When most people think about the cloud, they initially 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; however, is an equally important consideration. Below are three reasons why having a homogenous global cloud footprint at your disposal really matters:
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 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 that footprint lives. These are 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. Further, having a larger contract globally gives you more clout and allows you to negotiate better pricing and the ability to standardize costs globally. This is 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 your service and management of your own SLA’s.
5. Standardized 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 distribute it globally with little effort.
6. Single pane of glass management interface – Having a standardized management interface greatly simplifies your IT operations and deployment methodologies. Think of things like your alerting, IT Service catalog, reporting and analytics, and support and how those feed back into your own IT department.
7. Standardized support with ITIL – Look for a standardized onboarding and support levels that compliment your own environment.
8. Facilitate your path towards a global cloud strategy – Many multi-nationals 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 organization to streamline and standardize operations.
9. Compliance cannot be ignored – Compliance is another key imperative that if not properly handled can delay or stall key business activities. You need a cloud service provider that is thinking about global compliance issues and enables you to deal with that in a standard way across all of the regions where you do business.
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.
At iland, we are always querying our multi-national customers to understand the challenges that they face with their IT infrastructure. Our goal is to provide the tools and simplicity that they need. We have developed a strong, global cloud footprint that consists of eight data centers in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions. The expansion into these data centers has been driven primarily by customer needs. Low cost resources are not enough in leading a successful migration to the cloud, it takes a cloud service provider that can keep up with your business and help you streamline your processes in all of the places you do business.