As the cloud trend has now become mainstream, we are seeing many businesses grapple with which style of cloud is right for them. Whether you’re moving to cloud as part of a financial strategy, or for very rapid scaling, or a myriad of other reasons, there are some significant considerations that will give you a smoother ride. Among the most important is assessing each workload to determine where it should reside.
First of all, it is (as always) essential to define exactly what you want to achieve. Very often cloud is just one alternative, especially if moving from capital expenditure to operational costs is a driving force. Sometimes cloud is a clear-cut winner in this regard, but other times a comparison to a managed service or other financial arrangements can show otherwise.
We recommend assessing each workload carefully to determine where it should reside. Aside from more obvious considerations like cost and performance, interdependencies should be examined in detail. In businesses, applications rarely operate in a vacuum; this was one of the more common areas that tripped up early adopters, many of whom learned the hard way. Cloud offers tremendous benefits as advertised – but traditional good practice is needed to unearth them.
While decisions about cloud are typically made by IT and finance departments, it is vital to assess impact on users and likely user acceptance. This is a step we have seen others skip at their peril. It is not so much a roadblock as something that must be taken care of – a little consultation and training can go a very long way to making some cloud solutions fly. Again, traditionally covered by good IT practice, which is why IT managers are generally better positioned to review this than their accounting counterparts.
Compliance and legal implications are a necessary part of cloud introduction, so your legal advisor likely needs to be added to the decision-making team. There are inevitably ways to make sure these issues are fully covered, but a bit of time with a lawyer sure beats dealing with the fallout of non-compliance. We work with a lot of our customers to work out exactly which cloud options will keep them safely compliant; again, not a roadblock but sometimes a reason to adjust expectations.
Probably the biggest success factor to making cloud work best for you is working with an experienced independent guide. We find that having no vested interest in one specific solution equips us better to cut through the hype and promises to arrive at the right cloud solution for each individual organisation. Sometimes that may be a small business seeking to avoid draining resources by managing infrastructure, others it is a major organisation seeking greater agility. We may sound repetitive here, but no matter what size your business or what you seek to achieve, great IT practice never goes out of style.
For more about matching workloads to cloud options, get in touch with our friendly cloud experts.