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What’s the difference? Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud

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Public cloud services are big news now. While many voices in the industry are espousing the virtues of private cloud storage, the use of alternatives such as Google Apps, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Office 365 services continues to skyrocket. So why are companies flocking to the public services on a daily basis?

First let’s clarify Public Cloud vs traditional IT outsourcing. With outsourcing, you have a different organisation doing the same thing as your IT team, but although they are responsible for agreed aspects, they’re often largely controlled by your in-house IT. This applies in both on-premise scenarios and with hosted private cloud storage.

Public Cloud Services change the model from a high degree of control by your IT team to a relationship with a megavendor – such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft – who supplies a standardised service to the market. Inevitably this means change for your IT team, but not extinction – simply a new focus with increased ability for innovation.

According to a report written by members of the CIO and executive leadership research group at Gartner, organisations will transform their IT teams into in-house cloud services brokerages (CSB). Rather than being bogged down with complex technical implementations and maintenance, in-house teams will evaluate, coordinate and broker the appropriate systems to achieve best value and functionality. For example, company data in cloud environments should be backed up to another location, to provide data restoration when users accidentally delete their own files.

As IT teams move to a more service-oriented role, Public Cloud Services should eventually become the backbone of your enterprise IT services. The robust infrastructure, availability and level of security offered by the megavendors are without equal. The ROI recovered by dispensing with local server resources is often significant, particularly when the cost of time is taken into account.

As ever, the speed of the organisation’s ability to adapt and implement change will be a critical success factor.