A cloud is nothing but a metaphor used for the Internet. Operating via the cloud means having data storage on the Internet instead of using physical computer hardware. Along with that, it is used to manage and store information. Cloud is nearing the status of conventional practice because of the tangible cost savings proposed by cloud movement or migration. Coupled with the chances offered by edge computing and co-location data centres, moving to a cloud design presents organisations with unparalleled IT flexibility.
Enterprises or organisations need to generate complete strategies for shifting to cloud-first means of working, where the cloud is the prioritised and preferred IT model because:
● It is more flexible and agile.
● It improves IT and business performance.
● Disrupts the business models
● It accommodates to a changing digital world
Top Five statistics about the cloud:
- Forbes has reported that according to 74% of Chief Financial Officers in
technologicalcompanies, in 2017, cloud computing had the most impact.
- According to Vormetric, 85% of enterprises keep their sensitive data in the cloud.
- In the case of IDC, the spending on cloud computing is going to increase six times that of spending on IT through 2020.
- By 2020, 67% of software and enterprise infrastructure will be for cloud-based offerings, according to IDC.
- Forbes has predicted that by 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud.
Developing a Cloud Strategy:
To develop the best cloud strategy, you need to be aware of a lot of things and have to prepare for the same.
1. Know which cloud suits you the best:
Before you move to cloud, you need to know what kind of cloud is necessary for your organisation or business. The structuring of a cloud is essential. Any business or company which plans on migrating to cloud, will face a significant judgment about what sort of cloud operation is best suited for their requirements. Some of the types of clouds available are:
- Private Cloud: It is considered the most expensive and secure option. Private cloud survives in a materially safe environment that is away from public and outside access. It can house applications and data locally, enabling only permissible staff to access them and mostly through rigidly regulated devices.
- Public Cloud: Public cloud suits the popular idea of cloud, for example, third-party services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Moderately reasonable to scale or maintain and easy to access. Public cloud business idea or solution is fitting for usually smaller companies that cannot bear the expenditure of managing their processing resources and servers. The general character of the environment makes it more of a higher security hazard than other alternatives. Many companies turn away from purely public cloud business solutions because companies recording delicate data in a public cloud need to be aware that their data stored in the cloud,could be jeopardised far more quickly.
- Hybrid Cloud: It merges the advantages of a private and public cloud structure by receiving data and critical processes in a secure private cloud while applying public cloud for maximum non-critical application and data requirements.
- Multi-Cloud: Multi-cloud is mostly a distinguished deployment that includes several public clouds in one architecture. They distribute data and applications across various specialised platforms. It is directed to several of the same matters as the public cloud and can mitigate the weaknesses and strengths of multiple platforms to ascertain where the hosting of critical assets and processes can be done.
2. Start working on strategies for cloud adoption
Once the decision is made on which kind of cloud interface you want, the next step is to figure out the strategies that can help you in moving onto the cloud. For that you need to:
- Form an in-house committee – Create an in-house committee of workers that regularly indulge in IT related works and start planning on the best course of action to migrate to a cloud. If they seem incompetent, take the help of the cloud provider to find the right migration path for the organisation.
- Start developing decision criterion – Try and find answers to questions like what are the applications and software that you regularly depend on? What are the data constraints and needs of the data? What are the cloud performance requirements for effectively managing workloads? Once the questions are answered, it will help you in creating a user optimised cloud strategy that can help you to avoid costly mistakes.
3. Be aware of the risks and perks of cloud migration
When migrating to a cloud, you should be mindful of what the risks and the benefits of doing the same are. Some of the risks are as below:
One of the vital concerns while talking about the cloud, is security. Due to the current world events, most of the time there is increased focus on data privacy and security.
1.1 Public Cloud
Public cloud means that for maximum cost-efficiency, resources are distributed between companies or organisations. The provider of cloud operates and owns the total model, and access is offered via the internet. Adopted by many dealers, this approach provides them with large scalability. However, it narrows the configuration choices for every customer, making them cope with the restricted business process.
