Cloud is the basis that allows businesses to transform, differentiate themselves and gain a competitive advantage. According to a Gartner survey, 40% of North American organizations plan to invest most of their new or additional funding in cloud services. As many organizations focus on cloud-first strategies, they also look to expand cloud services throughout the company.
Cloud security concerns are a significant concern for many organizations. Security teams often hesitate to use the cloud because they fear it will cause them to pay a high cost. Organizations cannot wholly reap the benefits of SaaS and PaaS because of security concerns.
A cloud strategy provides a clear overview of the role cloud computing plays within an organization. A solid cloud strategy will help you take a rational approach to cloud computing. It will allow you to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of cloud computing so that you can maximize the first while minimizing the second.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is on-demand access, via the Internet, to computing resources--applications, servers (physical servers and virtual servers), data storage, development tools, networking capabilities, and more--hosted at a remote data centre managed by a cloud computing services provider. These resources are made available by the CSP for a monthly subscription, or they are charged according to their usage.
Cloud computing is a better alternative to traditional IT and, depending on which cloud services you choose, it can do the following:
Reduced IT costs: cloud allows you to offload some of the cost and effort involved in purchasing, installing, configuring and managing your on-premises infrastructure.
Increased agility and time to value: Cloud allows your company to use enterprise apps in minutes. Instead of waiting for IT to reply to a request, configure support hardware and install software, it can do it all within minutes. Cloud allows you to empower developers and data scientists to help with software and support infrastructure.
Scale faster and more cost-effectively: Cloud offers elasticity. Instead of buying unused excess capacity during slow periods, you can scale capacity up or down according to spikes or dips in traffic. Your cloud provider's global network can be used to bring your applications closer to users all over the globe.
Overview of Cloud Strategy
Cloud strategy is a way to define the role of cloud computing within a company. This allows for a structured approach to cloud computing. It allows you to plan how to make the most of cloud services.
The best cloud strategy is one that combines IT models and business goals. Cloud initiatives require collaboration between different teams.
Cloud strategy is not the same thing as a plan for cloud implementation. It's not an IT-only strategy to migrate everything to the cloud.
It serves as the decision framework for cloud adoption. The strategy will change as you move forward.
The strategy includes the following components:
· Setting your unique business goals
· Defining roles & responsibilities
· A roadmap
· Communication with stakeholders
What is Cloud Computing Used for?
Cloud computing can be used to describe a variety of cloud services.
Cloud Storage: These services back up and store your files to access them regularly. Files can be shared across devices and synchronized.
Cloud Backup: Although cloud storage and backup might seem like the same thing; cloud backup can be used to protect your data in case of a cyberattack, server crash, or any other type of data loss.
Software as A Service (SaaS): SaaS solutions use the Internet to deliver a service. SaaS applications include Office 365 and Google Apps. SaaS solutions can also be called platform-as-a-service.
Cloud Hosting: These services allow for multiple information sharing options, including email, application hosting, and data storage.
Cloud Computing Models and Services
The cloud terms must be clearly defined in the strategy document. Business leaders and non-IT teams should agree upon the definitions.
Include an appendix section that complies with official cloud-related terms. To avoid confusion, keep the terms consistent throughout the document.
Discuss cloud services and deployment models with the team. Describe which cloud computing models are best for your company.
These are some examples of cloud computing models and services:
Cloud Computing Models:
This is the most popular type of cloud computing deployment model. The cloud provider owns and manages the cloud resources. Other companies can share the storage, network and hardware devices.
Examples include Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.
One company can use cloud resources. Hardware and software are kept private on a network.
It provides greater security and control over cloud infrastructure.
The hybrid cloud is a combination of private and public cloud models.
The private cloud is used to store confidential data and critical applications. It will provide greater data security. All data are stored in the public cloud.
Cloud Computing Services
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offers storage and networking services as a subscription. There is no need to keep data centres on-site.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) offers hardware, software and infrastructure. It supports servers, databases, OS, and networking. It is easy to develop, manage and run applications.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is software hosting provided by the provider. Cloud-based applications can be used over the Internet.
All servers, middleware and software are kept in the provider's data centre.
Why Create a Cloud Strategy?
Cloud computing is becoming more popular to deploy business-critical apps and workflows quickly. A clear strategy and implementation plan are essential to adopt the cloud, but they can lead to problems.
It is essential to have a well-planned cloud strategy preparation process to prepare your enterprise for making intelligent, deliberate decisions about cloud initiatives. This guide will show you how to create a cloud strategy that works.
How to Implement a Successful Enterprise Cloud Strategy?
To develop enterprise cloud security, the most important thing an organization can do is get its leadership to realize that cloud computing is essential and must be managed through policy and planning.
List Down Your Corporate Goals and Objectives
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First, determine the technology and current systems in your company. This will help you identify the corporate goal and critical factors for cloud adoption.
Identify the business units' needs, challenges and goals and rank the difficulty levels for each goal. This could include operational concerns, performance growth, financial processing, etc.
Develop Organization Expertise
You will need to have the ability to manage and implement the various cloud models that you use.
Many organizations struggle to understand security knowledge in full. Each IaaS service comes with its user interface and vendor-specific characteristics.
Successful cloud-related strategies must include providing resources for the development and maintenance of skills that will ensure compliance with all applicable laws.
Enable Continuous Delivery of Custom Code
Nearly every business wants to be competitive via digital services to interact with customers better or lower costs. Many businesses face a threat from digital business transformation. One of the most prominent examples is when brick-and-mortar retail stores are closed.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and containers are ideal. These digital services need to evolve the software to stay competitive. This drives DevOps and agile development practices. Continuous delivery of code changes is required for DevOps. This requires infrastructure to be available for deployment immediately.
Establish Multicloud Governance and Management Processes
Cloud-first strategies should not be limited to the IT department. All employees should understand it. IT departments must focus on the technical aspects of cloud-first strategies and how to communicate that message to employees. IT organizations must promote cloud to business leaders to extract competitive advantages and better profitability.
Cloud-first does not necessarily mean "cloud always." Some organizations may have a long-term goal to move all their applications from their data centres. Others may refer to cloud-first as moving a few applications to the cloud.
Establish Multicloud Governance and Management Processes
Cloud computing governance is complex, even for a single cloud provider. Organizations have difficulty managing cloud computing resources that are self-service and available on demand. This becomes more difficult as organizations shift to Multicloud.
Organizations must manage cloud services consumption by the provider and across providers. It is challenging to manage and govern the environment without visibility into consumption.
Evaluate Multicloud SaaS Integration Requirements
Organizations can continuously evaluate their requirements to make the best choices for those responsible for expanding and integrating SaaS solutions. An organization may get a greater return on an existing SaaS offering if it shifts some applications and integrates them. This is in contrast to using a PaaS technology which might come at a higher cost per solution.
To maintain the best mix of SaaS-provided capabilities and PaaS technology, organizations must constantly evaluate their needs and compare them to the capabilities of SaaS offerings.
The Key Takeaway
Cloud adoption has a profound impact on the way businesses and IT work together. Implementing a cloud strategy for enterprises ensures seamless cloud migration and adoption. This is more than a change management initiative. It is a whole digital transformation project that requires expertise and priority.
This article will cover the steps required to successfully migrate and deploy the cloud in an enterprise. It all starts with creating an enterprise-level cloud strategy team and analyzing the applications to determine what should be moved to the cloud and what should remain on-premises. Next, it is time to create a hybrid cloud strategy roadmap.