The cloud is a
hybrid, let's plug in.
Extending the enterprise to the cloud.
The “cloud or nothing” concept is a myth, at least when it comes to most mid-size to large enterprises. These organizations are deploying a mix of private and cloud-based models—for good reason.
It’s easy to see why corporations are embracing the cloud. Sure, there are the usual cost drivers fueling the migration, but there is also a “time to deploy” consideration, flexible access for users and, of course, the desire to embrace cloud innovation in its many forms.
At the same time, however, there are a number of reasons why IT wants to keep some things in-house, including custom and legacy applications, mechanisms for meeting regulatory and other compliance requirements, or just organizational culture.
Thus, for the foreseeable future, many enterprises will continue to deploy a mix of private and cloud-hosted apps and resources. And, if these enterprises are to succeed in the new world of business, these two need to get along.
The hybrid challenge.
As enterprise IT departments worldwide continue to move at least some of their apps and data from enterprise data centers and private networks to the cloud, they share a universal challenge:
How does one enable seamless application access, consistent connectivity, and an optimal user experience in a world where cloud and on-premise applications co-exist?
And, how does one provide complete application and user visibility for compliance and audit across all of the SaaS and on-premise resources — regardless of the user location and the smart device she is using?
Single sign-on and beyond.
Flexible, fast provisioning with robust security that extends the enterprise model to the cloud and users’ smart mobile devices would be a potentially compelling solution. These solutions, from application hosting and a variety of XaaS providers, are taking the shape of everything from seamless user authentication to application performance management.
Further, these solutions need to extend beyond single sign-on (SSO) convenience to embrace a more complete SaaS ecosystem. And by more complete, we mean taking an integrated approach to provisioning, securing, monitoring, tracking and auditing cloud resources and applications as well as user connectivity and access control.
It’s time to take a more holistic approach to security.
There’s no denying the benefits of helping enterprises find a way to manage users and applications in a framework that lends itself to a holistic and manageable lifecycle model instead of IT incrementally addressing the “next app” and the “next user” request.
A more holistic SaaS approach caters to a unified framework and allows IT to deliver an optimal application experience in a hybrid private/cloud environment. At the same time, it extends the current user management and security implementation to the cloud without requiring enterprises to reinvent the security wheel.
The service providers that best help enterprises build this model will gain a clear competitive advantage for as long as the world turns to hybrids, which is sure to be a long, long time.