud solution through a provider like Telstra…

…for an organisation?
“Organisations can access a variety of services from external providers (and potentially across many business units – not just IT) but still manage spend and access to those services in a consistent and central way.” Says Rik “As Telstra adds new services to our portfolio, the organisation can access these services via a trusted provider, avoiding spending time and money on discovering and integrating new services.”

…for an individual user?
“Telstra’s approach enables the organisation to more easily access different cloud services, which means individual user’s needs can be met. Without this approach, IT may have needed to arbitrarily limit the services that are made available to the users. Additionally, features such as single identity and single sign-on across multiple applications provides end users with a more seamless experience.”

…for a CIOs/IT management?
“CIOs can use Telstra’s integration and aggregation of technology services to save them from doing design, development and integration themselves. Features such as single billing and single point of contact support processes allows them to deal with a single provider rather than managing many supplier relationships.”

What makes Telstra’s hybrid proposition different to competitors?

“Telstra brings together best-in-class cloud services, a range of multi-cloud services such as data, service, security and financial management services, and integrated with our world-leading networks.” Says Rik, “Our unified service management approach with both online and professional services ensures our customers can get the most out of our solutions.”

To find out more about Telstra’s cloud services, visit the website.

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