The cloud is a great disruptor. It’s the harbinger of productivity and availability powering the always-on business environment. With the initial trepidation surrounding the technology laid to rest, cloud computing is now establishing itself as a part of the new normal in the enterprise technology landscape. Research shows that the cloud is the fastest-growing segment of IT spend. It is estimated that by 2023 all leading cloud providers will have a “distributed, ATM-like presence to serve a subset of their service”.
In this era of the cloud, optimizing cloud strategies is essential especially as the multi-cloud and hybrid cloud, growing vendor networks, and rising number of SaaS applications make this landscape more complex. For organizations to get the most out of their cloud investments, it’s essential to get the max value out of their cloud strategies. But this is where most fall short. Here’s why.
If you don’t align your cloud infrastructure properly to the long-term business strategy it will eventually fail.
Understanding why you need the cloud, where it will help, and how it will help the organization achieve its business goals helps organizations leverage the cloud more effectively.
To embark on the cloud journey, it is essential to define the scope at the business and unit level and by use cases. Do you want to move critical workloads to the cloud for uncompromising availability for a global team or is it development and testing that you want to push there? What kind of SaaS services will you consume, and why and how do you see this expanding?
Identifying long-term business goals and aligning the cloud strategy to it is crucial to get the max RoI from the cloud. Defining the scope reduces confusion and misconceptions and helps in defining a strategy that optimally leverages cloud functionality to drive successful business outcomes.
The promise of cost savings from the cloud will not come through unless aligned with the IT strategies. Needless to say, since technology powers businesses now, IT strategies are almost always aligned to business strategies. As such the cloud is not an IT project. It is a business project.
Understanding the IT strategy and then evaluating how the cloud can power and super-charge these are essential considerations. Are applications in use for internal or external customers? What is the RoI on IT investments and the bottom-line that the organization desires? Do you want to accelerate service delivery? The need must power the strategy.
Getting IT and business stakeholders on the same page is essential to drive innovation, cost control, operational efficiency, and IT rationalization. Involving enterprise project managers and business departments in the IT strategic planning stage is essential so that they can articulate their expectations and objectives. Such an approach balancing out quick wins against long-term goals and helps in eliminating challenges such as the likelihood of failure.
Adopting the cloud is not just another IT project. If an organization approaches it as one, the project is already a failure. You just don’t know it yet
The interest in the cloud has further accelerated as organizations realize the need for agility, flexibility, availability, and performance more than ever now. However, before jumping on to the cloud or adding to their cloud capabilities many organizations forget to assess the current state of their IT in terms of its ‘readiness’.
An IT readiness assessment of the existing IT framework evaluates if the organization does or doesn’t meet the stated criteria list. With this in place, organizations can get clarity on continuity planning, security management, identity management, data protection and also identify internal SLAs to optimize the cloud.
Many organizations are not able to draw the maximum value from their cloud initiatives because of the routes that they take to the cloud. The “lift and shift” approach is not the only route to reach the cloud destination. Organizations should ideally evaluate possible routes like:
Rehosting – lifting applications with minimal effort and moving them to the cloud. There is a minimal change here and hence, the benefits are minimal too.
Refactoring – Taking advantage of services such as cloud-managed databases rather than migrating existing databases to the cloud. The organization continues to manage these databases internally but in another place.
Rebuilding – Completely rebuilding strategic applications employing a cloud-native architecture to enable elastic scalability and pay-per-use models
We can only manage what we can measure. This holds for the cloud as well.
Organizations need complete transparency into the assets and their resource utilization to ensure optimized use. Plugging the wastage in terms of unutilized resources or assets can drive significant cost optimization.
Further, having a completely transparent cloud infrastructure is also essential for proper governance especially with the rise of the multi-cloud where organizations get on-demand, self-service resources with endless capacity. Organizations need complete transparency and visibility into consumption patterns not just of cloud services but also of consumption across cloud providers to govern and manage the environment to drive cost and operational efficiencies.
Organizations are rapidly jumping on the cloud bandwagon post the pandemic to drive more opportunities and enable digital transformation. They are increasingly using the cloud to drive new initiatives or to replace existing systems especially as the ‘cloud-first approach gains momentum. The cloud-first approach refers to the practice of prioritizing cloud-based solutions over others and embracing legacy modernization above all else. However, this can often lead to a tendency to use the cloud for everything.
The cloud is a means to an end. It is the end that has to be specified first. The cloud is great for use in many cases but not in all cases. Not all workloads and applications suit the cloud. For example, moving a legacy application to the cloud only makes sense when there is a clear cost advantage.
Balancing out a cloud-first approach with a ‘could smart’ approach becomes more beneficial when organizations want to get the maximum value out of their cloud strategies. A cloud smart approach balances out cloud adoption with the organization’s existing circumstances, unique goals, and business value.
Getting the right technical advisory service to draw up the right cloud strategy and make the correct cloud choices is essential for cloud success. Moving to the cloud demands careful evaluation of the existing infrastructure and the alignment of business goals with IT. Not doing so leads to failure in the cloud.
The right technology partner will plan a cloud roadmap that will consider all the variables and all the influences at play in this journey. They will help you determine which is the right cloud for your organization and the right level of cloud integration, select the right candidates for application migration, and help you adopt the correct single or multi-cloud strategy according to the needs of the organization. They will help design the performance baselines, SLA’s and optimize the cloud migration roadmap to ensure business continuity. They will also help in designing the right cloud management strategies in place that drive efficiency, productivity, agility, scalability, and profitability.
Along with these things, organizations also should pay close attention to their security profile to make sure security breaches do not impact the organization and look out for hidden costs in the infrastructure systems to make sure that they get the absolute max out of their cloud strategies.
Connect with our team of experts to assess if your enterprise needs a cloud check-up.