Cloud adoption rates have soared throughout 2020, with the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) confirming that 88% of organisations now use the cloud in some form. Additionally, 67% of users expect to increase their reliance on cloud services over the next year. Although companies now have a greater degree of trust in cloud environments, the CIF forecasts that a significant majority of companies will continue to use cloud services as part of a hybrid model. If this sounds like the situation your law firm is in, then effective hybrid cloud management is essential for both security and performance.
Understanding the Hybrid Cloud Model
Unless you’re a new venture which has fully committed to working in a cloud-first environment, the chances are that you’re using a combination of on-premise systems mixed with private and public cloud interfaces. There’s no single definition for a hybrid cloud model, but some possibilities might include:
- Pairing of a private and public cloud such as AWS or Openstack
- Pairing of traditional ‘legacy’ systems with a public cloud
- Single private cloud paired with interfaces for two or more public clouds
As you can see, the hybrid cloud model or concept is complex, but it’s also highly versatile. If you need to adapt your configuration quickly, which may be vital during the uncertainties of the pandemic, then hybrid clouds allow you to do so. By mixing and matching your bespoke combination of private, public and on-premises architecture, you can create the perfect solutions for your operations. Of course, whilst making the most of such an agile approach to IT, you’ll need to prioritise hybrid cloud management to stay in control of your systems.
The Basics of Hybrid Cloud Management
Effective hybrid cloud management begins with taking an inventory of which workloads, applications and systems are contained within your setup. This is also a fantastic opportunity to evaluate the worth of each component of your hybrid cloud setup to your law firm. Ask yourself some key questions, such as:
- Who is responsible for each workload within your business?
- Which resources do you need to assign to each workload?
- Where do these workloads run?
- When do these workloads run?
Asking these questions will provide the foundations for your hybrid cloud management principles and also allow you to determine the worth of each workload to your law firm.
Hybrid Cloud Management Security
Now that you know exactly what is running in your hybrid cloud, it’s time to consider who should be given access to each workload and what their security level should be. This may be determined by your industry or internal compliance regulations, which can control whether your cloud data must be encrypted or allowed to move across your network. Hybrid cloud management tools can help you put security control measures in place, but for these to be effective, you’ll need to tailor them to the specific security needs of your law firm.
Service Level Agreements
Your SLA is the contract between your cloud service provider and you as the end-user and hybrid cloud manager. Your contract will define exactly what specific level of service is on offer, and you can hold your provider responsible if they fail to deliver. However, hybrid cloud management also involves drawing up a baseline of expectations for your end-users, both in terms of security and performance.
Choosing Your Hybrid Cloud Management Tools
There are many hybrid cloud management tools available for your law firm, but making the right selection comes down to which can offer value to your specific setup. For example, your hybrid cloud architecture might benefit from API management, performance management and security management solutions, but not require DevOps tools. Seek advice from cloud services specialists to determine which are the best solutions for your law firm.
Outsourcing Your Hybrid Cloud Management
As hybrid models are so intricate and need to be considered on an individual basis, it pays to outsource your hybrid cloud management requirements to a cloud services specialist. With more than a decade of providing IT services for the legal sector, and a dedicated cloud management team, City Business Solutions can help. We understand the need to keep your confidential client data fully protected and can provide the hybrid cloud management solutions to bring peace of mind to your legal practice. Contact our cloud specialists today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.