Cloud is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition—the right approach depends on your organization’s needs and priorities. Different service and deployment models must be adopted to match the requirements of different types of workloads.
- Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB): Many SMBs are already using public cloud services today, citing key benefits of value for the money, access to innovation, and focus on business and not technology. Through Cloud, SMBs gain access to new applications that help them manage their business more effectively. These applications are easy to use and don’t require the SMB to deploy, manage, or maintain IT systems. Furthermore, SMBs can purchase these Cloud services via a subscription model, paying only for what they need as their business grows.
- Large Enterprises: While large enterprises also see tangible benefits in using public clouds, we expect private and hybrid cloud models to be more common. Large enterprises may use public clouds for burst or peak capacity and for select services. However, these organizations often require a higher degree of control over their data, applications, and systems than current public clouds allow. At scale, a private cloud offers the efficiency and agility of a public cloud without the loss of control. Still, the IT services a pure private cloud can offer are limited to what internal IT can develop or deploy.
Hybrid clouds will come in many flavors, including the virtual private cloud model in which an organization has access to dedicated resources in a public cloud. An increasing percentage of total IT spend will move to hybrid clouds as technology matures and corporate cultures and governance adapt.
- Public-Sector Organizations: Government entities (including agencies, armed forces, and educational institutions) will use a variety of Cloud configurations. Those of sufficient scale will adopt similar Cloud models to those of large enterprises. Organizations with common needs and interests may join together to build and share community clouds. Some government services may even be provided through public clouds. A major issue for public-sector organizations will be balancing concerns and regulations on privacy and security with aspirations for transparency and sharing information.
- Service Providers: Service providers will also be consumers of Cloud Computing. However, their primary role will be to implement and deliver the services customers seek from public, virtual private, and hybrid clouds. Providers have the opportunity to extend their current offerings and reach beyond traditional footprints.
Service providers must be prepared to address customer concerns ranging from policy compliance to end-to-end security to quality of service management to technical customization. They must be able to deliver a range of functionality, service levels, and payment models.
Excerpted and adapted from Cisco Systems’ white paper Cloud: Powered by the Network – What a Business Leader Must Know