What do I need to consider as I move to the cloud?
Don’t let your cloud experience become a dark one.
Cloud based solutions are gradually becoming an integral part of doing business as they reduce upfront development costs, speed up deployment times, scale systems and simplify customizations. Many businesses still run on traditional IT and don’t have much of a choice in changing that due to heavy investments in those legacy systems. They hear about how cloud solutions and hybrid IT can be adopted to deliver greater flexibility and agility, but don’t know where to begin.
There is nothing magic about the cloud – it is simply another delivery method for IT services, one that should be evaluated alongside other delivery methods to determine their suitability based on cost effectiveness and your business requirements.
Cloud applications can be relatively easy, low-cost solutions, but they do introduce new complexities when they need to be integrated with on premise ERP systems and databases, or with each other.
Most existing applications were developed in the pre-cloud era, where infrastructure was custom designed to meet the unique needs of each application. So how do you solve the issue of modernizing your business applications? Hybrid cloud deployments can help create a bridge from a past state of highly customized infrastructure, to a future-proofed state of highly standardized infrastructure.
Why use hybrid cloud?
A hybrid cloud solution that links both on premise and off premise assets can deliver the agility benefits anticipated by development and business staff, while also meeting the security, service level and governance requirements important to datacenter operations.
“As companies mature in their hybrid environments, process areas will simplify – from the users experience with applications to how developers code and release, all with continuous improvement to infrastructure security and monitoring. In addition to efficiency and cost reduction, it becomes a foundation for innovation and growth through improved customer, supply chain and employee engagement.” — Anand Ranganathan, Director of Cloud Solutions and Managed Services, Venture Technologies
Cloud systems are the most effective and affordable way to connect massive amounts of data, mine them for useful insights and translate those insights into greater operational efficiency. For example, new technology cloud-based machine learning services are better able to analyze large volumes of data and make recommendations to users of local systems.
Hybrid cloud deployments require real change in the data center and should be designed to manage a diverse set of workload types, technologies, and virtualization platforms, as well as manage automation and orchestration of both pre- and post-provisioning activities.
Common challenges we observe in cloud migrations
The biggest challenges we observe when organizations try to migrate servers to the cloud mainly come down to inexperience, misalignment of business and technology strategy, maintaining security standards and difficulties in dealing with legacy applications.
Cloud adoption approach
The first step should be to consider your business objectives and come up with a defined strategy and budget. What do you want your IT to deliver, and is the cloud the best route for all workloads? Not all applications and services will benefit from being migrated to the cloud, possibly because they process sensitive data or performance may suffer.
7 Questions to ask your potential cloud provider
Choosing a cloud provider is a critical decision; you’re essentially giving someone the keys to the front door of your business. You need to ask the right questions to ensure your data is kept safe and secure.
1. Where will my data be stored physically?
2. How much control do I retain over my data?
3. How is activity in my account monitored and documented?
4. How do you isolate and safeguard my data from that of other clients?
5. How do you manage encryption keys?
6. What certifications for data protection have you attained?
7. What uptime do you commit to?
What does a successful move to the cloud require?
A successful move to the cloud will require a lot of change throughout the entire organization. It is vital to implement strong change management every step of the way in order to ensure adoption and maximize value.
7 Key ingredients for a perfect cloud rollout
From our observations, the perfect cloud rollout requires a mix of the right ingredients, which include identifying the right drivers early on, getting priorities straight, empowering staff every step of the way and choosing an experienced partner.
Don’t make your cloud experience a dark one. Moving to the cloud requires careful planning, strong change management and ongoing optimization. Your whole organization needs to be realistic in setting goals and objectives that align business strategy with technology strategy.
While it can be intimidating to bring such a great concept to life, with cloud, you get the connectivity and scalability you need to take full advantage of competitive enterprise trends like the Internet of Things and Big Data. Cloud can help future-proof your business by revealing past patterns and using that data to make smarter decisions.
Download our eBook Are You Faking Your Way Through Cloud?
Venture Technologies’ data center hosts our VTCloud—an agile, scalable, fully virtualized pool of server, storage, and network assets—that powers Venture’s portfolio of VTCloud Services. Our engineering, operations, and help-desk staff use industry-best tools and practices to deliver service with aggressive SLAs up to 99.999% uptime. Learn more here.