Private Sector Hosting April 2015

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1 Private Sector Hosting April 2015 Secure cloud solutions with guaranteed UK data sovereignty. Is cloud the right solution for my organisation? This paper explains what managed cloud services are and helps you assess the benefits of a UK based ISO27001 certified, Tier 4 data centre and the moving your organisation to the cloud Learning Possibilities Ltd, 506 Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Herts, WD6 3FG, UK. Telephone: +44 (0)

2 Is cloud the right solution for my organisation? The Cloud It s everywhere these days. The phrase Cloud Computing appears over 144 million times on Google search alone. So, what is it about the cloud that is so appealing and why are businesses finding the cloud so alluring? An unprecedented wave of new technologies is hitting the enterprise, creating exciting new possibilities for IT and business transformation. These include: Cloud Compu ng including So ware as a Service (SaaS), Pla orm as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) models. Big Data and analy c pla orms. Mobility including smart phones, tablets and other devices. DevOps so ware development and tes ng methodologies. Social Media including social networking and collabora on pla orms. These technologies are creating opportunities to build new business models and create strategic advantage. This is particularly true of the cloud with its ease of deployment, cost and flexibility advantages. Organisations can quickly launch new services in response to customer demand or market trends while minimising capital expenditure. Financial pressures have required organisations to focus resources on ensuring the availability, reliability and stability of the most business critical systems and applications while also reducing costs, with over 70% of IT budgets now spent on ongoing maintenance, operations and capacity expansion. Instead of identifying opportunities to help the business leverage new technologies like cloud, IT departments have had to focus on support activities. Cloud providers offer attractive opportunities for IT departments to offload activities to focused vendors with economies of scale, experience and expertise. 2

3 Zero Capital Cost Models IT infrastructure consolidation and optimisation has become a top priority for 77% of IT hardware decision makers in Why? Focus many organisa ons find that internal IT departments can focus on innova on rather than suppor ng legacy systems. Gartner Key IT Metrics 2014 surveys find that 56% of the typical IT budget is spent on infrastructure and opera ons. Scale managed cloud service providers can achieve scale beyond what is achievable for even the largest enterprise. Flexibility the move towards pay as you use pricing models of cloud services enables organisa ons to shi IT spend from CapEx to OpEx. Exper se CIOs are finding that a rac ng and retaining IT skills that support the constant influx of new and improved technologies is difficult, if not impossible. Gartner research (Taming the Digital Dragon, December 2013) states that 42% of CIOs don t feel they have the right skills and capabili es in place to face this future. Picking the right point for migration Managed cloud service providers offer organisations a variety of options, including dedicated, virtualized, private, public and hybrid cloud environments. The optimal infrastructure delivery model is typically highly dependent on the nature of the application or that it supports. With the cloud, organisations are able to migrate an initial workload or set of workloads in a new managed infrastructure environment, instead of attempting to migrate diverse applications with varied infrastructure requirements. Organisations are able to gain comfort with the managed cloud model and service provider. For this reason, many organisations initially focus on existing workloads that do not require significant rearchitecture or re building to migrate to a managed infrastructure services environment. When identifying applications for initial migration to a managed cloud model, business, technical and operational characteristics need to be considered. When deciding whether to build capabilities inhouse or use a managed cloud service provider it s important to consider the lifetime value of a managed service: 1. Business cri cality the cloud can securely host mission or business cri cal applica ons, as they can meet significant disaster recovery (DR), backup or data replica on requirements. 2. Availability / performance cloud providers invest in high performance, high availability, low latency, and high data transfer requirements. 3. Networking the geographic loca on of the service provider s data center needs to be considered, as well as workload bandwidth requirements. Figure 1: Computing Research "Can IT change in step with the business" and Workday 4. Applica on integra on cloud service providers can provide exper se of migra on and integra on with on premise or external applica ons, data or shared services. 5. Applica on monitoring/management cloud service providers are able to provide bespoke systems management, service management, performance monitoring or security tools as well as stringent SLA guarantees. 6. Compliance cloud service providers are able to tailor solu ons to meet legisla ve compliance to safeguard personally iden fiable informa on (PII), protected health 3

4 informa on (PHI), payment card data or other sensi ve informa on. 7. Security many cloud service providers offer addi onal physical and virtual security to those that can be implemented cost effec vely within an organiza on with an in house IT department. 8. Capacity cloud service providers are able to provide addi onal CPU, memory and storage capacity as demands. Cloud Possibilities is able to provide expertise, experience and capabilities across a range of applications and infrastructure models, enabling IT organisations to shift as much focus as possible to the important work of innovation. Key features of our solution Design Through collaborative design consultations we help develop tailored, sustainable solutions that perform exactly as expected. Our staff follow ITIL and PRINCE II methodologies for all our projects. Provisioning Cloud Possibilities takes away the hassle of provisioning users onto your new cloud system, with the ability to integrate with Active Directory through ADFS to automate the process. Dedicated account manager We are able to completely manage your organisations transition and migration to the cloud, whether it is integrating existing technologies or transferring data, the Cloud Possibilities experienced, dedicated staff are on hand to help you through the process. Proactive support Our pro active approach to management extends beyond the initial build with dedicated account managers. 24/7 Network Operations Centre monitoring with guaranteed SLA, allows us to act swiftly by investigating and resolving any deviation in the day to day running of the environment. Figure 2: Traditionally 80% of IT budgets are allocated towards maintenance costs (Gartner CIO agenda survey) Conclusion New, managed infrastructure cloud models offer opportunities for IT departments to refocus on innovation and shift resources to areas that can provide organisations with true competitive advantage. The right managed services partner should provide capabilities and expertise across both dedicated and cloud based platforms, enabling IT departments to realise the long term benefits of cloud computing while freeing up resources to accelerate innovation. Access to technical specialist and Training Through our vast experience in building complex IT infrastructures for our clients, we have an indepth, working knowledge of how to achieve the best solution and maximum security for your organisation. Disaster recovery and monitoring We supply class leading IT disaster recovery solutions to businesses of all sizes. Our range of DR services enable fast failover continuity so your business stays online no matter what. The array of Disaster Recovery services we offer provide the ultimate in flexibility and reliability, so you can be sure your data is secure. 4

5 About Cloud Possibilities Cloud Possibilities is a division of Learning Possibilities, providing private and hybrid cloud solutions to the public sector for over 10 years. Our cloud platforms are currently used by over 1 million users across the UK. The organisation has recently joined the G Cloud framework to provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to support the UK Government s drive to transform public sector IT and delivery of efficient and effective services to the public sector. The company is a Microsoft Gold Partner with key competencies in Hosting. In 2014, Learning Possibilities won the Education Investor Award for Technological Infrastructure. In 2012, Learning Possibilities won the national contract to provide the LP+4 learning platform to over 1500 schools in Wales. The cloud project, funded by the Welsh Government, offers a bi lingual, customised Microsoft SharePoint based learning platform solution that is available anytime, anywhere through a simple Internet connection. By signing into the solution, schools also have single sign on access to Microsoft's cloud service, Office 365 for teachers and learners Cloud Possibilities 506 Centennial Park Centennial Avenue Elstree, Hertfordshire WD6 3FG UK Phone: Website: 5

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