In this series, we’ve looked at what it takes to create a hybrid cloud: developing a strategy for IT and business; defining business outcomes and a service portfolio; and choosing a delivery model. And yet sometimes the task remains daunting, especially for companies that have sufficient internal expertise or experience. In these cases, they should consider launching their project with a trusted partner.
For example, when developing an overarching strategy for hybrid cloud, you can lean on an outside partner to ensure you’re adding value and not just throwing together disparate products.
The right collaborator can help your organization define and meet business outcomes with hybrid cloud that are tied to service-level agreements (SLAs) and achieve return on investment. As we noted in the first two posts of this series, there’s a strong likelihood that if a project starts without any consideration for business goals or specific problems to be solved, it will not end well.
A trusted partner can help you figure out and articulate good business reasons for deploying new services, and gain a clear understanding of the business outcomes you want to achieve with any cloud initiative. Establishing strong links between cloud investments and desired business outcomes will help boost chances for success.
A good partner can also help build a service portfolio/catalog, which includes creating metrics, portfolio management, and expanding applications. These catalogs are especially important for hybrid clouds, so users can see which services are available and what they do. If your organization lacks experience and in-house skills for creating such a portfolio, having a partner that has already done this can be invaluable.
Finally, a partner can help with choosing delivery models for the services in the portfolio. There are many factors that go into the decision on delivery models — financial, regulatory compliance, security, type of workloads — and each area can be complex.
So, what should you look for in a partnership? Ideally the company should have extensive experience working with similar types of businesses to create a comprehensive strategy and business case for a hybrid cloud deployment. Talk with their customers about their experiences, ask for details on what went well and potential pitfalls, and find out how problems were resolved.
Also, find out if the partner has deep connections and relationships with other vendors in the cloud space. For example, does it belong to and actively support collaborative efforts such as Cloud Foundry or OpenStack? Is it open to helping you select the best possible cloud service components, or is it just looking to push products from one vendor?
By taking the time upfront to select the best partner for a hybrid cloud deployment, companies can avoid problems down the road and give themselves a better opportunity for success.
Now, you’re ready to get started on building your hybrid cloud.