A guide to unlocking the managed cloud opportunity

Cloud is rapidly becoming the standard way of doing business and organisations globally are utilising it as a tool for innovation and business transformation.

Those who successfully use the cloud to achieve growth will have a mature, strategic view of how best to implement and integrate it across their organisations.

As cloud strategies mature and the business benefits of implementing cloud throughout the organisation become clear, hybrid cloud has emerged as the consensus choice to support business growth.

Nearly half of enterprises globally already use some form of hybrid cloud and 72% of enterprises are expected to pursue a hybrid strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions make it easy to deploy new business models and technologies like cognitive analytics, which have the power to transform businesses.

Managed cloud

Managed cloud as part of a wider hybrid cloud strategy allows organisations to utilise cloud computing without having to employ an expert in every area. Companies that use managed cloud can focus on their core business rather than having to divert their cash reserves employing large teams IT experts, technical engineers and system administrators and other experts to manage their IT.

A managed cloud provider will offer its customers a range of expertise as well as large economies of scale as the provider’s engineers manage not only the customers’ computing, storage, networks, and operating systems, but also the complex tools and application stacks that run on top of that infrastructure.

These can include the latest databases and ecommerce platforms, as well as automation tools. Managed cloud allows each individual customer to choose which IT functions it wishes to manage in-house, leaving all the rest to its chosen service provider.

By partnering with a managed cloud provider, specialists can work with organisations to design and tailor an architecture specific to a customer’s application needs.

The provider will also update an organisational architecture on an on-going basis as its requirements evolve and as new features and cloud services become available.

The provider should be able to offer services across a broad range of technologies and deployment models — including dedicated hosting, private cloud platforms like OpenStack and leading public clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Cloud as a delivery mechanism

The combination of choice and expertise means that the provider will deliver an architecture designed to meet an organisation’s application’s specific performance, availability and scalability requirements while eliminating the need for them to retain costly architects in-house.

According to IDC, by 2018, cloud will become a preferred delivery mechanism for analytics, increasing public information consumption by 150% and paving the way for thousands of new industry applications.

New industry applications mean more data will be created and with this comes the challenges around the management of data. Data has little value if it is not available to be analysed and used to help grow the business.

From a tactical point of view, the challenge is to set about finding the best way to ensure data is stored, managed and analysed, without incurring expensive overheads and in a scalable way to allow for rapid future growth.

A managed cloud infrastructure combined with a powerful database that has the speed and flexibility to deploy complex, analytics, can address all these concerns and help an organisation quickly innovate and build new analytical applications.

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