How B2B companies can successfully expand into public cloud environments

B2B public cloud 2019
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When it comes to IT environments, enterprises aren’t fully embracing public cloud – yet.  But in 2019 that’s poised to change, and the impact on IT – and the innovation it can enable – will be profound, so long as organizations are prepared to manage it properly.

Amid all of the other priorities organizations may have in 2019, moving to a hybrid cloud IT model – one that embraces both public and private cloud – is critical.   Why? Embracing the cloud will make it possible to capitalize on the use of disruptive technologies, like AI and machine learning.  But equally, it’ll allow organizations to be nimble to deal with changes in data privacy regulations that will undoubtedly shape the way organizations store data in 2019. None of this can happen without an IT infrastructure that supports flexibility while maintaining consistent security and cost efficiency.

While some organizations have been reticent to look at public cloud, local data center availability for mega-clouds will drive more B2B organizations than ever before to embrace the public cloud in 2019.  To be successful, organizations need to take the time to revisit and modernize their entire cloud strategy to ensure they have a strong digital foundation to navigate the realities of adding public cloud into the IT infrastructure.  It’s not enough to just add public cloud – it must be integrated and coordinated with private cloud and on-premise infrastructure. After all, cloud is not the end goal but rather a means to get to digital transformation – something that is easy to forget in the rush to capitalize on the possibilities of cloud computing.

If you’re ready to prioritize cloud computing in 2019 there are a few things to remember: 

  • Cloud alone introduces management complexities that businesses need to be prepared to navigate.  Avoiding IT silos is top of the list – these silos not only cost more to manage, but they pose a security risk. 
  • Those ready to embrace cloud computing in their IT strategy should look at their applications first and determine – based on business requirements and desired outcomes – what actually belongs in the cloud. Then, establish a consistent management approach and security posture, using software that carries that approach across all of your IT environments.  This will make it easier for data to move back and forth because IT has replicated a system that works on-premise in all cloud environments – making the IT managers dream of ‘any application on any cloud, anytime’ a reality. 
  • Finally, look at ways to optimize the entire network – like SD-WAN software that makes it possible to manage network activity centrally.  The more controlled automation and central management, the more resources can be freed up to devote to innovation in 2019 and beyond.

There’s a lot of opportunity for B2B enterprises when it comes to cloud – and it starts with building a strong digital foundation that enables an organization to harness the full potential of cloud computing without adding complexities.  But that’s not where it ends.   

Despite a booming technology market, we’re still seeing a skills gap when it comes enterprise digital transformation.  In 2019 we need to close that skills gap – something that’s possible when the industry partners with government and more companies invest in training (and retraining) employees to navigate the reality of working legacy systems as well as emerging technologies.

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Sean Forkan
Sean Forkan is the Canadian Country Manager for VMware.