- It’s true: Cloud Computing has been over-hyped …
Yes, we admit it. Even though our name is Cloud Age Solutions, and we believe in the power of cloud computing. For sure (done right), leveraging the cloud can help your business improve productivity, reduce costs and increase revenues. But it is not a silver bullet and as the saying goes, there is no free lunch. It takes planning, design work and up-front investment to achieve these benefits.
- But Cloud Computing has one BIG advantage over traditional approaches…
It’s not time to market. Or the speed at which you can add new services or deploy software. It is more fundamental than that. Cloud computing handles changing demand patterns very cost effectively. What does this mean in plain English? Here are some examples of changing demand patterns within a business:
- Finance uses IT heavily at the end of the month, year or quarter to do reporting
- HR adds seasonal employees
- Engineering ramps up for short term projects or product launches
- Sales and marketing sells more due to a promotion or cyclical customer demand
- IT network shrinks or spikes significantly depending on time of day or time of year
- Call centers gets hit with sudden spikes in call volumes
This is a partial list. The point is, when you think about cloud computing, first identify business activities that have rapid or even sudden changes. These are areas where cloud computing can add a lot of value. Why? Because cloud computing allows businesses to pay for only as much resource as they need at any given time and to respond to those “bursts” of demand that are periodic, without having to oversubscribe and over-engineer the needed resources to support these spikes.
- The Cloud is especially valuable for businesses that need to be more agile and responsive…
Being flexible enough to spin-up additional resource needs that occur on the fly has gotten dramatically easier in the new age of cloud computing. What the Cloud uniquely enables – maybe better than any other technology – is vastly improved business agility and responsiveness through speed to delivery and functionality.
|Before Cloud||After Cloud|
|Applications required expensive servers, network resources and on site maintenance||Applications reside on virtual servers that can easily be expanded and replicated on demand|
|Disaster Recovery required significant system duplication and costly redundant networks||Cloud based services readily accessed through multiple, highly redundant, internetworked data centers|
|IT staff needed significant system certifications and experience||IT staff can focus on support and performance versus complex system understanding|
- It’s almost never “Lift and Shift”
“Lift and Shift” is the idea that a business can take its current, non-Cloud based network infrastructure, software and computing environment and just move it from premise based computing to the cloud – without changes. While there are a few exceptions, in general, it’s never that straightforward.
When you move your IT infrastructure into the cloud, you will want to re-architect your applications to operate in the new cloud environment. Otherwise, you are missing much of the benefit of the move, and you may create bottlenecks that will negatively affect the users of your applications.
Further, moving to the cloud almost always has implications for network security. But there are other less obvious and equally important concerns that businesses need to think about. For example:
- Management controls. Businesses need to have people, processes and systems in place to manage their Cloud based assets. Without proper controls and policies, any employee with a credit card can deploy a cloud based solution (often referred to as “shadow IT services”), and seek reimbursement through T&E; operating completely off the technology and financial radar.
- Quality of Service. The infrastructure you use to connect to the cloud can have a dramatic impact on network availability, latency, error rates and transaction times. And if you don’t maintain or exceed your current levels of quality when you move to the cloud, you can undermine all the other business benefits you have achieved. Achieving appropriately scaled Quality of Service is more than throwing large amounts of bandwidth into the equation.
- It’s good to have an independent “Cloud” advisor to help you build the Business Case.
There are literally thousands of companies in the Cloud space, ready to sell you their products and services. Many of these can be great options for your company. And if your company has the internal resources and time to figure out what you need, develop a roadmap and implement it — go for it.
But — if your company could benefit from expert and unbiased help in planning and justifying your cloud migration strategy, consider Cloud Age Solutions. We have decades of experience in network design, sourcing, and performance optimization. And we use a simple, vendor-agnostic methodology that puts your business requirements and goals at the center of our recommendations.