10 Ways IT, Business Leaders Must Collaborate on Cloud Strategies

1 - 10 Ways IT, Business Leaders Must Collaborate on Cloud Strategies
2 - Schedule Meetups to Collaborate on Cloud Decisions
3 - Achieve Alignment on Cloud Value
4 - Maintain Security in the Cloud
5 - Look at All the Options to Determine a 'Right Fit' Cloud
6 - Prioritize Requirements
7 - Address Incorrect Cloud Perceptions, Set the Record Straight
8 - Consider Public Cloud for Reduced Infrastructure Burden
9 - Evaluate Private Cloud for Security and Compliance Requirements
10 - Research Hybrid Cloud for Best of Both Worlds
11 - Finally, Make Informed Decisions
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10 Ways IT, Business Leaders Must Collaborate on Cloud Strategies

by Chris Preimesberger

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Schedule Meetups to Collaborate on Cloud Decisions

The process of cloud decision-making has changed big time. Fifty-six percent of business decision-makers are claiming a seat at the table, compared with 20 percent of technical decision-makers. This change reveals the necessity for active collaboration between IT and the business, as well as the need for IT to reallocate daily operations so it can spend more time consulting with the business on strategy and new technologies.

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Achieve Alignment on Cloud Value

Decision-makers and IT managers agree that cloud technologies are enabling cost containment, new services and growth. In fact, 44 percent of business executives and IT managers said that "creating centralized administration" was an addressable challenge of cloud deployment, with many other issues—such as supporting a mobile workforce and managing service delivery costs—trailing closely behind.

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Maintain Security in the Cloud

It is IT's imperative to meet enterprise security requirements while supplying business demands for high availability and cost savings. While business leaders may look to public cloud's advantages, IT leans toward the security and privacy of private cloud deployments. So, it's up to IT to educate business leaders on the pros and cons of public versus private cloud deployments, and why private may be the better bet. For example, 81 percent of respondents view a managed private cloud as adding significant or very significant value to the business. New projections on usage indicate that private clouds are expected to grow at double the rate of public cloud—a result of ongoing concerns about data security and privacy.

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Look at All the Options to Determine a 'Right Fit' Cloud

Cloud computing is still a relatively new business model, and finding the best-suited cloud deployment requires a deep understanding of cloud attributes. For example, public, community and hybrid clouds are multi-tenant; hybrid cloud includes an on-premises private cloud; and managed private cloud is a subset of private cloud. With the right knowledge, IT and business leaders can make a more informed decision.

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Prioritize Requirements

In addition to understanding cloud attributes, IT and functional business leaders need to conduct due diligence to fully understand core business and enterprise requirements for cloud deployments, from compliance and availability to scalability, mobility and more. To achieve the potential of cloud computing, the selection process requires a collaborative effort in which both business requirements and enterprise needs for data security and privacy are addressed.

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Address Incorrect Cloud Perceptions, Set the Record Straight

In making a cloud decision, it is important to validate how each deployment model addresses concerns. In terms of data privacy, 28 percent of IT managers and business decision-makers in the Code42 survey said they believed that managed private cloud deployments gave the cloud vendor access to organizational data. In reality, in a private cloud deployment where the data is encrypted, the encryption keys are held by the user, not the cloud provider. This ensures that only the customer can access the data, so data privacy is maintained.

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Consider Public Cloud for Reduced Infrastructure Burden

When evaluating each deployment option, business and IT leaders need to realistically assess what each option can and cannot do for the enterprise. The public cloud, for instance, is a good fit for organizations needing to deploy new services or reduce infrastructure costs by offloading stored data and management of assets from their data centers. The public cloud often supports global scalability and high availability needs of the business.

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Evaluate Private Cloud for Security and Compliance Requirements

To meet regulatory compliance and internal policy mandates for on-premises data storage, private cloud deployments keep data and encryption keys on-site in your data center and behind your firewall. Private clouds can be securely deployed in multiple locations for multi-destination and high availability, often providing continuous data protection and high performance with low IT impact.

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Research Hybrid Cloud for Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid cloud combines both a private and public cloud infrastructure, storing some data along with the encryption keys on-premises in an organization's private data center. IT managers and business leaders can both benefit from a hybrid cloud option, which offers the scalability of a public cloud, combined with the privacy and security a private cloud offers, in order to meet a global enterprise's demand for mobility, accessibility and security.

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Finally, Make Informed Decisions

Taking a multi-faceted approach to the organization's cloud strategy gives IT the opportunity to interact with business decision-makers in a more strategic and consultative role than ever before. To address misunderstandings and to assess, research and plan for the right solution, it's important for both sides—in addition to the C-suite—to work together and identify and overcome barriers in choosing the right cloud solution.

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