Chris Burnet, Cloud Services and Software Solutions Manager, MEA, NetApp, shares insights into how partners can grow with cloud solutions.
The success of digitisation drive largely depends on maximising the value of data. Enterprises need cloud data solutions that deliver improved application performance with uninterrupted data availability cut down time to market. Meaningful analytics is the key differentiator for smarter decision making and organisations must learn to leverage available data for strategic future planning.
NetApp assists organisations in moving on-premises applications that depend on files services to hybrid cloud and cloud-only models, collaborating with top hyperscale cloud providers to pioneer the delivery of enterprise Network File System (NFS) services in the cloud. The new services that were initially available through Microsoft Azure and the AWS Marketplace offer high levels of performance and availability to speed enterprise applications including analytics, DevOps, backup, and disaster recovery. NetApp also provides a Data Fabric to optimise the value of data in the cloud, whether customers run an on-premises IT environment that’s poised for cloud capabilities or are already using hybrid or public cloud infrastructures.
The capability to rely on tools, processes and solutions that are robust and keep pace with technology advancements is becoming more important than ever. Cloud solutions of the future will support an organisation’s business performance and therefore use of service providers that provide a broad range of critical solutions will offer businesses predictability in terms of both performance and cost.
The role of channel partners in ensuring the scalability and future-readiness of the storage solution, thereby allowing easy management for customers, is getting bigger as customer data is growing every day, presenting new challenges.
Organisations continue to place more workloads in the cloud as cloud technologies continue to rapidly advance. Since it is difficult for organisations to keep up with these advancements, the need for expertise is also growing. These challenges can be managed through additional training of IT and development staff and channel partners must assist end users in managing the stored data by working on different application layers.
Vendors and distributors should focus on delivering training programmes for continuous knowledge and skills improvement in the evolving market landscape. Partner firms are even adopting mandatory training requirements as part of their employee bonus programmes.
Partners and customers have their own cloud agendas, though sometimes restricted by factors such as skills, regulations, networks and even the types of applications they run. Cloud deployments are capable of increasing security through the use of best practices in the providers’ data centre and improves data security via better backup and archive procedures. Big gains will be made both in productivity and simplicity through automation and it can drive digital transformation by allowing customer to use data in unprecedented ways. Combined with efficient data movement, this allows thousands of services to manipulate and process data focusing on IT, adding value to the business.
It is safe to say cloud is just getting started and is here to stay. Over 50 billion devices are expected to be connected to the network by 2020, all of which will be creating and using data, how that data is used, processed and monetised with be crucial to business success. Newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) will become much more intelligent and will influence our lives in significant ways. These technologies will become so widespread and will become usable by common people to club an entire series of cloud services together to form new business outcomes.