A cloud strategy that makes the difference

Mike Sewart
By , - Enabling Digital

We’re in the midst of the golden age of digital adoption.

As it stands, we’re expected to reach 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020. Digital is revolutionising our lives more than ever before and, consequently, what we’re seeing is growth in cloud services increasing at an irresistible rate.

This digital revolution would not have reached such heights had it not been for the cloud – and it continues to make digital services more effective than ever before.

Now, more cloud platforms can come together to provide business services for the enterprise. Soon, businesses that don’t adopt cloud platforms will risk falling behind competitors and face high costs. Organisations simply can’t afford to rely on legacy systems.

This growth of cloud also creates complexity. The cloud can be a disparate and fragmented space – making the new world of fast IT highly desirable, but also quite difficult to achieve.

The challenge comes in integrating the legacy estate into an ecosystem of third party public cloud platforms in a seamless way, to provide ‘best of breed’ business services.

So, the question is, how do businesses achieve this?

Applying a hybrid IT strategy

Companies want to be more agile and enjoy greater flexibility so as to take advantage of new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data – the basis of which is cloud.

To effectively embrace cloud and an organisation’s current estate, businesses need to contemplate a hybrid IT approach that allows them to embrace fast IT whilst also leveraging existing legacy systems.

There are tools available to address the challenges and mitigate the risks of this.

Digital enablement platforms, for example, can help businesses manage the different speeds of IT, while allowing for robust security, visibility across multiple cloud platforms and effective cost management.

Organising a hybrid IT environment is a balancing act involving multiple factors. Agility, fast delivery, automation, compliance and security all need to be catered for when designing the right service, and by working with the right partner, it’s easily within the realms of possibility.

Success is all about how the service, supply, processes and people knit together to deliver a secure, seamless customer experience.

By understanding the strategic goals and business-specific needs, organisations will quickly understand the value of a hybrid strategy.

A human connection

Hybrid cloud services provide a great platform for organisations to leverage human-centric IT services due to the inherent connectivity, scaling potential and commercial models on offer.

Once a hybrid IT strategy is in place, organisations can start thinking and creating new services without constraints – helping employees to do their jobs more effectively.

For example, if a gas engineer fixing a boiler at a resident’s house is missing a part, with the click of a button they can check whether there is a nearby engineer with the part required. The result is happy customer, with their issue fixed “first time” – and a happy utility company, pleased not to be spending more time and cost rearranging a second call out.

Moreover, digital technologies can also change the nature of training, so that individuals can have personalised training suited to the needs of their role.  If a lone worker is struggling to fix a broken pipe, they can stream the problem live to the back office through a camera on their helmet to ask for assistance – receiving real-time remote assistance on the job.

Thanks to such technologies, workforces can collaborate more easily and cut out the need for error-prone complete automation.

A hybrid future

Cloud will only continue to have a greater impact on our day-to-day lives, so having a hybrid IT strategy in place is vital if organisations are to offer a ‘best of breed’ service to customers.

New innovative services such as IoT has a lot of potential in 2017, but needs a secure and scalable platform to sit on, making it critical for organisations have the right foundations in place.

Collaborating with the right partners is critical to the success of organisations’ transformation agendas.

By navigating the journey to achieve an ideal balance of hybrid IT services, there’ll be huge benefits not only for efficiency and agility, but employees themselves too.

Hybrid IT, if implemented correctly, should allow organisations to digitise with confidence.

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