Private, public and hybrid cloud solutions are the main options available to companies looking to put operations or applications into the cloud.

Of those three options, public cloud is the one that many businesses hesitant about. There are many reasons for this but the two main reasons we hear time and time again are regarding the often weaker security of public cloud and a lack of control and configuration.

But for smaller businesses, the public cloud is a viable alternative to running your own data centre environment. In fact, T-Systems’ manager of portfolio and solution design, Ryan Skipp, argues that the public cloud still offers value to businesses large or small.

“Public cloud itself remains a boon as it enables companies to track costs with revenue much more closely. You can also access a vast number of services and functions that you don’t have to develop or maintain yourself. And if the fit is poor, you can simply drop what doesn’t work or change quickly if you realise you are on the wrong track,” says Skipp.

If this is indeed the case, why then did research firm IDC state that 85 percent of customers would move from a public cloud to on-prem, private cloud or on-prem, non-cloud solutions by the close of 2019?

As Skipp explains quite simply, many businesses aren’t prepared for what moving to the cloud means.

“Cloud more than often fails as governance is not in place to support it. This is why planning ahead and defining your compliance and control requirements for your various business environments is recommended. Once done, providers must be matched with those requirements. The use of multiple cloud providers then becomes optimal – each one has its own merits and they should provide the approved services to the business, based on acceptable compliance and integration,” the manager explains.

The technology is just one aspect of the cloud argues Skipp. The real implementation involves getting the entire business onboard and learning about the new environment.

It’s important then to consider the cloud as an engine with various components, if one of those components isn’t performing well or performing poorly, the entire engine has issues.

In the context of a business, launching a cloud solution before all facets of the business are prepared could lead to increased security risks and ever higher costs.

“The recommended route is to start with updated governance, and update policies regarding use and security. Classify your business applications and assign responsibility – the business owners are responsible for the data created in their business processes – and contract IT to manage it for them,” explains Skipp.

Some things that should be done according to Skipp include:

  • Pre-contract with each public cloud vendor, based on compliance and user requirements
  • Create blueprints to access data
  • Define interfaces for integration to access data
  • Query existing internal systems

The T-Systems South Africa manager also says that a good idea is to bring in a consultant to help the business understand security and protection requirements of the public cloud.

Once again, we should mention that the right cloud solution is the cloud solution that works for your business.

But whether that is public, private or a hybrid model, it’s wise to prepare all aspects of your business for the shift.

Otherwise you might not see the benefits and end up spending more than you’d like.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]