Cloud solutions offer businesses flexibility without having to worry about hardware constraints. This allows companies to focus fully on innovation and not have to worry about IT capacity or other operational complexities. It’s no surprise, then, that the use of clouds (IaaS, Paas and SaaS) has steadily increased. Several market research studies indicate that cloud adoption is and has been high on CIOs’ agendas.
In the last five years most companies have met different challenges in the process of digital transformation and this is one of the reason to have considered cloud solutions, both public and private. Nowadays, Cloud adoption is no longer optional, but a key requirement for new business models. Companies around the world are scrambling to adopt cloud services as quickly as possible, otherwise they risk losing their competitive advantage.
As mentioned above, adopting cloud services is a great idea, but it also comes with some challenges. Here are five important considerations you should make before you start moving to the cloud.
- Get the basics right
In our experience, many organizations rush to adopt their cloud without first taking a close look at design and best practices. As the cloud expands across the enterprise and its complexity increases, what was once a glimmer of hope in the IT sky quickly becomes a big mess that is difficult to manage and operate.
It’s critical to follow best practices and basic system architecture principles when designing your current data center or hosting solutions. These considerations are important to keep in mind for your cloud infrastructure as well. Especially if you choose Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as your primary method of cloud adoption. IaaS is the most popular choice for organizations that are still in the early stages of their cloud experience. This makes it even more important to design the cloud system architecture according to appropriate principles and frameworks from the start. If this is not done, the cloud becomes an almost unsolvable and expensive problem that has to be fixed later. The goal is to ensure a simple cloud application.
- Operational governance and processes are necessary
For some reason, there are companies which rarely consider extending their operational governance and processes to their cloud infrastructure as well. And if they did consider it, they found it too complicated and time consuming. Since this could have delayed the entire rollout of the program, the considerations were ultimately ignored.
So, our advice is to always keep your operational governance and process considerations in mind as you move to the cloud. With public clouds, things can quickly get out of hand due to a lack of governance and control.
- Security is your responsibility
Moving to a public cloud can often make your IT infrastructure more secure, as you can make use of a variety of pre-provisioned services. Still, how you use the public cloud matters, because the security of your cloud services is your responsibility. While the cloud service provider can and will take care of the security of your infrastructure, you are responsible for controlling access and use within your organization. Cloud services are as secure or insecure as you make them.
In short, don’t assume that your cloud service provider is responsible for end-to-end security. It isn’t. Comprehensive cloud security considerations should be at the heart of your design. After all, better safe than sorry.
- Qualified staff and reliable expertise are the key to success
Our 20 years of experience leading or participating in numerous infrastructure transformations, consolidations and migrations has taught us that the most successful programs were characterized by getting the right stakeholders involved very early on.
The leading projects were those that brought in people with the right skills at the right time. The most important aspect of this is that current teams are upskilled so that there is no disruption in the company’s delivery of services or goods once the program is in place. The same is true for cloud adoption.
Public clouds provide numerous services and new ones are added every day. It can be intimidating to identify the services that meet your business needs. And then you have to plan, configure and operate them. Currently, there’s a lot of competition in the job market, with many companies looking for employees with the right cloud skills. Demand is high, supply is scarce. In addition, these employees represent an expensive resource. To ensure the availability of reliable expertise, bring in a cloud service partner who can help you make steady progress on your cloud implementation journey.
- It can get very expensive very quickly
Unlike traditional infrastructures, where limited capacity makes it slightly easier to control resource usage, the public cloud does not have such limitations. In public clouds, your costs can skyrocket, and once you’ve used a resource, you have to pay for it, even if it was accidental.
You can avoid unexpected nasty surprises by having the right design foundations and frameworks (processes and technology) in place from the start and setting appropriate constraints for projects with budget constraints. To estimate and limit your costs, use the tools and cloud cost controls your public cloud service provider offers.
These five considerations, based on our experience and industry best practices, provide a solid foundation for a successful path to cloud implementation. As said above, more and more organizations from different industries embrace transformation and reshape their futures. Others use transformation to improve margins and hold onto existing market share. Success in cloud adoption depends on having a clear strategy that helps a team understand executive direction and regularly measure progress. And don’t forget – the partners you choose to support through the multitude of options will also be vital. Their knowledge and experience will help you avoid the pitfalls.