Rethink your network for a successful Cloud strategy*

Article image - Rethink your network for a successful Cloud strategy* Rethink your strategy for the Cloud

You’ve built the business case to move to adopt Cloud based services.

Your team has done a great job of working through the technical and commercial aspects of the multitude of private and public Cloud options. You’re now ready to make a decision to move ahead and execute your Cloud strategy.

Or are you?

While a lot of work goes into the technical and commercial considerations of the actual Cloud services, the underpinning telecommunications network rarely receives the attention it needs.

Many Cloud initiatives stutter and or fail because the organisation does not spend the time to understand these four critical aspects of the underlying network – performance, management, availability, and security.

The usual approach to addressing the performance aspect of the network is to buy ‘big pipes’ into your business locations. This is the most common mistake in networks. Bandwidth is just one of the components of application performance. It’s the quality and characteristics of the network that matters. Besides, buying these ‘big pipes’ in outer metro and regional Australia just doesn’t add up. Get smart with your network spend and undertake a details analysis of what you really need.

The management of the service is the next major consideration. What level of support do you need from your service provider? Is this support included in the service fee or charged as an extra? What are the guarantees for the response to and rectification of issues as they arise? Is it important to you to have a focused Australian based provider or are you happy to use mass market contact centres overseas?

Say you have the first two aspects sorted out. What about service availability? The best first question to ask here is “Do I have diversity in my network connectivity?” Now, plenty of service providers will talk about inbuilt diversity and even diverse fibre and/or copper paths but the only foolproof way to get super high availability is to have diverse carriers. Sounds expensive? Maybe, but work out the cost to have your entire staff ‘offline’ while a fibre cut is remediated. That’s six hours on average for a simple cut and up to four days for more serious failures. That’s expensive!

And finally, security. It’s probably the single biggest challenge for all progressive organisations as they use more and more services that are in the Cloud. Great security comes from the right technology, processes and behaviours of your people. Chances are that you’re already exposed to generic if not specific security threats. This is only amplified when you move into the exciting world of Cloud delivered services.

*Copy supplied by Vertel