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The Missing Link to Enterprise Cloud Strategy

Is the network still the missing link to a ubiquitous enterprise cloud strategy?

A CIO I spoke with recently, mentioned he spends millions of dollars optimising his applications, firewalls, security and the mix between public and private cloud solutions.

Yet, he is forced to rely on either public internet or ride on the back of his current legacy private connectivity arrangements.

He wants a provider who can support an end-to-end architecture with service levels based on the solution and business outcome, because that is how he is measured!

The good news, through the rapidly maturing technologies of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), the "perfect world" desired by my friend is achievable. However, it's not just about being able to provide an interconnected cloud experience, but truly unlocking the full potential of cloud.

Cloud is becoming a more robust and highly correlated ecosystem each passing day. We now have an opportunity to connect these ecosystems securely, on demand, optimised and configured for each business' objectives.

Going back to the conversation with the CIO... It doesn't matter if you have millions invested in a cloud strategy. If your network sucks, your million dollar technology won't matter.

It is important when organisations map out their business strategy, to look at where their customers are located and the possibility of different networks being used.

Australia is ubiquitous when it comes to networks; however Asia is a whole new ballgame. As a global economy, we need to take the customers from that region into consideration, because there will be complexity when it comes to connectivity.

When looking at your network strategy you need to factor in two important issues. First is the issue of private versus public internet. If your organisations' internet connection is public and you're looking to route communication between Australian and Singapore, you can't guarantee a straight connection.

The connection will more than be likely be Australia - to the Philippines - to Japan - and then to Singapore, no matter your main or underlying provider. You can't guarantee quality or latency by a couple of millisecond. Whereas with private cloud, you can guarantee a connection that goes Sydney - Perth - Singapore.

That's why performance is the other key point. Organisations must be able to deliver the same performance from Australia to customers in any part of the world.

The conversation and realisation increased my focus on how "we" can make this happen. The reason I mentioned "we" is that this is not a service provider, telco, or cloud provider only challenge.

This extends to all businesses irrespective of their industry or geography. How do we all make the necessary changes in our processes, or business models? How can we become the disruptors, instead of the disrupted?

Imagine a world where you could spin up and deploy business applications anywhere in the world. You would have the connectivity and security necessary for your customers, staff and vendors, to provide an incredible user experience regardless of device.

I believe we are now on the cusp of this world from a technological capability.

Read more on cloud in The Three Dimensions of Digital Business.

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