While data center consolidation has been trending in government and commercial spaces since the 1970s, new government initiatives and directives released recently have created a new sense of urgency: those who haven’t yet consolidated are now required to.

Many organizations are now looking to the cloud to meet the requirements. Whether they know it or not, many organizations are already employing some concepts or aspects of a hybrid cloud environment. That is, they are choosing to outsource data or systems, like payroll and accounting, data entry, and even R&D  to focus on their mission and take care of customers without the hassle of keeping basic operations and business process running.

This approach saves them money and improves efficiency, resiliency, security and accessibility. The next step is to fully embrace all the components of hybrid cloud: mindset, policies, and procedures.

For organizations looking to consolidate and move to a hybrid cloud environment, here are five recommendations and considerations that will help ensure a successful transition:

1. The new environment will be complex

A hybrid cloud setup is more complex, not less, than any traditional private data center. You have to manage your existing end-to-end data center plus manage your providers, which isn’t as simple as paying a bill. You need to perform periodic contract reviews, validate that Terms of Service (ToS) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are being met, obtain more diversely trained IT staff to manage both local and cloud offerings, and manage connectivity and integration between the cloud and your existing data center.

Leadership must get the message out early that hybrid setups are more complex, especially in the first year. There won’t be instant savings and efficiencies; instead, there will be learning curves. Leadership will have to closely and continuously manage both environments to keep them tightly integrated (Read more...)