Cloud computing has been top of mind for many IT executives during the past 10 years. Some have argued that cloud was 'invented' decades earlier, but what matters most today is how the various 'cloud' approaches will address business needs going forward. Our research indicates that IT executives have a desire to expand their private cloud budgets over the next two years and to place high priority on delivering data management services in those private clouds.
A survey was recently fielded, in conjunction with IDG Research Services, to validate what we anecdotally heard customers tell us about data management services in the Private Cloud. What we’ve been hearing is that cloud is here to stay, but it will continue to evolve and probably be different than anything that prognosticators forecasted 10 years ago. We also observe that Private Cloud is maturing and companies are intent on expanding their X-as-a-Service portfolio beyond just Test/Dev and Mission Critical apps to also include data management services.
The research generally corroborated what we’ve heard in the field and directly supports the Private Cloud Services Design offering that the Commvault Consulting Services group recently launched. Executives’ responses indicated that the following benefits expected from Private Cloud were most important to their organization. First was 'better quality of IT services delivered,' followed by 'greater business agility/flexibility,' and then 'reduced business risk through redundancy, improved uptime.' Based on my experience, I believe the response about better quality of service speaks to technologies and markets that are maturing; underscoring a growing confidence that technology services can be delivered in-house with better quality.
I was also intrigued by the workloads that executives want to deploy in the private cloud. They indicated a preference for deploying data management services, like Backup, Archive, and Disaster Recovery 'as a Service.' But they expressed concerns with implementing Private Cloud Services successfully. I think this, again, points toward maturation in cloud applications. Companies are moving beyond the low-hanging fruit of test/dev or storage to the 'meat and potatoes' of backup and archive services. Not surprisingly though, total cost (i.e., budget constraints) and integration/transition issues were top concerns. IT departments will give up a certain amount of control by moving to services-oriented models, even those delivered on the Private Cloud. Managing transitions, new operating models and real-times shifts in CapEx and OpEx usage is enough to give any seasoned executive pause.
However, there is an expectation that outside, third-party expertise is important for planning, implementing and supporting their private cloud services portfolio. They need to be successful not only for practical business reasons, but also to retain influence as an organization. Hands-on guidance from seasoned industry experts is a proven approach that can ensure outcomes are achieved in a predictable, consistent manner. For more about these challenges, read the Commvault whitepaper on private cloud services design for data management.
Designing practical, robust data management services for private cloud environments from the ground up isn’t easy. However, Commvault's new Private Cloud Services Design offering tackles head-on the most important challenges that customers face in transforming from traditional IT delivery to a services-oriented approach. Commvault consultants achieve this by using ITIL (formerly known as Information Technology Infrastructure Library) methodologies to create a comprehensive Services Catalog that answers the “what” and “how” questions that are not part of typical product feature comparisons.
A new, services-oriented approach could accelerate the time to value from your data management investments and increase the ROI from your private cloud technologies. I encourage you to watch this video, revisit your cloud strategy, especially private cloud, and consider how data management services fit in.