How to choose the right cloud technology

Samuel Tourbot, head of cloud business engine at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, offers help for those trying to figure out the right “as a Service.”

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Adoption of cloud services is becoming the obvious choice for many organizations due to the flexibility, security and scalability that the cloud offers versus on-premise solutions. The advantages of using the cloud for IT services are plenty, but it might quickly become complex if not executed properly. Often, more time and resources are spent on the implementation and upkeep of the cloud than is entirely necessary.

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The cloud works best when it happens in the background. The workforce should not have to think about the cloud. Instead, they should simply know it is there to aid in communications and help the business to operate securely and effectively, promoting efficient collaboration from anywhere and at any time.

Figuring out “as a Service” technology

On-demand and “as a service” solutions are cropping up everywhere. When considering Infrastructure as a Service, the infrastructure must be open and flexible. Using upgradeable hardware is far more cost-effective and sustainable than tearing out and replacing older infrastructure anytime changes are required.

With this in mind, a good infrastructure should be infinitely scalable, both upwards and downwards, to accommodate any future growth and change. Similarly, the same consideration should be taken regarding Platform as a Service — due to the ever-growing tendency to switch from simple tools to platforms, a new platform must be able to support the business’ current and future setups.

PaaS is a type of cloud computing service that offers businesses an entire platform, including hardware, software and infrastructure. As a result, developing, administering and running applications is far simpler for IT teams than it would be if they were to maintain the platform on-premise.

Employees are freed from having to evaluate IT decisions and can instead simply enjoy the benefits the cloud offers, such as reduced costs, increased simplicity, accessibility and more flexibility.

Moreover, cloud technology allows employees within the same organization to collaborate on a much larger scale, with users from varying departments able to access the same information. However, finding the one that suits your individual business needs is crucial.

Adhering to local regulations, the best platforms will offer integration capabilities for more than 85% of the tools a business already has in place. Reducing friction provides staff with both ease of access and use.

Software as a Service necessitates a little more thought; the ideal tool should cover all bases, with a long term plan that adheres to company needs but remains flexible in contractual binding. Requesting free trials allows you to delve into the software and explore not only how your workforce can interact with it, but how the software interacts with your existing tools.

Choosing the right cloud technology for you

Initially, the focus for businesses was to extend communications to a disparate workforce using Unified Communications as a Service. By promoting the fluid exchange of information between workers across multiple locations, employees are able to work directly from the cloud. However, businesses can now introduce communication capabilities directly into their business processes or applications by utilizing Communications Platforms as a Service. This allows employees to access communication directly from their usual tools such as CRM, ITSM or even LMS platform.

Incorporating solutions like CPaaS enables further continuity of workflow amongst employees. Real-time communications can be integrated into existing business applications, making teamwork, communication and collaboration that much simpler. Creating this communication bridge between people, things and processes allows for faster, simpler and more secure digital engagement within a business.

Supporting the cloud

Selecting appropriate cloud-supporting technology is a must. The correct infrastructure, deployment strategy (private, hybrid, public) or relevant services are all elements that need to be considered when deciding to implement cloud solutions within a business.

Choosing the right equipment and software helps the cloud to work efficiently behind the scenes, and ensures organizations are utilizing the benefits and full potential of the cloud.

Additionally, effective cybersecurity to safeguard an organization’s cloud network is vital in guaranteeing the security of data stored in the cloud. From secure IoT connectivity to workflow automation, a secure infrastructure is a must. Behind-the-scenes encryption of cloud data provides that security.

Keep it transparent

Digital transformations and solid cloud infrastructures help to future-proof organizations. The business landscape is continually shifting and, with the rise in remote and hybrid working, the right cloud solutions are more important now than ever.

The cloud enables businesses to overcome geographical limitations by facilitating multi-region infrastructure that is accessible from anywhere, at any time. International businesses operating from locations around the world are able to come together as a cohesive unit, pursuing common objectives despite physical whereabouts. The transparency afforded to this collaboration, thanks to the cloud, is crucial, and therefore should be preserved for business efficiency.

Samuel Tourbot, Head of Cloud Business Engine, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.