Even for professionals whose specializations are well outside the realm of technology, the rapid adoption of cloud computing among contemporary companies is easy to understand. By allowing data and applications to be remotely hosted and delivered via the Web, thus minimizing the amount of on-site hardware necessary to maintain an IT infrastructure, the cloud has proven to be an immense asset to enterprise agility.
But for some firms, it isn't effective to place all assets in a public cloud, which is controlled by a third-party vendor and occupied by all of that provider's clients. The need for greater security and higher performance has driven many businesses to opt for private clouds, virtualized environments owned and operated solely by the company. But single-tenant deployments, which are often located on-site, require hardware investments. For many IT teams, the move to a private cloud may lead to uncertainties about procurement strategies for the necessary resources.
The spike in private cloud implementations
More companies than ever are likely to be experiencing these issues, as private deployments have become an increasingly popular option. Research by InformationWeek recently found that private cloud adoption rates had risen to 47 percent by the end of 2013 - more than double the previous year, when that figure stood at 21 percent.
The trend may be due in part to the growing realization that it's possible to set up a private cloud while still keeping certain data and applications in a multi-tenant, public environment. This is what's known as the hybrid cloud model, and it's making private clouds more accessible by allowing them to be implemented on a smaller scale.
Managing the costs of hardware procurement
Opting for a hybrid deployment is one strategy for keeping down the direct material cost of a private cloud. But the need to invest in company-owned infrastructure remains. Many firms have found that setting up a private cloud requires a certain amount of procurement adaptability, with teams being flexible and creative in terms of how they source the necessary hardware and other physical resources.
Windward IT Solutions CEO Sean McDermott told BizTech Magazine that companies should consider how to reduce business costs gradually, making the investment in private cloud hardware piecemeal.
"For example, make a small investment that enables the organization to automate the delivery of applications to reduce costs related to staff time," McDermott told the news source.
The complexities of private cloud implementation remind firms that procurement in IT needs to be just as carefully managed as in other areas of the business.