Today’s business climate demands speed, agility and scale. Organizations must quickly disrupt their industries or risk being disrupted.
And business leaders know that agility and change are imperative for organizations if they want to stay in business. By some estimates, 40% of Fortune 500 companies will not be here in 10 years.
But which technologies will help you survive and be a thriving organization? How do ensure you continue to innovate and reinvent in a way that adds value to the business?
One answer could be Cloud computing. Cloud has been a major boon to business. Cloud technologies enables an enterprise to quickly supplement its internal computing resources on demand, without having to invest time and money into building out their on-premises IT capacity.
Still, Cloud’s true potential has remained unfulfilled. The current landscape is largely one of disparate clouds. Leveraging these isolated precincts requires considerable time and effort.
Transitioning workloads between clouds can be a tedious endeavor. It requires specialized hardware and software. While security policies don’t seamlessly extend into the public cloud. Rather than help IT be more agile, these difficulties can add cycles to seemingly simple tasks.
One potentially huge boon to a reimagined cloudscape is the Intercloud -- the interconnected cloud of clouds. With Intercloud, companies can extend security policies into the public cloud ensuring their data is protected. Moving workloads becomes a seamless process. New capabilities can be delivered on demand. And IT doesn’t have to worry about users unintentionally introducing security risks since policies are in place and scalability is nearly infinite.
“Cloud computing is a transformative way of thinking about buying and using technology, allowing businesses of all sizes to enjoy the benefits of complex technology on-demand. The move toward true connectivity between clouds will tear down the barriers that limit the real promise of cloud computing – making true workload portability and cross-cloud policy and control more seamless,” said Robert Mahowald, vice president of SaaS and Cloud for IDC. “Interconnected clouds offer great promise for corporations to be able to enjoy the flexibility and agility of the cloud and attain true business value.”
The possibilities of the Intercloud transcend traditional technology barriers. For example, an engineer involved in automobile design wants to expand his plan for smarter heads-up dashboard display. Given current constraints, the engineer may have to negotiate a long path through the firm’s corporate IT process to obtain the requisite technology resources.
However, the Intercloud can put the necessary computing power within the engineers’ easy reach. That way, products can move from concept to prototype to marketplace at greater speed, efficiency and economy.
The Intercloud: Back to the Future, 1994?
Does this sort of game-changing transition seem familiar? If so, it’s because it’s similar to the early days of the modern Internet: When the World Wide Web made the once-arcane Internet accessible in the early 1990s. That’s when the cyberspace population swelled, with workplaces and households alike logging on for the first time.
With this transition, the Internet realized its vast untapped potential for new business opportunities and enormous economic growth: everything from online shopping and social networking, to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
And just like an ubiquitous Internet spawned countless products and services, the Intercloud is ready to give businesses the kind of computing power they need to take their organizations to a higher level of innovation and opportunity.
The Cloud: Caveats Duly Noted
In terms of providing business with the same sort of technological impetus as the Internet and the Web, the cloud deserves an enormous amount of credit.
The Cloud has granted nearly limitless processing and storage resources to businesses—many that might not be able otherwise afford it.
By 2018, 78 percent of workloads will be processed in the cloud1.
Opting to utilize on-demand cloud capacity rather than building your own infrastructure can be a wise, forward-thinking move.
However, it can also create new challenges maintaining adequate security of and control over workloads. Not all public clouds will be compatible with your internal systems, or with each other. This can hamper your developers’ ability to move workloads across platforms and introduce complexity that diminishes business agility.
One way Intercloud can help solve that problem is that it enables automated workload transfer between multiple private and public cloud environments allowing developers to deploy applications faster. Additionally through Intercloud, IT can extend network policies to public clouds and applications. This way, as an application moves around from cloud to cloud, the policies automatically follow.
Weaving the Intercloud “Fabric”
The Intercloud makes an organization more agile by linking private and public cloud resources via a set of open standards and protocols. This common interoperable fabric ensures that clouds can communicate, despite any differences in their underlying technologies, their hosts, or their host locations.
The Intercloud lets businesses retain control over their applications and data in the cloud. It assures that the cloud host is conforming to the firm’s corporate security policies and compliance requirements.
Think of the Intercloud as a secure global cloud ecosystem—one in which adding and managing a workload is not unlike installing an app on a smartphone.
By overcoming the hurdles that so often delay or defer cloud deployments, the Intercloud allows an enterprise to fully embrace the benefits of hybrid cloud for uses such as capacity augmentation and development.
Through the Intercloud, the IT department can become a true partner with business units and broker of services that help the business achieve its objectives such as R&D, sales, marketing, customer service.
When your firm’s business units can easily tap into vetted, self-serve cloud resources, they become empowered to experiment and innovate. This will give employees the latitude to work in the way that enables them to be the most productive.
Another aspect of the Intercloud’s technological empowerment: Your organization will sidestep the inherent costs and risks of unsanctioned or rogue technology projects, better known as “shadow IT.”
Much like the Internet evolved two decades ago, the Intercloud can foster collaboration and innovation by delivering computing power to every corner of your business.
Organizations that start early on Intercloud planning are setting themselves up to reap the benefits of a more agile business, a more empowered workforce, and ultimately, reduced expenses and enhanced revenues.
1 Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology 2013-2018
Four Questions to Ask to Find Out if Intercloud is Right for You
By 2018, 78% of business workloads will be processed in the cloud1. But are IT teams losing control and flexibility as a result?
The Intercloud lets you harness cloud power, but on a timetable that works with your business’s best practices and objectives.
Ask these questions regarding the cloud vendors you’re considering:
1. Do we have a sufficient range of choices? Your organization’s particular business requirements may be limiting you to just a few options.
2. Can the cloud vendors we’re considering ensure a consistent cloud experience? You’ll need to confirm if the cloud environment and management experience will be the same, regardless of provider and location.
3. Will we maintain control over our data? Establish the degree to which you can control the security and sovereignty of data and applications. Can you implement changes, based on your firm’s timetable, personnel or processes?
4. How easily can we stay in compliance in this cloud environment? Do these cloud hosts meet the demands of the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) and other key data compliance regulations?
If you’re not content with the answers, the Intercloud may be an alternative. It links public and private clouds, via open standards, to ensure workload portability, interoperability, security and regulatory compliance.
1 Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology 2013-2018