There are many great motivators to move to the cloud, but there are also many steps to take. With companies looking for better agility, cost savings, productivity, and mobility, tomorrow’s business certainly belongs to the cloud. Sure, there are still concerns about cloud security. But when Gartner says, 'Cloud computing will become the bulk of new IT spend by 2016', it’s clear that the cloud is being increasingly relied on as a vehicle for agile, scalable and elastic solutions, and should not be considered a security risk.
Now, let’s talk about some of the most common topics an enterprise should consider before making a move to the cloud.
Capex vs Opex
Sure, moving to a public cloud can immediately bring down your capital expenditures (CAPEX). That’s great. But it’s only one side of the story. If you’re using a lot of public cloud resources, you may have to bear the overhead cost of owning and running a server. This may include power, floor space, storage, and IT operations to manage those resources and general infrastructure.
Most IT organisations don't have a clear understanding of their true costs, so it’s good to understand that If you’re taking a private cloud approach your CAPEX might be same in the long-run as it was before. Understanding your costs and using public or private cloud to maximise saving unique to your business - that’s where the real cloud cost savings come from.
The network makes the cloud possible
A successful cloud implementation is dependent on a reliable, high-availability network, excellent and comprehensive monitoring, and rapid troubleshooting. Without an optimal cloud compute and storage specifications, your business environment can suffer from latency, poor security, and lack of controlled access. To build out a network that can handle load balancing, dynamic scaling and security, you must inquire about customer traffic segmentation and guarantee network speeds.
Many organisations rely on their own technology experts and fail to consider the potential need for external help. In order to succeed, you need a trusted cloud consulting partner to provide a team that can implement your business’ cloud strategy and ensure it is optimally managed and controlled. Without this, you run the risk of not maximising your potential cloud benefits.
All clouds aren’t created equal
Many decision-makers are under the false impression that all clouds are equal. However, each cloud setup and provider comes with its own cost, performance capabilities, and service levels. When deciding on whether to choose an IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS-based cloud solution, there are a few things that need to be considered. First, some clouds are better suited for enterprise workloads; others for development and testing. Second, some workloads perform better on private clouds; others do just fine using public ones. IT administrators investigating cloud options need to evaluate these differences in order to make the decision about which cloud is right for their specific business requirements.
Data protection and disaster recovery
Any event that has a negative impact on business continuity could be termed a disaster. This ranges from hardware or software failure, to a network outage, a power outage, physical damage to a building like fire or flooding, human error, or some other significant disaster. To combat this, and prepare for it, it’s important to have high-availability or disaster recovery protection in place for data in the cloud. For true data recovery (DR), AWS cloud could be the perfect solution. AWS allows businesses to quickly recover from a disaster and ensure applications continuity while keeping costs down.
In only a handful of years, cloud computing has become a core business strategy. Given that cloud has transformed the way many enterprises do business, developing a seamless migration path to the cloud can minimise migration errors and, more importantly, help reach mission-critical objectives — as long as you remember to consider the five topics we’ve discussed today.
John Bernard, Executive Vice President, North America, OSSCube