As the cloud continues to evolve, organizations are using cloud-smart strategies to drive business value.
Sept. 1, 2021 | By Brandon Carroll
Since public cloud debuted in the mid-2000s, cloud computing has evolved rampantly. Cloud strategy remains a hot topic for leaders looking to maximize the value of their technologies and stay ahead of what’s next.
Cloud evolution and its business impact
The evolution of cloud computing has closely mirrored the evolution of high-speed network connectivity that global enterprises have grown to attain. As organizations became able to provide employees and customers real-time access to applications and data, leveraging the “cloud” became a must-have to maintain the resiliency and elasticity to scale operations.
Many companies adopted the public cloud, which offers cloud-based services shared via the internet. This allowed organizations the ability to host IT services, share resources and scale in ways that would not otherwise be possible for a single organization.
Many early adopters of public cloud focused on cost savings as a primary driver to adopting cloud computing—with mixed results. Organizations that focused on SaaS-based solutions to replace traditional on-premises services (like CRM, content management and business applications) realized lower total cost of ownership and solid ROI. In many cases, organizations that went all-in on cloud-first directives saw the opposite. They simply moved technical debt, outdated business processes and bad code to infrastructure outside their four walls.
From cloud first to cloud smart
Today, most savvy IT organizations are looking at the cloud in a much different light. Being “cloud first” is no longer relevant. Organizations with the most success are highly selective of which applications and related data should be optimized before migrating to the cloud. This approach proves to have the highest ROI. We call that a “cloud-smart” or “cloud-appropriate” model and continue to lead our customers with that approach.
The days of traditional IaaS models are behind us. It’s time to use advanced cloud technologies to deliver deployment and delivery platforms for next-gen services that ultimately drive business value—not just IT cost savings.
A cloud smart model may sound too simple at first glance. But the truth is that not all applications and data services are meant for cloud consumption. Likewise, no single cloud provider has the best services for all business applications.
Organizations should prioritize rationalizing their application portfolio and planning their automation, security and optimization strategy before migrating anything to the cloud. Additionally, a hybrid or multicloud strategy can be the most effective way to lower costs, meet stringent security standards and deliver business value.
The biggest cloud migration mistake to avoid
Organizations often overlook overall network and accessibility or availability. Most large enterprise organizations employing a traditional multi-data center model aren’t properly equipped to quickly migrate workloads to the cloud. Why? Many mission-critical and consumer-facing applications require frequent data access and lookups, and some of the most significant costs of living in the cloud are data ingress/egress charges.
If your cloud migration strategy is not focused on enabling near real-time data access for core applications at the lowest total costs, you will likely have significant cost overruns or a poor user experience. Cloud-smart organizations have caught on. They are moving to a distributed core/edge network topology to enable direct cloud connectivity to internal data sources and external applications.
In 2021 and beyond, successful organizations are putting data at the center of everything they do. IT decisions and strategies need to evolve accordingly and ensure that organizational data access and availability are at the forefront of any architectural and operational change.
About the Author
Brandon is a results-focused management professional offering 15+ years of senior-level business development and operational leadership for startup corporations and mature, rapidly expanding global operations. He possesses the recognized ability to incorporate innovative management techniques, processes and procedures to enhance business practices, increase productivity and boost revenues. He has a talent for forging strong relationships with key decision-makers, corporate executives, channel partners and employees.
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