On-premise installation or cloud? Here you can read how your company can realize the advantages of cloud computing and still keep all data, information and workloads under your control, as with an on-premises installation. Companies will no longer have a competitive advantage in the future if they invest in information technology. IT will simply be an infrastructure technology from the socket – just as you buy electricity when you need it, you will also do it with IT in the future.
The providers and users of tailor-made on-premises installations then vigorously rehabilitated their solutions with the idea that they would bring individual benefits to companies, especially if they were wired into business processes – this would give companies a noticeable competitive advantage. You particularly pointed out the difference between meaningful data and information versus meaningless electrons.
For companies, the modernization of IT, today as in the past, should, in particular, be about controlling their values (data and information) to optimize business-relevant processes. For the majority of IT managers, it seems clear that there is no way around cloud computing. But can a strictly standardized IT from the cloud increase the added value in the company to create a differentiating feature in the future? Or is an on-premises installation or outsourcing or colocation more suitable to minimize costs and increase benefits?
Basic cloud technology for data and information
Whether public, private, hybrid or multi-clouds, whether SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, XaaS or serverless: all variants have in common that companies use services from providers that can be reached via the network and that are flexible due to their scalability current needs can be adjusted.
Comparable to electricity from the socket, IT from the cloud can be paid for based on the actual performance. However, the cloud computing variants differ in the scope and type of service, the determination or indeterminacy of the processing locations and the possibilities for users to influence it. The general data protection and information security framework are also different. This diversity and the possibilities for influencing information management and the requirements for legally compliant data processing show that IT is still not as easy to obtain as electricity. But there are cloud offers that can withstand a comparison.
The importance of security now seems to have come to companies. The introduction of the GDPR has helped a lot here. However, the focus on data protection is far too short – cloud security is much more. Methods such as CASB, virtual firewalls or DNS protection have to be introduced. At best, over 60 per cent of companies are still unprotected. Also, a 360-degree integration into an on-premise security architecture is essential – most companies have hybrid structures and are not cloud-only.
Multi cloud: procurement of computing power and storage
The economic advantages of cloud computing for the procurement of IT infrastructure cannot be overlooked:
- Strong reduction of the infrastructure that still has to be maintained;
- Reduction of the need for own IT specialists;
- Avoiding risks of overcapacity and undercapacity;
- Better overview of the costs for data processing.
These are good reasons to consider hiring cloud computing providers.
Companies can now use the hybrid cloud to meet the growing demand for agile, scalable and cost-effective IT solutions. The advantages of hybrid clouds are future-proof investments for companies in scalability, security and flexibility. A parallel procurement of cloud resources from several providers for the same or different workloads, in which all cloud resources are orchestrated via an administration interface (multi-cloud), offers new opportunities for the added value of IT.
Comparable to your solar system for electricity procurement, an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from the private cloud or colocation can ensure a cheap basic supply. However, even with IaaS, it often makes no economic sense to build up your resources for all foreseeable and unpredictable peak loads. If required, these workloads can be provided more cheaply by public cloud providers.
The basis for smooth multi-cloud use is open standards (e.g. API), which ensure easy use of the various infrastructure services. The trend towards multi-cloud is fueled in particular because the different providers have their strengths and weaknesses and are represented to varying degrees in the geographic regions. The user companies are well-advised to pursue a multi-cloud strategy to avoid ties to individual providers and to ensure that all data and information remain under their control in a trustworthy data centre.
In short: Multi Cloud Computing has the potential to increase resource utilization, thereby lower costs and to enable IT to make a positive contribution to value using interlocking data processing with a suitable IT service provider.
The right IT service provider
The requirements of the companies determine the choice of IT or cloud service provider and the location of the data centre. However, some criteria influence the choice of location and IT service provider: security, connectivity, energy efficiency and sustainability, fire protection, air conditioning/cooling, and last but not least, service and thus an increasingly important factor: regionality.
The compliance requirements are particularly important. It must be prevented that responsibility for your own data processing is undermined by cloud computing. The minimum requirements are:
- open, transparent and detailed information about the technical, organizational and legal framework including the security concept;
- transparent, detailed and unambiguous contractual regulations for cloud-based order data processing, in particular regarding the location of the data processing;
- the implementation of coordinated security measures on the part of cloud providers and cloud users;
- the presentation of current certificates for cloud services by recognized and independent auditing organizations that contribute to ensuring information security.
To ensure the lawful transfer of personal data to a cloud provider, the use of contractual clauses with a description of the implementation of technical and organizational security measures is primarily required. However, cloud computing can support compliance requirements if data processing is carried out in a highly secure and certified data centre (as companies themselves can hardly operate economically) from a service provider.
IT as a driver for business processes and modern workplaces
IT employees in companies will increasingly play the role of consultants for information technologies so that they can be optimally adapted to the use specified by the business. Today and in the future, IT managers need to provide modern IT environments. They consist of an internal IT infrastructure in secure data centres (colocation) and various cloud services. In this way, companies create the prerequisites for agile IT that can support business processes faster and can absorb peak loads. For security and cost reasons, the operation should be guaranteed via a regional IT service provider with its certified data centre and optimal broadband connection (fibre optic). Control of IT – or better of data, information and processes – remains with the companies that protect their sensitive data better, comply with legal requirements more easily and can provide modern workplaces. In the future, cloud readiness will create an essential prerequisite for the added value of IT in the company because if they are not exclusively on-premises, they will live for a long time.