1.2 Private Cloud
These offerings are essential and the best way of moving your existing assets to the cloud.
There are options where a cloud infrastructure works only for a single company or an organisation, whether handled privately or by others and hosted within or externally. You should not only concentrate on virtualisation and profits in the total value of ownership on the IT level, but also watch out for cloud offerings that can benefit the business for innovation.
2. Regulatory Compliance: There are several laws which regulate requirements on specific kinds of data applicable to anyone passing, processing or storing it has to follow strict guidelines. If you do not take these rules seriously, it leads to criminal charges and fines. Organisations or companies should ensure any cloud migration goes along with regulatory measures.
- Flexibility –
Once you have migrated to a cloud, you have access to the data from home, as well as the workspace thus providing work flexibility.
- Automatic Updates –
With the migration to a cloud come automatic updates. The system will be regularly updated with the new or latest technology and upgraded servers etc.
- No data is lost –
Cloud makes sure that no matter what happens, i.e., loss of power, a natural disaster, or any other issues, the data will be intact in the cloud, safely.
Once you are aware of the risks, work with the cloud provider and try to reduce or manage the risks.
4. Start working with cloud-based software and applications
Once you have worked out the nuances, start using the cloud-based software as a service that can replace some of your application for better access to updates, deployment, and scaling.
5. Always be prepared
Like how the other applications are updated, you need to update your recovery plan in case of a disaster. The cloud is suitable for heavy lifting when it comes to the recovery of data. If the server which is on the premise goes down, you can operate out of the cloud with just a touch of a switch.
Shifting to a cloud has its advantages; however, it should not be rushed. A proper well thought out cloud strategy should be made before any action is taken.
Some of the other components to be kept in mind for a better cloud strategy are–
- SaaS – Software as a Service
User experience is essential in any software. Cloud solutions have end-user engagement greater than other solutions. They are reacting to trends like social, mobility, collaboration, etc. and are innovating faster. An application may look nice, but the user experience may not be that great when you have to resolve business problems. This then creates a complicated and lousy user experience.
- PaaS – Platform as a Service
Having an innovative stage that allows your ecosystem to be flexible in accommodating the current setup and being able to develop new solutions when required. All of this while not having to commence from the beginning, is the way to go.
What is your budget when it comes to migrating to the cloud and how much extra can you spend if necessary. This will help the company to keep an eye on the cost and money spent on the migration thus saving a lot, if a proper plan is made.
As the efficiency of using cloud solutions advances, there is a risk for companies or organisations that the customer experience will be affected if the solutions do not articulate between each other without any issues. There can be a very harmonious set of reporting, diagnostics, error handling, metrics, mistake tracking that can be made and it can be consistent across many types of integrations that are being developed.
- Data Requirements:
Knowing how much data space is required in the cloud is important and makes a lot of difference. It prepares the company for being cost-efficient and they will not have to go back and forth in redoing things.
The cloud offering needs to be built on a solid foundation or infrastructure and should be robust to support and handle different settings from various vendors.
- Company Size:
The cloud amenities can depend on the size of your business or company. This crucial information needs to be informed to the third party or the person that is taking care of the cloud migration, the rest can be adapted accordingly.
Why do you need Cloud strategy?
A cloud strategy is really important if you are planning on migrating to a cloud. It lays down the business outcomes you are looking for and outlines how you can reach there. With the help of a cloud strategy, the migration will be quicker, easier and cost-efficient with better results. Once you are prepared for the pros and cons of the strategy, you do not need to redo something to make it right since the strategy covers it all.
A well thought out and clearly defined cloud strategy is what can make the migration to a cloud successful. Knowing the pros and cons and keeping you aware of all the issues that can be faced, proper steps can be taken to counter these. Along with that, a successful cloud migration means a better output, a better company and flexible workload for the employees.
If you found this interesting and would like to learn more, check out the Cloud Computing Course from Great Learning and upskill in this domain.1