Taking the best approach to Cloud
Posted Tuesday, May 24 2016 at 17:59
- Implementing cloud-based technologies isn’t as simple as pressing the ‘on’ switch. It needs to be done in a way that supports existing business processes and legacy technology, while enabling new ways of working.
IT procurement has historically been a long and complex process. Just setting requirements, conducting supplier reviews and doing proof of concepts could take months and even years.
And that was before there was any visibility of the business outcome. One of the major attractions of cloud, therefore, is the rapid set-up and deployment of services, made possible by the fact that organizations don’t need to select, buy and install individual hardware infrastructure.
Instead, they are able to make purchasing decisions about a business outcome, based on a simple benefits and pricing models.
This makes IT innovation much more flexible and agile and less complicated and time-consuming to get up and running.
You could be forgiven for thinking this means cloud computing is to enterprise technology what Tinder is to the dating world. If there isn’t a match, you can always swipe right to move on.
But, as in life, selecting a partner is more complicated than that, and not quite as easy as cutting ties in a relationship when things don’t work out.
Making your choice and managing the subsequent relationship requires careful consideration.
To start with, implementing cloud-based technologies isn’t as simple as pressing the ‘on’ switch. It needs to be done in a way that supports existing business processes and legacy technology, while enabling new ways of working.
If you start using the cloud without paying attention to what is already present in your organization and how the new service will interact with existing systems, the efficiency and flexibility benefits of cloud won’t be fully realised.
The ‘wiring in’ of new technology takes time, and often requires different cloud partners and technology companies to work alongside each other to ensure everything functions in the way it should. A new cloud partner must therefore be willing and able to work in this way.
And, if your cloud implementation proves unsuccessful or your requirements or strategy change, there is the challenge of switching everything – from data through to workloads and applications – over to a new provider.
This is a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly given the strict regulations that govern the movement and location of data.
Another key consideration when selecting a cloud partner is ensuring that the provider supports the full range of different cloud services you require across the different layers of cloud: infrastructure, platform and software.
It is often the case that organisations dip their toe in the water with one cloud application, say for HR, and as a result of the success, move other applications to the cloud, to support their sales or service departments or to manage finance and payroll.
Often because of business processes, these applications need to interact with each other, and so it can be useful to work with organizations that offer a suite of applications that can easily integrate with each other.