08 Apr Cloud services – choosing the right cloud strategy for your enterprise
Cannot get your head around the cloud model best suited to your business?
Major enterprises have a cloud migration strategy or are already on the cloud today.
If your organization is looking to modernize applications and data, an essential component is a strategy for the cloud.
To decide the right strategy, you must define your business objectives. And once that is done, you can create your cloud strategy to align with business objectives and outline how your organization’s applications and data will function on the cloud.
However, that does not necessarily mean moving everything to the cloud.
Cloud migration is a top priority for CIOs. And its success depends on choosing the right plans and processes aligned to enterprise’s goals.
So, which are the different cloud services that your enterprise can use?
This article details what a cloud strategy means, questions to ask yourself before moving to the cloud and the different enterprise cloud models you can use in your enterprise.
What is a cloud strategy?
A majority of organizations have workloads running on the cloud, but most of them still rely on traditional IT, and use cloud tactically.
Cloud adoption in enterprises is constrained by the lack of a clear business objective or a transformation plan. Other reasons limiting adoption include an inability to identify risks and a fear of change.
To realize the benefits of cloud, you need a clear-cut cloud strategy that outlines the best way to run your applications and manage your data.
Cloud–only vs cloud–first strategies
However, it is possible that a cloud-only strategy may not be feasible option for your business now.
So, you can certainly start with a cloud-first strategy. A cloud-first strategy is where an organization commits to evaluate cloud-based solutions before looking at other alternatives.
And the right way to start, as mentioned earlier, is by defining your business objectives.
You shouldn’t be migrating to the cloud simply because everyone is doing it. You should do it to bring in measurable positive outcomes for your business – for instance streamlining operations and improving internal efficiency.
Questions to ask yourself before moving to cloud
You need to implement a killer cloud strategy, but how do you know what works?
Many organizations get started on their cloud journey looking forward to all the benefits it offers, but unfortunately find their strategy falling short.
What can you do to develop the right processes and ensure that cloud and business strategies are aligned?
We recommend you start off your cloud strategy by asking yourself the right questions like:
- Which workloadsshould Imigrate to the cloud and in which order?
Experts say, start your cloud migration with an assessment of your existing applications and environments, sorting applications in terms of their performance, access and security requirements, and their technical dependencies. These assessments prior to your migration can help you avoid performance issues and unforeseen costs.
Basic workload types you can consider are:
- Externally facing web applications: Applications that must expand unpredictably as user traffic grows.
- Business continuityapplications: Workloads that must continue function before, during and after a crisis.
- Disaster recovery:Applications that needsupport in the event of an unexpected workload failover is crucial.
- Collaboration applications: Video conferencing tools, collaboration platforms, virtual desktops and remote workstation management are critical business needs that can benefit businesses a great deal if on the cloud.
- Mobility:Mobile devices, applications and organizational solutions that keep you connected to the organization’s key services and dataenabling remote work.
- How will my applications operate in the cloudframework?
Move your simple applications as well as applications running on virtualized platforms using the lift and shift approach. Your complex applications that rely on specific applications or data sources would have to be re-engineered.
- How will my cloud migration plans impact IT and business performance?
You can preserve business continuity and minimize disruption by understanding how, when and why your teams use applications. Once the details are clear, you can prioritize and schedule migration tasks to keep up IT and business performance.
- How will I migrate my data?
Conduct thorough checks to ensure the security of your data. A lot of data gets exposed during cloud migrations, therefore securing it is a critical priority. Keep your focus on priorities, dependencies and continuity to chart out the best data migration plan.
- How will I manage governance and security?
You cannot go all-in to the cloud. Focus on what the governance processes are and how to manage costs.
Align governance and security requirements of applications with the security provisions of your cloud platform. This ensures your applications and data are guarded with appropriate security levels.
Next, place provisions to manage who controls services and at what cost. This is how you can prevent costs from getting out of hand.
- Howcan Idecide on the most appropriate cloud provider?
Different applications have different requirements, and one single platform may not be ideal for it all. For this reason, organizations must look at cloud providers and consider options like hybrid, multi-cloud approach suited to the workload.
We’ll get to the difference between these environments in the coming section.
- Is my team ready for the change?
Training staff and getting them up to speed is one major challenge of the migration process. To achieve this, commission videos, and online and internal trainings to get workers up to speed. Because a successful cloud migration means bringing your people, together with your applications, with you.
- What would a cloud migration cost me and how long would it take?
Answering the questions could help you on what to expect. But you should still be ready for some surprises and a framework to manage the transactions would help. You can leverage cloud consulting services from Nuvento and adopt our expertise in cloud migrations for this part for better clarity.
