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More organizations are implementing the cloud than ever before. And, of the 95% of enterprises using cloud technology, 77% are using private cloud, mostly in conjunction with hybrid solutions. Spending on private cloud IT infrastructure is also expected to reach $13.8 billion this year, a 10% increase year over year.

This growth is spurred by benefits which are becoming hard to ignore: Many companies have discovered that leveraging the private cloud doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or customization, and that they can have all the functionality and security in the way they need it most.

While these benefits are numerous, the steps to actually implementing a private cloud can be overwhelming. The following tips, though, can help an enterprise of any size realize the potential of a private cloud solution.

Assess the current situation

An aging infrastructure is the top pain point for companies considering a switch to the private cloud. An Aberdeen Group report found that 43% of data centers suffer from this problem, with 32% citing diverse hardware requirements, 27% high IT expenses, 26% long application deploy time, and 20% high capital costs.

To fully take stock of your current infrastructure’s capabilities and bandwidth, first consider all who use it. Daily users can tell you what still runs at top speed and where the system is lacking. Part of this assessment also requires a company to anticipate future traffic and data flow. This prepares the system to scale with a company as it also manages current workloads.

After uncovering the vulnerabilities of an existing system and room for growth, companies will be able to more confidently implement a private cloud solution for improved processes and IT infrastructure.

Find a reliable partner

Carrying out a plan to use a private cloud solution alone is a fool’s errand. To accomplish all the goals a private cloud helps a company reach, decision makers need to find a solution provider equipped to meet the needs of their organization.

Aberdeen research reveals that leading IT organizations are 60% more likely to leverage third-party private cloud providers to run their business-critical infrastructures. With assistance, companies are met with constant support, the expertise to make a move from existing to new infrastructure, and the knowledge to manage and mitigate any issues. Attempting to use a private cloud alone would end in an isolated infrastructure without the added advantages of third-party protection and help.

Working with a private cloud provider also gives enterprises more control and a broader view of their networks, allowing a company to make decisions with all the information available and create real change for improving the business.

Streamlining operations with a third-party partner who provides reliable and high-quality service delivers all the benefits of a private cloud.

View and manage gracefully

Once an organization has found the ideal partner and solution to take on the challenges of its infrastructure, it can learn to view every aspect of the system and manage its activity.

A private cloud can provide the most in-depth features for viewing IT systems comprehensively. The features Best-in-Class companies find most important include operational dashboards, service catalogs, automatic resource provisioning, SLAs with end-users, VM life time limits, and end-user self-provisioning. Having any combination of these, as supported by a third-party provider, reduces IT costs and makes a system more efficient.

Because a private cloud is capable of so much, companies will find they can centralize all their cloud activities, recover more quickly from disaster, and automate mundane tasks. In the spirit of optimizing an IT budget with private cloud benefits, this practice also reduces downtime, the average cost of which amounts to $260,000 per hour.

The private cloud advantage

Cloud computing is an important step in modernizing a company and streamlining operations. It should not go without a calculated and careful approach to exactly what type of cloud solution is a good fit for a company’s needs. To complete the process, companies should follow these tips for a smooth journey to the private cloud.

For more information about how enterprises can leverage private cloud technology, check out the free Aberdeen Group report, The “Have It Your Way” Approach to Private Cloud.

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