Private, hybrid, SaaS? Choosing the right cloud deployment model to accelerate your business and drive desired performance, security and scalability benefits, can be tricky to navigate. Making sense of various cloud services and cloud-based solutions can be, well, downright cloudy.
Let’s take a look at why organizations are moving to the cloud, what to look for from cloud service providers and the benefits of embracing cloud solutions, such as content management, to accelerate digital transformation. But first, let’s start with some definitions to make sure we’re on the same page.
What are the three main cloud computing service models?
What is a hybrid cloud? What is a cloud service provider? To address some common questions like these, we went straight to the industry source, and referenced the Gartner® glossary to define relevant key terms:
- What is cloud computing? Cloud computing is a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using internet technologies.
- What is private cloud computing? Private cloud computing is a form of cloud computing that is used by only one organization, or that ensures that an organization is completely isolated from others.
- What is hybrid cloud? Hybrid cloud computing refers to policy-based and coordinated service provisioning, use and management across a mixture of internal and external cloud services.
- What is software as a service (SaaS)? SaaS is software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at any time on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.
Employee productivity and the preference for SaaS
When it comes to new cloud implementations, many organizations are choosing SaaS solutions. While cost may be a significant motivator, due to the ability to eliminate implementation and maintenance costs, one of the biggest drivers for digital transformation projects is focused on people and productivity.
A survey by 451 Research found that 60 percent of IT respondents are prioritizing employee collaboration and productivity tools as a core IT-led priority. This is a direct result of the shift to remote work during the pandemic which revealed numerous workplace challenges, with the top two obstacles for team success tied to siloed information spread across multiple applications, making it difficult to search, access and use, and poor integration across applications.
To address these challenges, many organizations are moving to SaaS deployment as the default, with the same survey finding that 73% of respondents either somewhat (46%) or completely (27%) agree that SaaS is the preferred deployment model for new applications.
The role of hybrid cloud solutions to power modern work
Modernizing how you manage content is a critical part of digital transformation, but the reality is that not every organization is ready to make a radical or rapid transition to the cloud—and that’s okay. By taking a hybrid approach and using cloud-based applications to address specific use cases and augment existing content services solutions, there are still huge benefits to be gained.
Cloud content management is focused not just on moving content to the cloud but being able to integrate and surface the right content within the context of key business processes. Moving to the cloud can make content more usable, accessible and efficient to access in the context of business operations—delivering economic benefits by making processes more efficient (requiring fewer hands and fewer steps) while protecting and governing information where it is stored.
When determining your next cloud move, it’s less about the cloud as a destination and more about the business challenge and potential value. Ask yourself: What are the most critical problems we want to solve and what will have the biggest impact to the organization? When mapping out digital transformation next steps, consider your longer-term cloud strategy and if the potential model, whether hybrid, private or public, serves the vision of where the company wants to end up in terms of cloud.
How to choose a cloud service provider?
Assessing the business challenge you want to solve is a key first step, but how do you determine which cloud provider is a fit for your organization? Here are five things to look for when evaluating options:
- Customer success: Look at the vendor’s customer roster and customer stories for insight into their track record, reputation and ability to deliver as promised.
- Choice: Ensure the vendor offers the flexibility and upfront option to choose how to deploy cloud content services to best meet your needs.
- Strength of integration capabilities: You want to be able to easily access data from leading applications, such as SAP and Salesforce, directly within cloud content management to reduce switching between apps and boost productivity.
- Support and service: Working with a vendor that offers services to support integration, cloud migration, and other services can speed time to value, allowing you to re-focus resources, accelerate your digital strategy and drive a successful cloud journey.
- Security and compliance: Assess the vendor’s R&D around product security and priorities and roadmaps for future investments.
The case for content management in the cloud
Organizations choosing to leverage content management in OpenText’s private cloud gain added choice and flexibility. One major advantage is the option to deploy and run the content management application in either a private cloud itself or by leveraging a cloud vendor, such as Azure AWS or Google. Companies can also combine and customize solutions, deploying private cloud for one line of business and integrating with public cloud or SaaS for another use case—driving value in a multi-cloud environment.
Discover how to solve enterprise-wide content and productivity challenges, address new uses cases and master modern work with OpenText.
 451 Research, IT Turns Its Attention to Employee Productivity and its Preference Towards SaaS, 2021