December 3, 2015

Building Your Business Cloud Strategy

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cloud Brokers And Strategies 

Comprehensive digital transformation of your business will require extensive involvement of your CIO through each level of business evolution, ensuring data is protected and efficiently utilizing in-house IT infrastructure for maximum effect in hybrid cloud models. Flexibility is integral to the design, and instead of fitting into an as-built service, developing a strategy unique to the organization ensures better user experience while helping the company respond quickly and dexterously to changing market conditions.

A Three-Phase Approach

Nick Earle’s three phase approach to creating a malleable and effective strategy suggests first thoroughly understanding your organization’s current systems and future cloud requirements, secondly applying that knowledge to set your cloud goals, and finally ensuring objectives are properly aligned with the future. When investigating systems, many companies find much of their data is neither encrypted nor secure, and unofficial applications are rife. Of course, just because an application hasn’t been explicitly approved, doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary. This can be the start of understanding what your business really needs, and ensuring that the solutions used are both agile and secure.

When creating these solutions, CIOs are typically faced with build vs. buy – though a build and buy solution may be the key. Hybrid-ready private cloud solutions are able to offer control of the environment, as well as the flexibility to use public cloud resources to complement existing infrastructure when necessary. As cloud, big data, and the Internet of Things continues their rapid evolution, flexibility to change with business and environment ensures organizations meet customer expectations, whilst guaranteeing security and minimizing cost. The best strategies will successfully keep pace with ever-advancing trends and needs. There are numerous resources to be considered when creating, structuring, and implementing strategies, including solutions such as Savision’s Cloud Reporter, which helps organizations plan for the future and meet objectives, while predicting when processor, storage, and memory resources will be depleted.

Trends Affecting Cloud Strategy

This year, Gartner identified five cloud computing trends affecting cloud strategy.

  • Creating a formal decision framework will help optimize cloud investment: Though cloud offers benefits from reduced costs and complexities to better agility, challenges such as security, transparency needs, availability, and integration must be carefully balanced.
  • hybrid cloud computing: Gartner recommends a focus on application and data integration, creating links between internal and external applications with hybrid solutions. Guidelines and standards for public cloud services and infrastructure are crucial.
  • Cloud brokerage: It’s expected that the trend of cloud services brokering (CSB) will continue to grow as increased cloud adoption fosters a need for assistance. Adapting IT departments to provide CSB services could encourage business units to involve IT services in appropriate cloud adoption.
  • Cloud-centric design: To best exploit cloud models, applications must be designed with the cloud model in mind. Instead of focusing on migration, cloud-optimized applications that wholly utilize cloud potential must be created.
  • Influencing future data center and operation models: The implementation models used by cloud Service Providers will influence the extent to which enterprises build their own data centers. By applying the concept of cloud computing to future infrastructure and data center investments, organizations can increase both efficiency and agility.

Avoiding Failure

There are many variations of the understanding and uses of cloud computing, so developing a strategy can be a concentrated and perplexing challenge. Though cloud computing may save money, this is only true for specific service, and though it encourages innovation and experimentation, a firm handle on long-term operational efficiency and effectiveness must be had. Cloud computing doesn’t have a single value proposition for all services and businesses, and so a valuable strategy must first investigate where and how an organization can best benefit from the cloud before deciding on the best approach.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Jennifer Klostermann

Jennifer Klostermann is an experienced writer with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in writing and performance arts. She has studied further in both the design and mechanical engineering fields, and worked in a variety of areas including market research, business and IT management, and engineering. An avid technophile, Jen is intrigued by all the latest innovations and trending advances, and is happiest immersed in technology.
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