The cloud and on-prem branch networks are sometimes thought of as uneasy colleagues. But not necessarily true. They could be best friends.

At least that’s the opinion of consultant Andrew Froelich in a column for

Usually organizations want all branch offices to have identical architectures because that’s easier to manage. But the fact is branch sizes and needs can differ. Inevitably the dream of standardization goes out the window.

But cloud computing could close that window, if you’ll pardon me mixing metaphors.

“Cloud computing can dramatically reduce the number of on-premises changes required between small and large branches,” Froelich argues. “Many infrastructure components commonly found in larger, more complex branch offices can now be pushed into the cloud and managed by your cloud service provider.

“In essence, one day branch offices will simply be an extension of the cloud, which will be the heart and soul of the organization from an IT perspective.”

How close is that day? Let’s face it, these are still early days of cloud computing. This vision will require greater visibility into costs as well as a willingness of IT managers to surrender more control over infrastructure.

But now’s the time for leaders to be prepared for this view of computing to become a reality

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