For most companies, the Cloud’s small barrier to entry, predictable cost structures, flexibility, agility, scalability, and huge economies of scale are simply too alluring to pass up, versus the complexity of managing private server infrastructures.
Cloud computing allows organizations to focus more on their strengths, while gaining access to standard computing features without reinventing the wheel. The simplest place to start is understanding basic cloud terminology.
Infrastructure as a Service provides building blocks such as networking capabilities, virtualized hardware, and data storage. This is perhaps the closest thing to what your network technologists in your IT department are managing today. e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, Rackspace Cloud
Platforms as a service is a step-up on IaaS, where pre-built environments are provided for you to develop and deploy applications simply by signing in to the platform via your web-browser. PaaS vendors often provide management and team collaboration facilities. e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Beanstalk, Salesforce Force.com, Google App Engine
Software as a Service provides a complete software product that is fully managed by the provider. Here, all your data, documents and operations are hosted by the vendor’s system, which accommodates your organization alongside many others. Functionality is standard, but can sometimes be configured to suit you, and integrated with other systems. e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite
Today, every organization touches the cloud in one way or another. The business drivers are too compelling to ignore.
If they have Internet access, your users have access to your business systems, wherever and whenever you are.
Many organizations prefer predictable monthly costs versus ad-hoc capital costs for hardware and software.
Unless software upgrades of on-premise systems are managed carefully, your business loses productivity.
If you need more storage or computing power, even for just a couple weeks, you merely change your subscription.
It’s more efficient for cloud providers to invest in staying compliant with regulations than thousands of their customers.
Cloud is not a panacea, and isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. There are some challenges.
Before you take flight to the Cloud, your organization needs to invest in significant research and planning, otherwise you may end up wishing that you stayed with both feet on the ground.
Each organization must determine its unique value proposition and business culture, and ensure that this is retained or augmented when migrating their systems and operations to the cloud.
Moving from on-premise applications, whether software packages or homegrown, can be a daunting task. Care must be taken to select the right technology architecture, cleanse and map data to the new schemas, and optimize operations.
Before you move some business operations to the cloud, it’s critical to analyze what links you’ll need to other systems. Often, integration with partner systems, data warehouses and reporting suites have evolved over decades, without rigorous documentation, and sometimes without even the knowledge of your IT department.
Once you’re on a cloud infrastructure, you’re somewhat hostage to application upgrades and pricing model adjustments. When you want to leave, will all your data be easily accessible so you can migrate to a new (cloud) offering?
Cloud providers are feverishly competing for customers. Niche players are regularly being acquired. In theory, this shouldn’t impact your business, but there is no guarantee that a SaaS you’re reliant upon won’t be lost in the shuffle.
The Cloud presents a significant shift in the way software and Information Technology Services are offered.
LANSA Professional Services will work to understand your current business operations and technology architecture, and build new vision for both. Then, we’ll collaborate with your existing and new technology providers to plan and execute a controlled migration to the Cloud – gaining all the advantages, and limiting the risks.
Your path will include: analysis, vision, justification, strategy, validation, selection, implementation, migration, integration, measurement and optimization … but it starts with a coffee and discussion.
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