A hybrid cloud deployment that falls short of expectations may not only hurt your company, but also put your career on the line.
The pressure on IT has never been greater. If you're taking on a major technology implementation — for example, a new cloud initiative — senior executives will be watching. Moving too slowly or spending beyond your budget will test leadership's patience. And you don’t want to lose their trust or support.
Here are four common challenges IT leaders must address when trying to meet business needs with a hybrid cloud strategy.
1. Meeting Line-of-Business Expectations
The modern technology-driven business is about delivering what the business needs. Now IT can't just say "no" when line-of-business (LOB) managers or other business leaders make a request. IT is expected to be a service broker to the business — i.e. sit down with colleagues, understand what they want and then deploy the optimal solution. In fact, IT might even need to meet internal SLAs in terms of timetable, budget, etc.
2. Controlling Shadow IT
A truly agile IT department should be able to give LOB employees access to the technology they want — fast. If you don't deliver what they need when they need it, or you impose too many restrictions, they'll buy their own (unauthorized) software with their corporate credit card.
Of course, by going rogue like this, employees create security risks and many other potential problems. Shadow IT must be controlled. How are you going to do it?
3. Managing Costs to Run Cloud Workloads
Many business people assume deploying a workload to the public cloud like AWS will be cheap. The reality depends on the workload type. For some workloads, the public cloud is cost-effective. For others, such as a continuously running workload, an on-premises server probably makes more sense. So you have to deploy each workload to the right environment while also being realistic and informed about cost projections.
4. Acquiring Budgets for New Deployments
If you're asking leadership for more money, you need to prove the business is going to realize a satisfactory ROI. Consider the issue of storage. Recently, we've seen exponential year-over-year increases in the amount of business data being stored. To accommodate this growth, businesses used to invest in more storage hardware each year. When cloud storage emerged as a viable alternative, senior business leaders started questioning this investment. IT had to figure out a better way.
So when considering a hybrid cloud strategy, you need to think more broadly and focus on improving the economics. If you don't do that, your budget will dry up. After all, it makes no sense to keep throwing good money after bad.
Why Partner with an Outside Vendor?
There's too much on the line not to call on the expertise of those who have actually deployed hybrid cloud strategies before. An experienced vendor can help you establish appropriate expectations, communicate properly with senior leadership, set up a schedule for migration, optimize your premises data center and much more.
If you would like to learn more, about the challenges that are top-of-mind for IT leaders in the cloud era, watch our Hybrid Cloud Exploration Webinar series with Frost & Sullivan.