When used wisely, consuming cloud as-a-service (aaS) can dramatically improve business outcomes. Primarily, cloud IT services can promote business agility, reduce expenses, and accelerate time-to-market. They also can provide access to highly trained professionals with focused technical expertise, solving a longstanding problem many IT leaders face with sourcing specialized talent.

Businesses today want speed and flexibility, and cloud IT as-a-service can help them achieve that because they don’t need to procure and deploy hardware and then build, test, and iterate software solutions. Although cloud offerings are attractive because they are readily available and can be deployed quickly, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether to build a solution in-house or outsource it to a cloud provider.

As you think about whether to build your own solutions or procure them from a trusted cloud provider, first ask yourself how quickly the business needs the solution and whether or not the right expertise exists in-house. Can the business take the time to build it? Is the right talent available? If speed to market is paramount and specialized skills are lacking, then cloud IT as-a-service bears examination.

Next, consider whether or not the cloud solution matches the actual business needs, and if it can help the organization achieve the desired outcomes. Some cloud services are “one size fits most.” Others are highly specialized. Weigh the options to determine whether a trusted partner is suited for the task, or if your situation requires something highly customized and unique to the business.

Next comes the biggest question: security. Especially when a solution is running in a public cloud environment, IT leaders need to be comfortable about regulatory compliance and risk tolerance. In a world where data loss can swiftly turn into millions of dollars in lost revenue, cause major regulatory headaches, and erode public trust, cloud providers must be able to demonstrate that their systems are built to guarantee the safety of mission-critical data.

Cisco has built an ecosystem of 50 cloud partners in 50 countries comprising 250 data centers. Our partners in Intercloud not only provide foundational computing technologies, but also offer specific applications that give IT executives greater choice and control. Through specialization, Cisco Powered  partners can meet many different business requirements. Maybe you need managed threat defense, or best-of-breed deep packet inspection. Cisco and its cloud partners work together to deliver these types of advanced capabilities.

C-level executives, understandably, are approaching cloud options with caution. We vet every Intercloud partner to Cisco’s exacting standards. Our partners must exhibit positive, longstanding customer relationships, show superb operational abilities, and have proven security track records. Because we examine them so thoroughly, we trust them—and you can too.

To learn more about using as-a-service cloud providers and about Cisco’s Intercloud ecosystem of trusted cloud partners, view the full video here.




Tal Saraf

Vice President, Product Management