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The Cloud Demystified: which flavours of Cloud should you pursue for your business in 2015?
This year businesses have tough decisions to make when it comes to cloud deployments. Much talk surrounds the end of support for Windows 2003, a juncture that, among other things, provides a catalyst for firms to make the switch from in-house data centres to the cloud.

Yet, while cloud itself is already a part of day-to-day office life, many businesses still struggle with identifying which cloud service is right for their organisation and can help them to meet organisational objectives. This is despite almost half of all businesses (44%) having a mandate for cloud, according to a survey of more than 244 IT managers visiting the recent Insight Technology Show in Manchester.

For those looking towards flexible and remote working or maximising business agility with mobile devices, cloud is certainly key. Yet cloud is just as important for those businesses looking to store corporate data (41%) and for those seeking to improve collaboration (20%) and internal communications such as email (46%).

With over 40 percent of firms still not having a strategy in place for when Windows 2003 support comes to an end in July, there’s more than a suggestion that businesses still have problems making decisions when it comes to cloud.

Explains Ash Patel, EMEA Cloud Director, Insight: “Although cloud forms the IT backbone for many activities we take for granted, businesses are faced with lots of questions around deployments. Without the correct due diligence mistakes can be made, so it’s important to ascertain the real motives behind wanting cloud and which cloud strategy to pursue for your business.”

Patel believes businesses often assume that moving to the cloud makes things cheaper. Instead, factors, such as choosing too many different clouds without consideration for management and provisioning, can lead to IT management headaches, added costs and network complexities instead.

“Although, there’s a common belief the cloud is the answer to everything, assessing the right workloads for the cloud is vital,” he says. “At Insight we believe in choice when it comes to cloud and with factors like Windows Server 2003 EOL, businesses face a dilemma on how to move forward this year. Insight gives them options as far as this is concerned. Do they invest in new infrastructure like servers? Offset to a hosted environment or even take the step towards the public cloud? As we move through 2015 I think we’ll see savvy businesses looking ever more closely into the benefits of a hybrid infrastructure as they deploy cloud services.”

To help businesses align cloud deployments with IT objectives in 2015, Insight has produced a handy infographic checklist.

Insight's flowchart helps organisations quickly identify the various cloud solutions available and defines them according to the organisation's needs:
  • Virtual Desktop: securely connects employees to the central network from their own laptop when working from home or in the field.
  • Unified Comms: facilitates instant internal communication through instant messaging services and remote video conferencing with internal and external contacts.
  • Mobile Devices Management: maximises security of corporate mobile devices and sets a use policy – from app download restrictions to password requirements.
  • Office 365: enables access to documents from devices remotely and to allow for remote work collaborations.
  • Cloud Storage: stores cloud data on remote servers on a subscription model basis.
Published Tuesday, January 13, 2015 6:35 AM by David Marshall
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