There’s no doubt that cloud technologies help organizations to meet the current and future challenges to modernize their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and innovate new business offerings. But, says Fujitsu’s Cameron McNaught, the cloud is intrinsically complex – one size does not fit all. The best approach is to find a partner that can provide the consulting expertise and managed services that can be customized to every organization’s unique needs and budget.
Ask ten people to define the cloud and you get ten different answers. The cloud is such a simple term, but there are so many variations – public clouds, private clouds, external clouds, vertical clouds, even hybrid clouds. Not to mention a number of related terms such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and more.
Though business leaders might differ on defining the cloud, almost all agree that it’s a necessary step in keeping up with business growth and marketplace competition. In fact, the cloud is one of the hottest topics in business transformation today.
It’s not difficult to figure out why. Today’s business leaders are increasingly squeezed by two types of business challenges. On the one hand, their businesses require greater efficiency due to budget constraints. There’s a need to rein in spending and focus on margins. At the same time, new technologies create unprecedented opportunities to grow revenue, expand services, and enter new markets. It’s up to them to determine how to balance these two types of challenges: And one thing is clear – the old, traditional systems and processes can no longer meet the new challenges.
The cloud can and does address these challenges. A well-executed cloud strategy results in several important benefits. These include:
- Innovation, as companies that invest in business-enhancing technology to serve customers, generate revenue, or deliver products and services are more likely to stay ahead of the competition. Global trends including big data, social business and mobile mean organizations of every description need to ‘innovate or die.’
- Business agility, by taking advantage of new ways of doing things which were not previously possible, and due to a modernized and often globalized cloud or hybrid ICT infrastructure.
- High availability, because in a global environment, business is conducted ‘24×7.’ Customers, suppliers, and employees expect to be able to access their applications any time, from anywhere, and they have little tolerance for downtime, whether for planned maintenance or unexpected disaster. This also results from the ability to easily replicate and move workloads, enterprises are incorporating the cloud into their disaster recovery and business continuity planning.
While the benefits of a cloud strategy are clear, the cloud itself is complex. One size does not fit all. According to independent international research commissioned by Fujitsu,1 59 percent of decision makers believe that cloud adoption planning is more complex and difficult in their company, based on their unique mix of corporate culture, organizational structures, geographic presence, infrastructure, processes, and other factors.
For this reason, the majority of cloud decision makers reject a do-it-yourself approach. They prefer instead to leverage the resources and expertise of a trusted cloud partner. According to the research, 78 percent of decision makers want a provider to take end-to-end responsibility for part or all of their cloud implementation.
Here I’d like to make a distinction between cloud providers and cloud partners. For many companies, their cloud needs are too complex and affect too many parts of their business to trust solely to a ‘provider,’ or a vendor that delivers an off-the-shelf service. These companies can benefit instead from a ‘partner,’ someone who understands the company and its needs and delivers precisely the right level of service when and how it’s needed.
So how does a business choose the right travelling partner on their journey to the cloud? Again, let’s turn to Frost & Sullivan’s research. They found that 74 percent of decision makers prefer to work with cloud partners who have extensive experience in hardware and software solutions, as well as strong skills in integration, consulting, and managed services.
As organizations approach their cloud decision, they need to consider not just current needs but what the company may require as it grows and evolves. Successful cloud deployments require continual access to the following eight criteria:
- A broad range of integrated cloud deployment options
- Solutions that can be applied to all or part of your cloud environment
- End-to-end solutions, backed by service-level agreements
- The ability to link your traditional and cloud infrastructure
- Strong security parameters in all aspects of the solution
- Global support
- A no-nonsense approach to decision-making and management
- A cloud partner with expertise and experience
The FUJITSU Cloud Initiative meets these criteria by offering business leaders the breadth of choice and integration services to handle current and future needs. Our new Cloud Integration Services combine consulting expertise and managed services to help organizations choose the right cloud options for them. This enables them to integrate multiple cloud environments with their legacy systems, and deliver a seamless service to their customers and users.
According to Frost & Sullivan’s research, eight out of ten cloud decision makers surveyed say they would trust Fujitsu as a cloud development partner. In fact, over 2000 businesses have already chosen Fujitsu Cloud. We’re currently offering the broadest portfolio in the industry of IaaS solutions, PaaS-based services, SaaS applications, and Cloud Integration Services. Building on many years of experience delivering innovative IT products and services, we can provide cloud solutions that have been developed and proven in different regions around the world.
The cloud may be complex, but the right partner can help address this complexity with an end-to-end portfolio that delivers real business benefits, and ensures that each organization is where it needs to be to balance short- and long-term objectives and address its own unique mix of requirements.
1 Cut Through the Complexity of Cloud
Frost & Sullivan Stratecast, the international ICT analysis and consulting firm, was commissioned by Fujitsu to undertake independent research with cloud-implementation business decision makers in Australia, Singapore, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America, plus a cross-section of other Western European Countries. During August to September 2012, Frost & Sullivan Stratecast undertook 310 computer-assisted telephone interviews (over 50 per country), of which only 30 percent were existing Fujitsu clients. The sample specifically focused on the following sectors: public, retail, finance (banking, insurance), healthcare and pharmaceuticals (including hospitals), and Independent Software Vendors. Over half of the interviews were with major enterprises of over 5,000 employees.