Top Tips for developing a robust Cloud based IT Strategy to maximise it's potential for your business
19th June 2018
The cloud has now become a core element of most organisation’s technology strategy. Decisions around cloud adoption have moved from “if” to “when” and “how.” It’s benefits range from significant cost savings over a traditional on-site approach to the ability to quickly build robust, resilient applications that can scale up and scale down with business needs.
The cloud now gives your business the capabilities to innovate fast and create a clear competitive advantage within your chosen market.
But with all major business decisions, moving to the cloud without clear direction and a well-thought out strategy can sometimes result in short and long term issues concerning resources, costs and missed expectations and goals.
Here are some areas to consider when planning your move.
What are your long-term business goals?
You need to have a clear understanding of your organisation’s overall long term objectives – and the IT infrastructure that is needed to achieve them. Taking a short-term view when developing your Cloud IT strategy could prove costly and time-consuming.
Cloud planning must not only address immediate needs, but it must also be flexible enough to respond to rapidly changing business conditions and have the ability to keep up with evolving technology trends and future business requirements.
There are many ways the cloud can be integrated within your business - each has its own considerations and best practices. Making sure they are aligned with your business goals at the start is the key to a successful strategy.
What Is Your Cloud Motivation?
Cloud computing provides a variety of business benefits. Defining your motivations and goals for moving to the cloud is important to setting out your cloud strategy.
Cloud computing was first adopted by small and medium-size companies for simple and low-cost solutions which was dictated by their business needs and restraints. However, now many large organizations are adopting cloud computing for the scalability and speed-to-market benefits. Plus, they view it as an enabler of process improvement and a means of maximising cost-efficiencies across specific areas within IT.
You need to see where your business fits and what your core motivators are for using the cloud as this will help you shape the overall strategy and requirements.
Up until recently it was always referred to as ‘The Cloud’, but once you start to explore the option you will realise there is more than one cloud. One of the most important decisions you have to make is which set up suits your business.
There are three options generally available:
- A private cloud : this option is the most secure and robust, but the costs are much higher. Cloud technologies are hosted on a data centre within your own premises. This might be necessary in scenarios where certain applications or data cannot be moved off-premises.
- A public cloud is lean and relatively cost-less, but can have associated security concerns so due diligence must be undertaken. Reputable cloud vendors will have many data centres in varying locations so this can provide an excellent solution for data back-ups, disaster recovery and business continuity planning.
- A hybrid cloud is a mix of the two and is useful when if you wish to keep some applications on-premises whilst moving others into the public cloud. This solution usually needs experienced developers and careful planning to develop as careful considerations needs to be given to the cloud and pros and cons. Many businesses today have a multi-cloud strategy that already encompasses a portfolio of public and private cloud options.
How Can You Optimise Your Costs?
The reduction of IT expenditures is one of the primary reasons businesses are drawn to the cloud.
With most models you just pay for what you use – and this can be scaled up and down based on your business demands.
Implementing a Cloud IT Strategy will also save your business money on both resources and hardware due to the fact that cloud computing uses fewer physical resources and that there is less hardware to purchase, power and maintain.
With an outsourced cloud, you will not need to keep server, storage, network, and virtualization experts on staff full time. You get economy of scale of those expert resources through your cloud provider.
Working With A Cloud Partner
You will need to consider whether developing an in-house cloud design and operational competencies is the optimal use of your people. For most businesses, internal resources are best spent on focussing on the core business activities as that is where their skills and experience lie, rather than infrastructure design and maintenance.
Taking on an experienced IT partner can give you access to their expertise, knowledge and their advanced technology. They can provide input into your business’s Cloud IT development at the very initial planning stage to give you confidence that you have the best strategy in place to help you achieve your business goals.
Talk to us today to discuss how the cloud could help your business.