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Simplifying Business Continuity and the Cloud Without the Alphabet Soup

Kristian Kerr

become-cloud-ready-e1588185205307-1024x603 Cloud computing is fast becoming mainstream for many organizations, but others still remain wary, especially if they didn’t come of age in the digital world. It’s easy to understand why—the cloud isn’t easy to explain. You can’t just go to the store and buy a cloud, and you can’t touch one. So while moving business data and applications to the cloud can simplify everything from strategic growth to business continuity, the actual process of getting there can feel quite intangible and complicated, especially in times of crisis.

As industry analysts from Gartner well describe, “cloud computing is just not one thing… Cloud services are broad and span multiple levels, models, scope and applications.” This creates rampant opportunities for myths and misconceptions that hold people back from adopting cloud solutions.

As someone who thrives on transformation and innovation, I see this as an opportunity to make technology conversations accessible to more people, including the customers we serve. It’s a discussion that forces tech-savvy people to step away from the alphabet soup of acronyms and be clear about what problems we can solve and how. It’s a chance to reorient how we engage, so that the focus is where it belongs—on how our technology solutions advance our customers’ business goals and how we help them implement those solutions, whether as part of a deliberate digital transformation strategy or as a response to urgent new needs.

Within NetApp, that mindset has evolved into the concept of simplicity: making it easier for our partners and our customers to do business with us. It permeates our thinking about everything, from the products and services that we offer to the way people access them, including our cloud and business continuity offerings. For me, simplicity starts with making sure our customers know what we can do for them. As a data management company, we have gone through a digital transformation of our own, and many NetApp customers don’t know that we cover all the building blocks they need to transition to the cloud. To complement our cloud resources and our business continuity support, I’d like to share some further thoughts how NetApp and our partners can help customers simplify their complete cloud journey—without the alphabet soup.

Be Prepared: NetApp Helps You Get Cloud Ready

In the context of global business, the cloud is a relative newcomer. That means legions of organizations have data storage and management systems that weren’t designed for a cloud-first world. Valuable business data—whether it’s customer contacts or product inventory, or comprehensive collections of scientific data—is stored on servers that live on-premises. The first step on the cloud journey is to modernize existing infrastructure, or, as the Scouts would tell us, be prepared.

When data management systems need to be replaced—or when storage capacity needs to be expanded, as we are currently seeing with the surge in remote work—that is a prime opportunity to invest in new infrastructure that’s capable of being connected to the cloud, whether or not all of your data moves there right away. NetApp’s data management portfolio enables you to do this.

A Place for Everything: NetApp Helps You Design Storage That’s Tailored for Your Business

With a cloud-ready infrastructure, organizations have a foundation that provides more flexibility to meet growing business needs and address unforeseen challenges. Business and IT leaders can think strategically about what data belongs where, as well as who needs access and from where. For example, information about fast-changing inventory levels needs to be accessed quickly, but records of historic transactions might not. Data can be moved to cloud as legacy systems are retired, whereas highly sensitive data might be best left on-premises or in a private cloud. Business continuity programs, including back-up and disaster recovery plans, can be laid out in advance.

It reminds me of the expression “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” With the range of hybrid multi-cloud technologies today, organizations don’t have to choose one or the other—you can put your data wherever it makes the most sense, so that access is available when you need it, as quickly as you need it. NetApp’s data fabric is specifically designed to do this.

Carpe Diem—NetApp Helps You Seize New Opportunities

With one foot firmly in the cloud, going all-in suddenly isn’t frightening anymore. With the supporting foundation already in place, organizations can take full advantage of whatever combination of public and private cloud arrangements best suits the business needs. Businesses that need surge capacity at busy times can scale up as needed without paying for storage they don’t need.

As the business benefits become clear—improved performance, reduced cost, increased flexibility, and agility—there are more options and opportunities to leverage the data available, from real-time analytics to artificial intelligence. NetApp can help you ensure that your data fabric is seamless, wherever you data is stored and however you need to access and analyse it.

Aces in Their Places—NetApp Helps You Manage Storage Your Way

As organizations embrace the cloud, many are looking for ways to take their data management to the next level. To serve those customers, we developed NetApp Keystone, a new cloud consumption model that gives customers the ultimate flexibility over how they manage their data—including having NetApp manage it for them.

Keystone is about providing simple, predictable options for customers to take full advantage of the cloud without having to make heavy upfront investments. With a pay-as-you-go model regardless of workload location, customers have the flexibility to manage their data on their terms.

Keeping it Strategically Simple—NetApp Can Help You Drive Business Outcomes

Explaining the customer cloud journey reminds me of trying to explain the cloud to my parents. They’re more tech-savvy than most, but the cloud isn’t something you can show them. They know it’s not something they need to see, but they do insist on understanding what it can do for them. They deserve to have that explained in easy-to-understand terms.

For our customers, real simplicity comes from the collaboration between business leaders who have challenges and aspirations and technology leaders who have innovative solutions to address those challenges.

As the Gartner analysts further explain, “Cloud should be thought of as a means to an end. The end must be specified first.” That requires having a strategy that’s driven by business goals and thoughtful conversations between business and IT leaders on how to achieve them.

The fact is, the speed of the cloud journey is always up to the customer. Regardless how fast you go, NetApp can provide the building blocks you need at each step. Reach out to NetApp to have a cloud conversation, and take advantage of our business continuity and cloud resources. We promise to skip the alphabet soup. 

Kristian Kerr

Kristian Kerr is the Vice President of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa) Partners at NetApp. Kristian brings 20 years of experience, driving revenue growth with creative new business models and building strong relationships with external business partners. He previously held various leadership roles at Brocade Communication, Verizon Enterprise Solutions and Cisco Systems Ltd., as well as Juniper Networks, where he was responsible for successfully re-engineering the EMEA partner sales strategy to drive double-digit growth. He lives in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

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