Cloud services are only as strong as the networks that connect them

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It is official: the cloud is both the present and the future of IT.

You may have already suspected that, but the market intelligence and advisory services firm IDC confirmed it recently when it released the results of a survey of 300 U.S.-based CIO and CTO staff members knowledgeable about their companies’ network architecture, cloud, WAN and data center infrastructure strategies.

The facts are irrefutable:

  • 76 percent already use cloud technology to power their businesses
  • Another 17 percent will introduce cloud technology in the next six months

I’ll let you make your own guesses as to what the remaining 7 percent are doing. Interestingly, there are some differences in cloud adoption by industry. Healthcare shows the highest adoption at 85 percent, while the manufacturing and retail industries show the lowest at 68 percent. And the financial services, transportation, services and government/education industries all checked in at about 78 percent.

That cloud adoption is nearly off the charts isn’t all that much of a surprise, but IDC found a few other data points that are:

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) will show the most growth over the next year, while private cloud is expected to show the least growth
  • Hybrid cloud solutions are being rapidly adopted, with approximately 70 percent saying they have already introduced hybrid cloud or plan to in the near future

According to Research Vice President Melanie Posey of IDC, cloud adoption is rapidly changing the landscape for IT for companies of all sizes:

“IDC has been closely studying cloud adoption, and the implementation of private cloud connectivity is one of the most significant emerging trends in the IT industry. A recent analysis we conducted showed that two-thirds of U.S. businesses currently use public cloud services for production workloads and applications, and nearly three-quarters of companies regularly utilizing cloud are using two or more cloud providers.

It is clear that companies have moved beyond the experimentation phase, and they are now moving mission critical workloads to the cloud. That is driving the need for private cloud connectivity, which gives companies greater security, performance, availability and control.”

At Windstream, we see the same level of demand for cloud services, and many of the same concerns. To meet the performance demands of these customers and alleviate their concerns, we offer Windstream Cloud Connect, which seamlessly integrates cloud services and IT infrastructure.

When customers adopt cloud services, many also want secure, reliable, dedicated access to these cloud resources. After all, mission-critical applications in the cloud must deliver the same high performance, availability and security as the on-site IT services they replace.

Cloud services however, are only as strong as the network that connects them. Windstream Cloud Connect provides that underlying network connectivity, technologies and services to effectively connect and integrate cloud services and applications with customers’ IT infrastructure.

We also enable our customers’ hybrid cloud strategies by providing multiple options to connect to cloud environments. For example, we can provide Internet access with secure tunneling or we can provide private, dedicated connectivity such as layer 2 Ethernet, Cloud Connect, or MPLS.  

There is no question that cloud services are an increasingly important IT strategy. However, the accompanying access strategy is just as important. With Windstream, out Cloud Connect solutions take a holistic approach to ensure that the cloud performance matches the expectations.

If you would like to know more about how Windstream is helping businesses, organizations and governments design and implement highly reliable, highly secure cloud-based services, visit the Windstream Cloud Connect webpage.