Technology is constantly evolving, and with 5G and quantum computing on the horizon, companies need to have a road map ready to incorporate these technologies when they become available. We take a look at the flexibility a private cloud solution can provide for your digital transformation - ultimately allowing you to do things better and faster, putting you ahead of the competition.
Responding to changes in demand
Running an in-house computer system puts serious limitations on your short and long-term adaptability, since you are limited to the physical servers in your office and need to purchase new hardware to expand. Migrating to a private cloud provides a new level of flexibility, allowing your computer system to cope with short term changes in demand.
A private cloud, however, is run by a third-party cloud provider, who is responsible for all of the hardware which you are effectively renting from them.
Since they have excess physical resources, you can scale your cloud system up and down with ease as you only need to submit a request to your cloud provider for them to provide more resources.
This means your system can cope with peaks in demand, without you then paying for computer power you’re not using all of the time, since you can ask your provider to power down the additional hardware you were using temporarily. The virtualisation of your private cloud allows you to spin up additional virtual machines quickly upon request, so even if you didn’t predict and prepare for a sudden increase in demand, you can still scale up your system to cope with it.
Private cloud offers a wide range of advantages, including flexibility and cost control, and thanks to the help of your cloud provider it will be more reliable and secure than an in-house system.
There are also a couple of factors of private cloud that make it really valuable for advancing a company's digital transformation strategy:
1. From Capex to Opex
Investing heavily into the purchase of new hardware is a significant capital expenditure, which can be difficult to raise if you’re a smaller or growing company. Failure to find the budget up front for an IT upgrade could stifle your entire company’s growth, since an out of date IT system will impact everything your company does.
Moving your computer system to a private cloud makes your cloud provider responsible for the costs of hardware and physical infrastructure, while you now pay a regular fee to them. This turns your IT system into a spread-out operational cost, which doesn’t force you to raise the budget ahead of time when you need to upgrade. Instead, you can talk to your cloud provider, provision more resources, and only need to increase how much you pay a month.
You will have greater financial flexibility as a result of this change. Not only will it be much more affordable to upgrade your IT system, but your budget will be much easier to plan out with your IT as a Opex cost. Other financial decisions will be easier to make without your IT upgrades putting a serious strain on your finances at certain times, letting you plan ahead and grow the other aspects of your business.
2. Creating hybrid solutions
Part of what makes a private cloud so useful is the fact that you don’t need to commit your entire IT system to it. It gives you the opportunity to keep some systems on other platforms, and then use a cross connect to combine them so that you still have one straight forward system.
Examples of other platforms you would need to incorporate into your computer system are:
- Particularly valuable or sensitive data that needs to be kept on privately managed servers that you are entirely responsible for
- Systems that need to be incredibly flexible, without a high level of security and reliability, that you want to host in a public cloud to reduce costs
This flexibility to build a hybrid cloud from your private cloud gives your company so much freedom when planning the future. You don't need to sacrifice existing IT capabilities to start utilising private cloud, if you need to keep some legacy systems, combine them into one easy-to-use hybrid cloud.
Transitioning your IT system to a private cloud will give you more options for future IT expansion since you can always repatriate systems back from the cloud if you realise they would be better suited to a different platform. Private cloud can be combined with any other IT platform, and this adaptability is important since technology progresses so fast it would be impossible to meticulously plan out your entire IT strategy, even for the next five years.
Is it time for you to deploy a private cloud?
Every company should have a digital transformation strategy and be regularly advancing through it so that they can keep up with a changing digital landscape. Transitioning your IT to private cloud will provide short term advantages by boosting how quickly you can react to peaks in demand, and give you greater cost control, but it will also provide long term advantages by giving you the financial and technological flexibility to grow your company in whatever direction is best, without your IT limiting you.
If you're thinking it might be time for you to upgrade, then you should consider a private cloud and the solutions it can offer now and in the future. And bear in mind that with the potential of a hybrid cloud solution, private cloud certainly does not need to be the final stage in your digital transformation journey.