"That's how we always have done it!"
Yesterday's IT organizations focused on managing everything by themselves – from server rooms, power supply, cooling, racks, switches, routers to servers, operating systems, databases, applications, firewall rules and user support. And all the maintenance that came with it.
The pendulum has swung sharply among IT consumers, and when cloud services spread widely 10-15 years ago and took qualitative, functional and security steps forward in order to be considered serious alternatives, many businesses saw an opportunity to avoid having a sluggish, cost-intensive and business-blocking IT department. Everything was going to the cloud, cloud-only, was the prevailing mantra.
One problem that arose was that many departments that had internal IT skills became shadow IT groupings to move quickly by themselves, made their own decisions about which solution was best for them without seeing an overall picture of the business's needs and system map. The result was a lack of integration opportunities, cooperation difficulties and a loss of cost control.
Cloud-only emerged to cloud-first and has swung to more pragmatic approaches, from sticking tightly to having a physical infrastructure to seeing cloud services as all or nothing to now being a smorgasbord of possibilities, consuming what suits the need best at any given moment. Today we need a web solution for the summer campaign that will be visible for ten days, tomorrow a complete CRM system for the sales department, and on Tuesday we need a large temporary file area to store log files from the production systems before commissioning. The flexibility of cloud services has become a driving force in itself.
"But should you?"
The question you should ask yourself, your business and your customers is - is it in our strategy and does it add any value to our business or our customers that we manage our own IT infrastructure? Is tying capital investments in physical hardware what drives the company's business forward? Do you want to lock your technical resources into managing hardware or should they help the business develop your customer relationships and free up time to build smarter solutions?
As an IT service provider or IT purchaser, you should consider the value of your investments and the price at which it comes. And the price, consists not only of the actual investment, but also of skills, staff and lead times. Creating a balanced cloud strategy isn't about choosing a single cloud provider and buying everything from the same place. It's about having a model to find the right solution to your problem or challenge, at any given time. Weigh needs, requirements, benefits, risk, opportunity, time, budget and competence against each other and find a way forward. The solution will not be universal and fit all situations, but it will help you in the right direction in decision-making.
It should also not mean that you trade like-for-like, e.g. outsourcing your IT infrastructure with the result being a larger price tag, less control and longer contractual lock-in, but what you buy as a service should instead give you several benefits and direct added value.
Strategic drivers you should take into account:
Do you know how your datacenter electricity is produced? Do you blow out the excess heat from your IT equipment straight into the air? Do your customers put requirements on your environmental impact? At Cloudist we are proud to be world leaders and with our services contribute to a positive climate footprint (https://cloudistsolutions.com/about/sustainability/, https://cloud.vmware.com/providers/zero-carbon).
Do you see value in being able to scale your solutions - up, down or outwards - to suit your needs, whenever the need arises?
We know that our partners have a high level of competence, which is why we give them the tools they need to adapt their solutions, when they need it.
Are your software developers the ones who design, build, manage and continuously update your solutions? Then they probably want control of the infrastructure themselves, without your or your supplier's involvement in the supply chain.
With modern products and platforms, Cloudist wants to provide access to our services through APIs, so that no obstacles get in the way of letting your business deliver value, over and over again.
- Data locality
Is your data important to you? Really important? To such a degree that you even have legislative or regulatory requirements on where you store it?
We know that data locality and transparency is of great importance to many customers, so with us the data is located in Sweden, in Swedish datacenters, owned and operated by Swedish companies. Simply, Swedish.
Do you want to wait for someone to restart your server that's hanged?
Do you want to wait to increase your capacity when your customers require it?
Do you want to wait to expand your storage capacity when your backup jobs stopped because you ran out of disk?
If you are not satisfied with this, you buy services through a modern service platform where you take care of yourself. Maybe at Cloudist.
At many cloud providers, it's hard to get a grip on your monthly cost of your consumption, hence all the advanced calculators and spreadsheets. If you buy a service, you expect the monthly cost for one month to be the same as for next month, if there are no drastic changes. With costs such as data transfers over networks, read/write operations against storage, or for each case you open at the service desk, you pretty quickly lose control.
We believe in simplicity and predictability, which means that the value of the service grows with the investment you make. There is no contract, binding agreements or baseline costs - you only pay for what you use.
- Geographical distribution/redundancy
Do you need to be able to spread your solutions geographically to reduce risks? Are customers in need of low response times and you want to get close to them with your solution? Does the business require high redundancy or disaster protection to reduce the impact of major outages?
Our services are delivered from several regions in Sweden, and your services can be built distributed, redundant or in the way that suits your business and customer requirements.
Networking capabilities is a core building block when designing modern IT services. Can you scale your capacity on demand? Are you having troubles sleeping at night because of that shaky, single Internet connection? Can't get hold of that extra public IP address to publish your new service?
At Cloudist we know the value of reliable networking, and deliver redundant connections from trusted providers by the click of a button. If you have the need of extending your enterprise network through your network provider of choice to our cloud services, we'll help you out.
- Security and compliance
Do you know who pulled the network cable in the switch? Or who has access to your servers?
Our business is ISO 27001 certified and we work according to the ITIL framework. We continuously ensure that the security of our service delivery meets our high standards.
Is your business driven by following the latest trends, perhaps with Kubernetes and modern applications? Or object storage? Or hybrid cloud solutions that give you the best of both worlds?
Our strategic driving force is innovation, and if you feel the same way, you are in the right place.
Still feel uncertain? Contact us, info@cloudistsolutions, or call us at +46 10 788 20 30 and we'll help you on your journey!
Robert Brink, Cloud Architect