Every business strives to find the winning formula for success.
Cloud technology has been around long enough for us to realize it’s huge a game changer. It offers a menu of pick and choose managed services, at a very low price point. It’s no longer like the days when co-location facilities offered managed services which were cost prohibitive. Over 90% of businesses today have migrated to the Cloud in some form or another says Andrew Pryfogel, SVP Cloud Transformation @ Intelisys. Cloud Users leverage 6 clouds on average — 3 public and 3 private. It is no longer being used primarily as a development or experimentation platform according to “Cloud Computing Trends: 2016 State of the Cloud Survey.”
Here are some of the key benefits of transitioning systems to the Cloud**
- Reduce CAPEX spending on technology infrastructure
- Achieve greater economies of scale
- Enhance globalization and portability of workforce
- Opportunity to improve security model and practices*
- Minimize software license requirements
- Increase flexibility and reactivity
- Reduce training and learning curves in a full hosted and managed environments**
- Achieve better visibility company-wide
- Streamline business processes
- Have real time access to enhanced technology and business analytics
- Focus IT staff on innovation
Avoid some of the quick sand that others have encountered.
While some believe that migrating to the cloud is a simple task, a solid strategy can save a company significant unforeseen migration costs and/or failures! With high hopes for reducing CAPEX spending and TCO (total cost of ownership), it’s no secret that a number of companies have landed themselves in hot water and have paid a hefty price for insufficient planning. Here are some of the areas to focus on……
Not all applications are good candidates for cloud computing.
Legacy applications generally have dependencies that are not trivial and would require costly and complex reworking. Lab testing is a sure way of establishing the viability of the performance you can expect from an application migration. There is an abundance of load testing application tools available to you and many third party tools for measuring TCO. If you can’t prove a positive ROI in advance, these applications probably should not be migrated. Applications that can take advantage of auto scaling (bursty applications) often reap the most benefit from utilizing cloud resources. Like many companies out there, your business may be seasonal or tied into various ad campaigns, requiring seamless, economical scaling capabilities to support these business directives. The Cloud is a great fit for unpredictable traffic. No matter how well you plan for traffic spikes, we have all seen popular sites come to a halt due to insufficient scaling capability and often recovery takes too long, negatively impacting your reputation as a dependable business entity. With the cloud you only pay for what you use, so these types of applications are ideal. Virtualization of applications and workloads can certainly ease cloud migrations significantly.
Using a single cloud to provide all your company’s needs will probably result in disappointment. Most companies are partnered with multiple Cloud providers in order meet their business goals. Multi-cloud management and integration challenges are an important part of the architecture planning and viability. Networks may need to be redesigned and security concerns have to be addressed. Licensing costs must also be considered in the equation. These hurdles are by no means insurmountable, but can negatively impact your TCO. Some companies choose to use different cloud providers for data replication or Disaster Recovery scenarios. Others may have compliance or governance directives that need to be met. The best governance is when business units work hand in hand with IT to ensure all needs and SLA’s are met. Understanding business issues such as regulatory compliance is part of duties of the governance team.
Integrating different cloud services is one of the biggest challenges your IT staff may face.
Additional training of IT and development staff may be critical to the success of your implementation. Understanding the training needs of your workforce is also important so that your team is well equipped to take full advantage of all the Cloud has to offer. This is a good opportunity to introduce cloud computing standards and to look for opportunities to streamline and automate processes, freeing up resources to focus on innovative strategies. Cloud analytics can provide your team with the real time BI (business intelligence) so that you can accelerate and improve decision making, and easily focus on driving revenues up.
It is also important to you consider your back out strategy in your planning, just in case you need to leave a specific Cloud provider suddenly. Perhaps your provider has failed to meet their SLA, or the pricing model no longer serves you – there could be a number of reasons. Be prepared and ensure your data is replicated outside of your cloud practice.
So as a technology or business leader, the time to migrate is NOW! After all, customer satisfaction is the real source of ROI.
*The CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) has published guidelines to secure systems in the cloud.
**Intelisys SVP Cloud Transformation- Andrew Pryfogel