Cloud adoption is soaring, with organizations of all sizes and in every industry taking advantage of the benefits of cloud services. According to newly released data from IDC’s CloudView Survey 2017, the top drivers of cloud adoption include improving agility and security, and standardizing the IT infrastructure. Multi-cloud environments have become prevalent, with 56 percent of users running more than one type of cloud service. In addition, 40 percent of users are “cloud-first” organizations that look to the cloud as the preferred option.
On the surface, that would seem to be a sensible approach. Why go to the time and expense of implementing in-house IT solutions when a cloud service is available? The cloud minimizes capital investments and operational overhead, allows you to roll out new services quickly, and makes it easier to scale as your business grows.
What’s not to like?
Fact is, the cloud can be an expensive boondoggle if you’re not careful. Like anything else, the success of your cloud strategy depends on your specific situation and the cloud services you use. Here are three of the factors you need to consider:
- Budget. While the cloud reduces the need for investments in IT equipment, those upfront costs are only part of the story. Cloud services are typically billed as a monthly subscription based upon the number of users, the amount of data being stored, the number of server “instances,” or some similar consumption-based metric. The meter is always running, and costs increase as your usage grows. It can really add up over time, to the point that in-house IT investments make more sense.
- Applications. There is a wide range of applications available “as-a-Service” today, but that doesn’t mean there’s a cloud option for every need. Or that the cloud is always the best option. The cloud often makes sense for things like email and productivity apps — things that aren’t strategic to your business. But for mission-critical applications, features and functionality should take precedence over the deployment model.
- Internet Connectivity. With cloud services, your Internet connection becomes your lifeline. If connectivity is slow or unavailable, you’re not going to be able to access your applications and data. Ideally, your business should have multiple high-speed Internet links to ensure connectivity to the cloud. Adding another link increases costs, and may not even be possible depending on your location.
These are some of the things we look at when we onboard a new customer. SSD’s onboarding process starts with an initial meeting in which our consultants and engineers sit down with the customer’s executive management and end-users to understand what works and what doesn’t. Then, over the next 30 to 45 days, we evaluate the customer’s IT systems, analyze data from our monitoring tools, and develop a plan for optimizing IT resources that are valuable to the business and fixing any problems that we’ve identified.
We don’t resell IT products or cloud services. We have no vested interest in promoting a particular solution. Our objective is to help you choose the solutions that best meet your needs, then support your entire infrastructure to ensure that it performs optimally.
It’s hard to beat the speed, flexibility and simplicity of the public cloud. However, it takes careful analysis and planning to choose the right cloud services and maximize their value. Let SSD be your guide as you develop your cloud strategy and navigate the various options.