These days, it seems like every eye is focused on cloud computing — a grid of servers supporting virtualized infrastructure, platforms or applications that are consumed as needed.
The benefits? Tenfold. Migrating to the cloud gives organizations unprecedented flexibility to respond quickly to opportunities, leverage innovations from the platform or scale up fast to meet growing customer demand.
Across the board, the large cloud providers have economies of scale and cloud computing radically lowers the cost of ownership, not to mention, it has a measurable impact on business — from improving time to market to increasing company growth to improving efficiency.
Business Transformation and New Apps
Think about your business differently. Cloud migration makes previously impossible ideas possible. Organizations can very quickly spin up an environment and leverage cloud services to get a head start on a prototype. If it doesn’t work out, not a big commitment in hand.
Speed to Market
Instead of designing, buying components and integrating a variety of technologies to build a solution, organizations can consume various cloud solutions as a service and start right away. This may eliminate months from the typically long IT services or product development life cycle.
How would your organization operate differently if it were born in the cloud and operating in a digital paradigm? Shed those legacy physical frameworks. Fail fast. Learn fast. Move forward fast.
Existing Application Transformation
Cloud computing’s impact on application performance varies, but in just about every case, applications run smoother. Creating and removing environments for new applications is a quicker process and allows a development team to use their time more efficiently.
Most (if not all) want the flexibility of the cloud. Organizations need to know they can scale up quickly to meet greater usage needs, and just as quickly scale down if resources are going unused. A cloud architecture makes it easier to do this because specific applications no longer need specific physical
servers to run.
Lift and Shift
This approach taps into innovation by moving to an open and more extensible architecture in the cloud. Businesses can move their applications quickly and easily without having to re-architect them. Companies consider lift and shift for multiple benefits, including reduced costs and improved performance and resiliency.
Here, only parts of an application are modified. Move elements of an application stack, usually the frontend to the cloud. This process provides faster migration and deployment than complete refactoring. Leave legacy data processing and storage in the corporate data center.
This is the most advanced method of migrating applications to the cloud. Businesses can rewrite applications for the cloud to produce higher performance and to optimize and operate at lower costs. They can host the entirety of the application — fronted, middle-ware and database — in the
Less to Manage
Migrating applications, infrastructure, or platforms to the cloud creates huge savings in a data center. With virtualization tools, creating and then releasing extra environments is quick and efficient. A shared model means servers that were previously hosting applications can be removed or redeployed. This can work across various environments multiplying the benefits.
Cloud-computing breaks the legacy network model.
MPLS hair-pinning degrades the user experience. This is a method where a packet travels to an interface, goes out towards the Internet but instead of continuing it makes a “hair pin” turn and comes back to the same interface. This is particularly true when users are accessing cloud applications like Office 365.
The physical location of your data matters less than the way its accessed.
The face of security is changing and we need to take note. Traditional security is based upon the idea of safeguarding the inside of the location with a secure perimeter, also known as a firewall. The cloud doesn’t operate with an inside and an outside, so ‘perimeter-thinking’ won’t work here.
Awareness of the limitations of the perimeter has grown slowly, but the implementation of cloud services is often outside corporate control. For example, much like other vendors, Microsoft has released a range of security technologies and capabilities recently that automatically become features of their products. This is known as “shadow IT”.
SaaS offers enterprises several advantages:
- Subscription pricing instead of software licensing
- Scalability: One-size-fits all from five users to thousands
- Availability: Maintenance, support and uptime are all the responsibility of the provider
- Dynamic upgrades: Major upgrades can be made over the weekend. Users can access the application upgrades immediately, without having to wait for an IT team to test updates, schedule downtime and then release the updates
The Cloud Transformation Journey
451 Research developed a model outlining what they call the four stages of cloud transformation. The model identifies the cycle of cloud consumption — migration and implementation, cost savings and increases, governance and optimization and transformative value. It breaks things down into manageable stages and simplifies the process.1
Why do this now? Cloud adoption doesn’t just happen, whether it’s a new application, the end of existing hardware or a strategic decision. The decision is made based on multiple factors like cost of resources, staff, scalability and growth.
After the initial migration, increased costs become the biggest challenge facing an organization in their cloud journey. Cloud costs increase because cloud resources are easy to access and relatively inexpensive, so users often have trouble controlling their spending.
War and Peace
With data on consumption now available, enterprises look to reduce their spend by purchasing cloud in alternative ways. There is a battle between flexibility and convenience and control and governance. Developers want to ‘go to war’ with new capability and capacity and administrators want the
peace of secure and inexpensive capability.
Price model optimization: To save money, administrators start using alternative pricing models, such as AWS reserved or spot instances, Microsoft enterprise agreements, or Google’s sustained-use pricing models. The Cloud Price Index average discount is 38%.
A Brave New World
The main objective here is to squeeze costs while enabling flexible IT consumption. Governance will help manage cost, but waste will also have to be
accounted for. Companies may also look to cloud brokers to manage costs and consider the effects of value-added consumption as enabling growth.
This isn’t a one-off process. Another spark will come — a new venture, level of utilization, a newly accessible and easy-to-use technology. History repeats itself. Organizations circle back and repeat the process. But with each new iteration — the new application, the new migration, the new cloud and new challenges — they’re more educated in resolving issues and more adept at optimizing their experience.
Digital transformation happens when there’s flexibility to act quickly and take chances. So it’s not surprising, cloud adoption will transform organizations, including an estimated 83% of enterprise workloads by 2020.2
Migrating to the cloud will give business leaders one more reason to shift their thinking from IT as a cost center to a strategic partner delivering value — from revenue to productivity to better experience — proving with the cloud, the sky’s the limit.
1 451 Research, 2017
2 LogicMonitor Survey, 2018
About the Author
Tim Britt, CEO
Tim Britt is founder and CEO of Synoptek, a Global Systems Integrator (SI) and Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) offering Comprehensive IT Management and Consultancy Services to organizations worldwide. An entrepreneur at heart — Tim leverages technology to squash the status quo and create solutions for his clients — a mission he’s been on for more than 20 years.
Synoptek is a global systems integrator and managed IT services provider offering comprehensive IT management and consultancy services to organizations worldwide. Founded in 2001; headquartered in Irvine, CA, we have offices and resources across North America and delivery centers in Europe and India.