There are several misconceptions about the cloud. In fact, you’ll find one in that very sentence.
There isn’t a single, massive cloud serving the Information Technology (IT) needs of enterprises around the globe; there are many clouds meeting different demands. And to dispel another myth – you aren’t limited to one vendor any more than you are to one cloud. When it comes to migrating IT workloads, cloud solutions and partnerships are best served by flexibility and freedom of choice.
The fear of being stuck with a single vendor is widespread; almost half of IT professionals list vendor lock-in as a concern when adopting an enterprise cloud computing strategy. This may stem, in part, from the mistaken belief that Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a synonym for the cloud.
IaaS is just one element of a bigger picture that includes Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service, with the cloud facilitating the delivery of increasingly high-value services around artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, analytics and blockchain. This understanding is what’s fuelling innovation and transformation in business – and is behind the successful migration of IT workloads. Enterprises simply need to identify which cloud solutions are the best match for their needs.
Finding the fit
Most organisations opt to use a combination of public and private clouds, hybridising to meet their security, geographic, regulatory and operational needs. Interoperability across platforms and services is essential, but above all, enterprises desire the flexibility afforded by multi-cloud architecture.
The days of a uni-cloud environment are long gone (if they were ever even here); the existence of many, varied clouds creates competition that works to the customer’s advantage. You can pick and choose the cloud services you like as you need them – it’s not a case of either or, but this and that. For example, at Internet Solutions, you have access to our own cloud platform and those of Dimension Data, Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2.
Before you move
There are a few factors to consider when you’re planning to migrate your IT workloads. It’s important to assess the requirements of every application before you rush into the cloud; this will give you an idea of the resources that will be required. Each app will have different security, performance and availability needs, as well as workload profiles and bandwidth demands. Many – but not all – will see efficiency and profitability gains from being bumped over to the cloud, so it pays to check.
Another key part of the pre-flight involves a thorough evaluation of cloud service provider candidates. Compare contract options, service-level agreements and pricing structures and check whether scalability is built in – if your enterprise needs change or you don’t see the benefits you expected, you want to be able to make adjustments.
Leveraging pre-configured components
Establishing guidelines are helpful when it comes to understanding and aligning changing data storage, software and other IT needs to the use case. This allows an enterprise to optimise usage and minimise costs at all times – provided that their cloud partner is on board (like we are). The provider and cloud model should facilitate seamless migration if and when the enterprise needs change, pre-configuring the cloud solution so that adjustments (and analytics) are quick and painless.
One cloud does not fit all
It’s time to leave the one-size-fits-all approach to cloud migration behind. Gartner tells us that by 2019 we can expect to see 70% of organisations onboarding multi-cloud strategies. Different platforms have different strengths and weaknesses, with some providing a better fit than others for a particular set of business applications.
Custom-building your architecture with a knowledgeable provider is the way to reap the myriad rewards that cloud solutions can – and should – offer an enterprise.
To deepen your understanding of the cloud’s role in business, have a look at our guide, Why the modern enterprise needs the cloud.
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