This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
Businesses are jumping on the Cloud bandwagon with the belief that it is "the" solution to remain competitive, through saving costs and boosting efficiency, in the market. Shifting legacy IT services to Cloud can no doubt present businesses with financial and operational benefits. However, a comprehensive understanding of Cloud and how to leverage the technology is necessary to prevent your Cloud strategy from backfiring, in turn hindering business operations.
A three-step guide to optimising your Cloud strategy begins with evaluating your existing business operations. Next, you need to understand the Cloud and its limitations. Finally, you should plan ahead to leverage the comonents that can provide value for your business.
Step 1: Understanding the Cloud and how can it help
The Cloud is essentially a layer of abstraction over the top of traditional IT resources like servers, storage space, databases, email and so forth. It allows another Cloud provider to manage all underlying complexities of the physical infrastructure in a remote location so businesses do not need to deal with physical requirements such as power and environmental considerations. It lifts the financial burden off the maintenance of physical assets and warranties, saving upfront on capital expenditure.
With Cloud adoption, bulk of the savings comes from doing away with unnecessary costs of employing specialised and highly skilled IT staff to maintain underlying systems and technologies. The Cloud substracts IT complexities and can be managed by a single network administrator via a web based interface where one can just point and click to have a new server available for a project.
On top of operational benefits, Cloud stretches your dollar as it solves the problem of demand spikes which would require additional computing resources for brief periods of time. The technology allows flexibility as organisations only pay for what they use, and can easily add far greater resources for a few days over a peak period without having to maintain that level of commitment during quieter periods.
Step 2: To identify and overcome the limitations of the Cloud
Adopting Cloud as a technology solution is promising. However, there are limitations that need to be considered before committing to the big move to Cloud. An immediate implication of shifting legacy IT services from a physical equipment onsite to Cloud introduces a significant dependency on Internet connectivity.
For example, if your business assets, such as emails and shared file storage, are in the Cloud, a loss of Internet connection would mean that your business would be offline and unable to function. A possible solution would be to add some network complexity to ensure sufficient redundancy for all connectivity. Keep a (perhaps partial) local copy. Apart from such simple failure scenarios, organisations will also need to consider the bandwidth and latency implications of moving services offsite.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.