Top 5 things to evaluate before moving to enterprise cloud
In today’s world, Enterprise Cloud is no more a stranger. It appears in every discussion about technology or process or even a revenue stream discussion. Maximizing the value that cloud adoption gives you has become the byword in many such discussions. This being the case, it is imperative to keep in mind, a set of 5 pointers that are central in starting a cloud journey for any enterprise.
Will Enterprise Cloud help your Business
This is a looking at the Need and Timing question. Moving to the cloud gives tremendous opportunities to scale, reduce operational costs, standardize artefacts, increase flexibility in application development and deployment models & greatly increase time to market. All these should also be seen in light of emerging business scenarios and maturity of business users. Having a clear road-map with defined metrics can become an effective strategy to start with. During the initial years, Enterprise Cloud metrics can be misplaced as operational costs can be higher. However, seen over a 5 year period, these will provide significant advantages for yearly operational budgets.
Understand the Cloud Economic Model
This is a key driver to understand and plan for long term benefits. The trick is to accept that IT spends have to align with business outcomes and to try and close the gap between IT cost and productivity. This is where Cloud Economics comes in handy. Listing down all the current cost drivers and drawing a parallel in the Cloud is often missed in such discussions since most of the current IT cost drivers have been in for years and do not have a direct relation to business outcomes. Compared over a time window of 3 years and above, there will be a clear business case for embracing the Cloud.
Understand the Concept of Shared Security
Moving to the Cloud also means that some elements of what used to be your own will be shared with other cloud users. These are typically elements of the outliers of your application landscape. Security policies are getting more common and better managed at the outlier level and most common threats are already prevented at this level. There is also the option of managing the second level at your entry point within the common pool. Security concerns are misplaced when one does not understand the range of options and flexibility that are available when making the important decision for Cloud adoption.
Where do I Start?
This is typically the Big Bang Vs Phased Approach question. Most enterprises today are going the Hybrid way. This is also to say that it is a phased approach to a Cloud first policy. Most of the new rollouts or new domain applications are looked at from a Cloud first perspective. Some of the traditional and non-mission critical workloads like DR and Backup are early contenders for getting onto the Cloud. Mission critical transactional applications and reporting applications are usually the last to come on-board into a public cloud setup because of the nature and maturity of the users in both cases.
How to Choose a Partner?
This is the million dollar question in the minds of most CIO’s today as they ponder on embarking on the cloud journey. Selecting an Enterprise Cloud SI is different from traditional IT services players. Most of the available options in the market are players with very selective Cloud skills either at the platform level or at some application level. Rarely do you get partners who can handle platform, application and management of application delivery on the cloud. Managed Cloud partners with defined SLA’s on Hybrid Cloud models are rare but are beginning to emerge as the complexities in the Cloud Application format are slowly broken down.
Every Enterprise is different, and so will be their cloud journey. It is up to each of them to choose when and where to start this journey. It’s no longer a matter of should I, but rather when should I?