Cloud Is a Game-Changer, But Not a Time-Saver
by June 23, 2017

Filed under: Cloud Computing, Industry Insights

This week, Cisco announced products built using intent-based networking for the end-to-end network. Intent-based networking takes the decision-making of how a network will do a task away from administrators, who only need to tell the network what needs to be done. This type of network is also more flexible and predictive to respond quickly to changes. Intent-based networking may come to market because businesses need it—traditional networking isn’t keeping up with the rest of changing technology. Cisco’s huge market share lets the vendor gather network traffic and user data to feed machine learning analytics.

The network may someday manage itself, but for now, we hear from a lot of users and potential users that they were surprised to find how much work they have to do with cloud or SaaS providers. For many, the idea was that using cloud computing or SaaS applications would cut down dramatically on management time. Instead, they’re spending time on hold with provider support and hearing from frustrated users when their app is slow. This story looks at one type of provider—a private cloud storage vendor—to see what kind of support IT can expect. Essentially, the devil is in the details: IT should really understand the support policy in place from the vendor, and make sure the data protection and backup policies are clearly defined.

As IT also adjusts to these new provider relationships, they’re shifting job roles too. Here’s a quick look at some top IT skills that will get employer attention. AWS certifications, IoT, cloud, serverless and container technology skills should all get job seekers noticed. In many cases, employers themselves may not entirely understand these new technologies, but they certainly know they’re going to be important to the business.

As for one modern IT technology—hybrid cloud—a Harvard Business Review survey finds that smaller businesses primarily choose it for strategy, not to save money. For those companies, hybrid cloud is often a game-changer. Nearly half of respondents said that hybrid cloud had allowed them to improve collaboration (whether internally or with partners or vendors wasn’t specified). Small- to medium-sized businesses also reported bigger improvements from adoption of hybrid cloud than larger companies, likely because of the agility and speed cloud brings. The survey also found that 54% of respondents are serving up email and communications tools from public cloud, followed by billing and invoicing at 29% and business intelligence at 29%.