When most people think about the move to cloud, they think of reducing cost and shortening their time-to-market. More experienced buyers layer on other criteria like performance, security, compliance, workload segmentation, and how to integrate the cloud into their existing environment. The shape of your global cloud footprint and the cloud services, support and security available globally is an important consideration, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here are 10 reasons why taking a global approach to leveraging cloud services for your business really does matter:
1. Data sovereignty, privacy laws and local regulations are real - and they can put a halt to your business in many regions if not properly adhered to. Choosing a cloud provider with a strong global footprint as well as a proactive and proven approach to managing cloud compliance not only gives you the ability to comply with local regulations in the countries where you do business, but also allows you to manage your cloud footprint from a global level, which is more efficient and cost effective.
2. Be close to your end users - You want the right to choose where your apps are delivered and where the data is stored. Whether its about performance, latency issues, data privacy or data sharing, as you move more and more of your own IT footprint into the cloud, you will want a provider who gives you the flexibility to decide where your IT workloads live. These are also decisions that should be based on the business, not dictated by your service provider.
3. Single global contract – For many multi-national businesses, completing contract negotiations in each country they do business in can be a daunting task, which can bring projects to a standstill. Look for a cloud provider that can deliver an overarching global contract so you only have to go through this process once. A global contract is also very helpful if you are rolling out customer facing products and applications in which you need to present simple chargeback or pricing options.
4. Standard global SLA – Getting a standard, global SLA (Service Level Agreement) allows you to offer that same SLA to your end users. No two cloud providers ever seem to offer the same SLAs, so being able to easily define that across the regions where you do business can help improve the service and management of your own SLA’s.
5. Standardised IT service catalog – If you go with the right cloud provider, you should have the ability to build out your standard IT service catalog, group your application templates together, and roll out IT services globally in a standardised and consistent way.
6. Single pane of glass management interface – Having a standardised management interface greatly simplifies your IT operations and deployment methodologies. Think of things like security alerting, IT Service catalog, billing, reporting and analytics, and support and how those feed back into your own IT department. The ability to have insight into all of those metrics globally from one management console is invaluable.
7. Standardised onboarding and support– Look for standardised onboarding processes that can be duplicated globally to ease cloud adoption and support levels that incorporate industry standards such as ITIL that compliment your own environment.
8. Facilitate your path towards a global cloud strategy – Many multi-national companies are still endeavoring to formulate a global cloud strategy. Evaluating and eventually selecting a global cloud provider can greatly facilitate this process and provide a framework for your global IT organisation to streamline and standardise operations.
9. Compliance cannot be ignored – Compliance is another key imperative that if not properly handled can delay or stall key business initiatives. You need a cloud service provider that addresses global compliance risks from both an operational and technical perspective. Security of the cloud infrastructure is essential – but the compliance reporting, services and audit support that is provided is also important to consider for long-term cloud compliance.
10. Innovation can happen anywhere - As modern enterprises increasingly rely on innovation to drive new market demand, their IT departments must be at the ready to support these activities wherever they occur. The cloud takes away the need for large up front investments in hardware and provides companies the ability to spin up “start up-like” environments whenever and wherever. Think of it as your global laboratory and that lab can be moved or replicated at any time, giving optimal flexibility to the innovative projects in your business.
When adopting more cloud use cases, a provider with a global footprint and a global approach to services, support and security can set your business up for success and protect your investment over the long term. Low cost resources are not enough in leading a successful migration to the cloud; it takes a cloud service provider that can help you streamline, standardise and secure your IT processes in all of the places you do business. When it comes to cloud it pays to think global, not just local.