But What Does It All Mean for Your Strategic IT Planning?
You’re engaged making strategic decisions about enterprise-wide computing today that will impact your business for years to come. But what are the current and future trends that need to be fed into the decision making process? Underestimating the impact of cloud in your thinking is not an option. We explore where cloud is going and some key points that need proper attention.
It’s widely accepted that evolution of the cloud is significantly impacting strategic thinking when it comes to making informed decisions on colocation strategy. The colocation decision isn’t a financial one taken in isolation of other significant factors, but then again, it never was. Factors such as uptime and SLAs, power management, scalability, physical security, fire and natural disaster mitigation and travel distance to your colocation always formed part of the equation. Nowadays, the evolution of cloud and how it impacts on strategy is another hugely important consideration to be added into the mix.
In fact, cloud is arguably leading strategic thinking on the whole colocation debate.
What do the numbers say?
Interestingly, Gartner are forecasting a continued increase in global IT spending overall, putting the figure at $3.8 trillion for 2015. This represents an increase of 2.4% from the 2014 number.
Now, compare and contrast this to IDC’s prediction that cloud infrastructure spending is set to increase to $32 billion in 2015, an increase of 21% over the 2014 figure, and you clearly appreciate the significance of cloud in the strategic IT decision making process. Moreover, the significantly higher percentage spend on cloud when compared to IT overall is predicted by IDC to continue at an average rate of 14% over the next five years.
However you slice and dice the numbers, the trend for cloud spending is significantly upwards and that has very real implications for enterprise IT planning. Whether your colocation strategy is centric on public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud there are many important elements to factor in.
Here are some basic considerations that should feed into your colocation and cloud migration decision making process going forwards:
- How to best position yourself to take advantage of the evolution of cloud services.
- Colocation comes first, the cloud comes next.
- Assess the impact of your non-cloud ready applications to your migration-to-cloud strategy.
- Regulatory requirements and their effect on your desired route to cloud.
- Change management considerations.
- Contractual considerations – does the contract you sign today leave you the flexibility to take advantage of reducing costs going forwards for example?
- Can a specialist colocation provider truly offer you the end-to-end partnership solution you need, taking into account a hybrid strategy?
The last point is, naturally, one that needs special consideration. The planning process will lead you to conclude which elements of the available IT landscape you need to purchase. If your strategy dictates that you only need to acquire certain discreet elements, you may preclude the need for a strategic end-to-end solution provider and trusted partner.
On the other hand, if your strategy demands a more holistic, multi-discipline approach such as a hybrid of colocation, public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud your choice of trusted partner is a crucial one.