- Whom should I partner with for cloud migration?
If you cannot manage the migration yourself, partner with experienced cloud migration service providers who have an established methodology, can answer all your doubts and put in place the right systems that help to achieve your goals. Nuvento’s cloud migration services help you accomplish your migration goals with the right strategy.
Different enterprise cloud environments
Now that you know what the migration process looks like, let’s look at the different cloud environments an enterprise can choose from.
A private cloud is a cloud service that is offered exclusively to one organization. On a private cloud, you can experience the benefits of cloud computing without sharing your resources with other organizations. Private clouds are managed inside an organization or remotely by a third–party, which is then accessed over the internet.
Private cloud is offered in two models:
Platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Benefits of private cloud:
- Tailored infrastructure means high performance levels
- Saves IT spend as cloud service providers offer use of virtual servers, security monitoring
- Higher availability levels with no physical limitations
- Precise network configurations mean higher security
Drawbacks of private cloud:
- Expensive cloud model and suited for large companies
- Setting up is expensive and time-consuming, so is maintenance
- Deployment and support can be managed only with qualified expertise
Public clouds are platforms using standard cloud computing models to make resources – such as virtual machines, applications and storage – available to users remotely. You can use public cloud models through a variety of subscription or on-demand pricing schemes, including a pay-per-use model.
Benefits of public cloud:
- Involve infinitely with high scalability
- Cost effective since hardware, applications and bandwidth are the responsibility of the service provider
- Disaster recovery is simple
- Handle peak loads with reliable and flexible framework
Drawbacks of public cloud:
- Using public clouds in a secure way is difficult without good security practices
- Using services without properly monitoring them can add up expenses
- Lack of closer support
- Lack of customization options
- Little understanding of the back-end processes
Multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services within one network architecture. On a multi-cloud platform, you can distribute cloud assets, software, applications and more across several cloud environments. A typical multi-cloud platform architecture utilizes two or more public clouds as well as private cloud, eliminating your enterprise’s dependency on a single cloud service provider.
Benefits of multi cloud
- Flexibility to innovate rapidly
- Mitigate major IT disasters because your workloads are handled by multiple vendors
- Manage vendor lock-in
- Gives you more negotiating power
Drawbacks of multi cloud
- Finding experts with knowledge of multiple clouds is difficult
- Consolidating costs spend on each provider can get complex
- Complex application frameworks increase likelihood of a security breach
- Operational management of multiple clouds can be complex
Hybrid cloud provides a computing environment combining public cloud and private cloud, allowing data and applications to be shared between them. You can use this infrastructure to gain flexibility and computing power of the public cloud for basic and non-sensitive computing tasks and keep business-critical applications and data on-premises, safely within the company firewall.
Benefits of hybrid cloud:
- Hybrid cloud has higher flexibility
- High scalability and smarter deployment
- Faster performance of applications, DevOps practices
- Increased mobility allows for flexible routines without losing competitiveness
- Increased data security
Drawbacks of hybrid cloud
- Difficult to implement and maintain
- Incurs in-house expenses
- Third-party involvement increases security risks
- Issues with compatibility and data integration
- Lowered visibility with resources placed across private and public cloud networks
How is multi cloud different from hybrid cloud?
Multi cloud and hybrid cloud are often used interchangeably. But there’s real difference between the two as explained below.
Multi cloud uses multiple different public cloud services, often from multiple different providers. The different clouds are used for different tasks to achieve the best results and reduce vendor lock-in. With minimal dependence on one cloud service provider, enterprises decrease costs and increase flexibility with multi cloud.
Hybrid cloud, on the other hand, combines private and public clouds to reach the same goal. The components of hybrid cloud typically work together. Data and processes intersect in a hybrid cloud model.
How to decide which cloud model is right for your enterprise?
Not all enterprise workloads are identical. They’re different in terms of performance, reliability, control and security requirements.
As mentioned before, understanding the characteristics of your workloads is crucial for deciding which cloud model is right for you, and deploying your applications and workloads on the cloud.
Choosing the right cloud model involves mapping your entire organization and creating a clear picture of your objectives and resources. You must also have the flexibility to switch from one cloud model to another if the need arises.
Most importantly, choose correctly the first time around so you can leverage the cloud to advance digital transformation in your enterprise.
If your enterprise needs support to identify frameworks suited to your business environment, Nuvento’s cloud consultants can guide you through the process.
We can choose your frameworks to implement in your enterprise, so you meet your business and IT objectives. So, if you need a reliable partner to guide you through your cloud migrations, Nuvento’s cloud experts can chart out the best course for you.