Cloud has emerged as a core focus area, not only for the IT Service Providers, but also for Enterprises. Invariably, it has become one of the most important Technology Strategy areas for CIOs and CTOs. Any discussion about Cloud is now directly targeted towards ways to embrace Cloud and how soon that can be achieved. Not only does Cloud natively offer cost advantage over legacy or traditional setups, but it also improves the ability of an organization to be more agile, flexible and innovative and thus placed better in terms of continuously remaining competitive within its target market. A lot of that is achieved with the support of its IT function or department becoming a catalyst to quickly build robust and resilient applications that can scale up and scale down with business needs.
As it may sound easy to say, but any business or technology decision to move to Cloud should be backed by a sound strategy and direction, considering short term, medium and long term benefits and expectations. Any absence of the same, may jeopardize the existing business as well, with impacts related to bad investments, resources, costs and missed goals. An IT Cloud Services provider having a strong consulting capability can be a value add when organizations consider Cloud move or strategy.
What are the areas that need to be dwelled more into while strategizing a Cloud move?
What are the long term business goals?
Any IT Cloud strategy should clearly consider what the long term business goals of an organization are and where and when IT needs to be an enabler for the organization to achieve its long terms goals. As such stakeholders involved in the process should be clearly aware of the business objectives. For the Cloud Strategy to be successful, key subject matter experts from all the layers of the organization should be continuously involved while it is designed from a 360 degree perspective. That will identify what areas of IT need to play a key role in the Cloud journey. It may be Infrastructure, Applications or even developing an internal Cloud capability. We recommend customers to avoid only taking a short-term view as that brings a risk of increased cost and stretched schedules.
The whole objective should be to develop a blueprint which maps the short, medium and long term needs and how they can be achieved. At the same time, adequate research should be done in terms of considering Resources, Process and Technology decisions so that the organization still remains very flexible and agile with the new strategy and is geared up to absorb ever changing business and technical landscape and requirements.
An important aspect while developing a Cloud Strategy and to seamlessly integrate it with the core business, is to identify approaches to achieve a Cloud shift. It is always advisable to identify backup plans and best practices in advance, so as to be prepared to face any unknown business or technological challenge. A SWOT analysis thus helps and it makes sure that the Cloud Strategy is aligned with the business.
What about Cloud Adoption?
It is necessary to identify what is the appetite from the business to accept the Cloud. A lot if it is also dependent on the general awareness and motivation towards the change. As such it is essential to define the objectives to move to Cloud while defining the Cloud strategy and what are the measures needed to secure buy-in from the concerned business units and stakeholders to adopt the Cloud and to streamline their perception towards Cloud.
As Cloud Computing provides a variety of business benefits, it is very important to identify which of its benefits that can be leveraged, and for which Enterprise business requirement and where it fits in your Business and IT roadmap. The early adoption of Cloud by many small and medium-size companies was due to the requirement of standard and cost effective solutions in line with their business needs and restraints. However, now many large organizations are adopting Cloud owing to its scalability, speed-to-market, and process simplification and automation benefits.
What Cloud Type or Model?
There are multiple Cloud types and technologies available to leverage. However, a key decision is to identify which of those would suit your business, as part of the Cloud Strategy and is also the least disruptive.
Some of the options available are:
- Private Cloud:
- Comparatively more secure and robust
- However, requires more Capex and Opex as it is generally implemented on an on-premise Data Centre
- If there is a requirement to keep applications or data only on on-premise, then this may be the only option
- Public cloud:
- Lean, flexible, scalable and relatively cost efficient
- To address Security concerns, a thorough due diligence and assessment must be completed
- Appropriate technology and compliance measures are available on the Public cloud to mitigate any Security or Data related issues
- Major Cloud Vendors and Partners, can provide you solutions to leverage their geographical spread of Data Centers for data back-ups, disaster recovery and business continuity planning
- Multi-Cloud is another option where a Cloud Partner can help you leverage specific benefits with each Cloud provider, and also as part of business continuity planning
- Hybrid cloud:
- Stands somewhere between Private and Public Cloud and leverages benefits of both of those
- Ideal when some it is required to keep some applications on-premises whilst moving others into the public cloud
- This requires detailed discovery and Cloud SMEs to identify the pros and cons
- A Multi-Cloud strategy involving Public and Private Cloud can also be an option and is already leveraged by many Enterprises
How to Optimise Costs?
These are some strategies adopted by organisations to optimise costs.
- Leverage ‘Pay as you Go’ model of Cloud
- Pay for only what you use and for time, scale up and down based on business needs within short time, without any upfront or blocked CAPEX and OPEX investments on IT
- Save money on both resources and hardware due to the fact that cloud computing uses fewer physical resources and that there is less hardware to purchase, power and maintain
- Implement a robust Cloud IT Strategy
- Collaborate and secure support from a Cloud Partner for Outsourced cloud. Not only will this help avoid keeping server, storage, network, and virtualization experts on staff full time, but also help get anytime access to relevant expertise through Cloud provider
- Your internal resources can best be utilized and would be productive if they are utilized on core business activities, rather than IT design and maintenance which may not be their forte or your organization’s focus
- On-board a matured IT partner to get the best of expertise, best practices and technology mix
- A trusted partner can help you to achieve your business goals by collaborating with you in your Cloud journey
Saksoft with its focused Infrastructure and Cloud Services practice, would be happy to support Enterprise customers as a value added and trusted partner throughout their entire Cloud journey, from building a robust IT Cloud Strategy, its Adoption, associated Migration or Implementation and then as a Managed Services partner.