How Private Cloud Can Be an Essential Element of Digital Transformation
Cloud computing has evolved from cutting-edge to industry standard as companies move more of their data offsite. However, as companies gain better understanding of their application workloads, they have increasingly found that a hybrid approach can lead to even greater benefits. Economics and performance data have persuaded them to re-evaluate how they store and manage data. This is leading companies to on-premises private cloud solutions to formulate better strategy to host and manage critical data and workloads.
Here are some of the factors influencing private cloud usage.
The use of software to convert every element of the data center into a service has changed the IT industry.
However, this software-focused approach reaches an even higher level when extreme automation is integrated with composable, converged or hyperconverged infrastructure. These integrated stacks deploy infrastructure as code solutions, while software-defined storage and networks provide the agility companies want and need. These factors make the private cloud equal to public cloud infrastructure in the most important ways, including cost and ability to scale up and down.
Specialized computing workloads demand large amounts of resources on a continual basis and have altered how the cloud operates. The computing horsepower needed to design an aircraft wing differs greatly from the capacity required to process warehouse inventory. Many application workloads demand greater memory, bandwidth, and CPU and graphics specifications.
When handling data-intensive tasks, private cloud solutions have shown they can manage these needs well, while also offering better performance at a better price.
Container, microservices and serverless architecture usage has expanded and become a de facto standard. These have boosted resource utilization levels, decoupling them from the underlying infrastructure. The result is optimized usage and seamless migration from one cloud to another.
Software-defined features, which are dynamically managed, have enabled these technologies to operate in the private cloud with minimal issues.
Private cloud services are built with operating expense-based pricing and flexible models.
Previously, hardware leasing was the way of spreading costs in this model. But now there are options like on-demand capacity additions, pay-as-you-go models and standardized charging of resource units. These provide cost certainty as well as flexibility.
A 2019 Infosys cloud research report found that cost was the top reason (46%) that companies selected a private cloud option. That’s particularly beneficial for companies that have applications with predictable requirements.
Global activities require a global data presence. Distributed data centers are becoming required for many enterprises. Thanks to increased edge computing and integrated hybrid cloud management, interoperability is a must. The competitive cloud ecosystem is seeing increased collaboration among private cloud company and hyperscale cloud providers.
Some of the notable collaborations are the Azure strategy to support Linux and VMware on Amazon Web Services, Azure Stack or Google Anthos. Competition is still intensive, but flexibility and collaboration are also an important part of the ecosystem.
A private cloud provider is better positioned to meet data residency requirements. With many countries and states passing or pursuing strict data regulation, data residency has become an important part of the IT decision-making process. Many businesses will be forced to keep some of their data within specific countries to comply with industry and geography-specific regulations. This is enabling an increased adoption of the private cloud.
Infosys research last year found that more than one-third (36%) of companies chose the private cloud for its regulatory benefits. That was the third most common reason, trailing only security and cost.
Business need to look both inward and outward to determine their best cloud approach.
Technology advancements, such as 5G and its increased speed and low latency, are predicted to fuel the growth of edge computing and benefit private cloud adoption. In a 2019 Infosys Knowledge Institute 5G research report, 93% of respondents were investigating or defining use cases, or defining a service portfolio and establishing supply chains.
Decisions about how to utilize the cloud will be unique to each business. However, there are important questions to ask when choosing an approach.
- Is my strategy “cloud first” or “cloud right”?
- Has my cloud adoption paid off? Should I revisit that decision?
- Did I get the flexibility I envisioned?
- Has there been a change in regulatory compliance?
The answers to these strategic questions create a starting point for organizations to review long-held assumptions and determine their cloud future.