For almost as long as we can remember (and we’ve been doing IT for, well, a long time), IT managers have been told their organisation can reach the holy grail of competitive advantage, if only they use technology to capitalise on what makes them unique. So in the world of cloud, where everyone has access to enterprise level infrastructure and services, how can you stay ahead of the game while hanging onto what makes you special?

  1. Avoid single solution sellers. If all someone has to offer is one particular style of cloud, you are more at risk of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Sure you may be able to squeeze yourself in but the end result may not be pretty – and the adjustments can end up costing you more than you budgeted for.
  2. If you can’t find something that fits perfectly, find someone who can measure your business for a custom cloud solution. Surprisingly, this generally ends up less costly than the more rigid public options – and it avoids the sameness of the standard pre-made paths. Work with a specialist who gets the cloud – and also gets your organisation.
  3. There are some things better kept private. While most of our customers are unlikely to risk the same exposure as some celebrities recently making headlines they’d rather forget, some data is definitely better kept where you have absolute control. Whether for legal reasons or just the sense of security that comes from controlling your environment, private cloud offers a great ability to design things exactly the way you want them.
  4. Get the best of both worlds – the right auditing, planning and expertise will allow you to devise your own hybrid option that blends private cloud with carefully chosen ‘as a service’ options. When you pinpoint exactly what is needed where, there is nothing to stop you taking a pick and mix approach.
  5. What if cloud is not the answer? There may be other ways to get the advantages you are looking for, without heading cloud-wards. Want to limit capital expenditure? Consider alternatives like vendor financing or even traded equipment. Want very fast scalability? Some products might give you that while keeping your feet on the ground. Need to offload some time-consuming day-to-day tasks? Compare options like managed services for specific areas.

How have you made cloud work for you? Or have you taken another path altogether? Comment below and tell us how you stay unique in the era of cloud.

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