here is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind with regard to the kind of impact the cloud is making on businesses and in the lives of consumers today. The scale and scope of success being seen by taxi-riding applications, new-age hotels and online shopping sites are evidence of the potential that the cloud offers enterprises.
Naturally, this has resulted in every enterprise today scrambling to adopt the cloud in all ways possible. However, to truly visualise and experience the complete potential that the cloud offers, enterprises need to have a more holistic view that extends beyond infrastructure-centric drivers that relate to a mere reduction in IT costs. Today’s cloud strategy is a single view that takes into consideration numerous drivers.
The first step for an enterprise on any cloud journey is to understand the current IT landscape and their business goals, to arrive at a clear vision for future of the business and then its own infrastructure and applications. While most people intuitively look at the cloud as a cost-optimisation lever, the power of cloud for introducing newer business models and to improve end-user experience need to be fully exploited.
Cloud has as much or a higher scope to enhance revenues as it does for cost optimisation. This wholesome strategy helps pave the path for next steps that cover everything from choosing between service providers, how to migrate, enabling security, mitigating risks and operating effectively and efficiently in the cloud world. This will help tackle the challenges that exist where enterprises need to be agiler, innovate faster, launch new business models and ultimately improve the kind of experiences they deliver to their customers.
Once enterprises have a clear roadmap that meets the requirements of both business and IT teams, it is very tempting to simply ‘turn on’ a new service right from a cloud vendor to build business solutions. But large enterprises need to address several impediments to ensure large-scale adoption without any risk at optimal cost.
These range across security and data compliance needs, cost control, right skilled workforce to manage the transformation and the continuously evolving cloud technology space, avoid creation of IT silos/ shadow IT and much more.
Through cloud management platform, enterprises attempt to abstract the complexity of cloud(s) that contains tools, processes to adopt and manage IaaS, PaaS, containers which also incorporate the needs of testing, cloud integration, DevOps, security in the hybrid cloud landscape of public cloud and existing data centres as well and provide the flexibility to the application developers, which allows every unit within the business to leverage the cloud.
Adoption of technology like IoT, big data, digital currencies and blockchain is also easier and more fruitful. But establishing a cloud management platform itself turns out to be challenging with higher implementation cycle time, which diminishes the agility of the cloud platform itself.
On the concerns around security and data privacy, it is important for clients and partners to work carefully and consider the data protection needs of the country and the organisation and include reassurances of data within the contracts with cloud providers.
Some of the top areas to address before migrating workloads to the cloud include seamless handling of all security like data at rest encryption, intrusion detection systems, perimeter and internal firewalls, sandboxes and more, meeting data export control needs and a federated identity management solution.
Workforce upskilling is a continuous challenge. Back in the day, if an engineer was proficient in a certain language, they were adding tremendous value to the organisation. However, today’s rapidly changing environment demands that engineers focus on developing a concrete sense of understanding the environment and be able to see challenges and opportunities to innovate.
With the automation intrinsic part of the entire IT management lifecycle, more and more menial tasks are being driven by software. Today’s skills are defined by one’s ability to leverage software to create new business opportunities and reduce complexity.
When it comes to adopting the cloud, enterprises need to spend time aligning their cloud strategy to business growth and agility. From planning to execution, there needs to be a clear idea of the current landscape with a view on the target state, and how both IT and business need to work together to achieve success in the cloud.