Cloud computing – where to start?
When you live and breathe IT, it’s easy to forget that people are at different places on the journey – and often have not even stepped onto the road yet.
The idea of cloud computing has been around for decades – even back to the 1960s and the original notion of network-based computing and the concept hung around for a while. Of course, the word “Cloud” really started to become a buzz word and used in it’s modern context in 2006 when then CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, introduced the term to the industry:
“What’s interesting [now] is that there is an emergent new model,” Schmidt said, “I don’t think people have really understood how big this opportunity really is. It starts with the premise that the data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing—they should be in a “cloud” somewhere.”
So, for many of us – we live and breathe “cloud” and have built our businesses on cloud technology and services.
But of course, for those who’s core business is not technology, cloud can be a new – and daunting – concept. And as technology drives more and more business – regardless of what that business is, the need to understand cloud and how it relates to both business strategy and business execution becomes critical.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has highlighted a range of barriers to cloud adoption – at the top of the list was “insufficient knowledge”, and that hasn’t changed much over the last couple of years. (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8129.0)
Cloud adoption might be booming with Gartner expecting a 15 percent rise to AUD 6.5 billion dollars, but if you don’t know what you are doing or what your third-party partners are doing for you, are you just throwing away your money?
Cloud computing can be a minefield if you don’t know what you are doing. After all, how do you know what you don’t know? And to add further confusion, cloud means different things to different people.
- Is it just another name for the internet?
- Is it virtualisation?
- Is it running your systems and applications on someone else’s computer?
More than other technologies, the rate of change in cloud is phenomenal and this means the conversation changes constantly.
Luckily, we’ve moved past the early days that were full of hype, buzz, and lots of myths, driven by a lack of consensus on what cloud was, and a lack of understanding of how it really fit into long term business goals.
But there are still plenty of challenges and some key questions to consider before embarking on a cloud strategy for your business.
You’ve heard of different types of cloud – Public, Private and Hybrid – which is right for you?
Choice – sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s just confusing! Whether you choose a public, private or hybrid solution is really determined by your digital strategy. Public is great to quickly achieve scale and private is great for those workloads need to stay internal but have the benefits of cloud such as better continuity, resilience, and capabilities. Many organisations find that hybrid gives you the best of both worlds and is often a great starting point.
Do you have the support to manage the full lifecycle of cloud deployments – do you even know what that lifecycle looks like?
Many people equate cloud with virtualisation. However, they are not synonymous. While virtualisation plays an important underpinning role in your cloud environment, there is a lot more involved in the architecture. You need to consider availability, security, management, mobility, and end-user experience. All these technology pillars combine to give you an optimum cloud experience that is going to support your business growth.
How do you catch up with your competitors that have already gone down the cloud path?
Knowledge is power. With the exponentially growing market it would be a fair assumption that even if you have not embraced cloud yet, at least some of your competitors have. So now you must catch them.
Consider how you can speed up the accumulation of that knowledge. How do you cut down project times without having the risk of errors? How do you get everyone on the same page – internal and external resources – quickly? It’s about finding ways to compress that time to design deliver and manage – allowing you to get on with your core business.
What are the risks involved and how do you mitigate them?
Risks come in all shapes and sizes. And they can be very costly if not addressed correctly. There’s the risk of not having your proposed could infrastructure aligned to your business strategy and vision. There’s the risk from not having the skills to design, deliver and manage your environment. How do you find a proven path to help you get the environment you need to support your organisation – all the way through from business vision to technical implementation. What is the holistic method that will provide mentorship to assist in the process and also act as a trusted advisor for those times when you deal with technology partners.
How does your team get up and running quickly – with little down time and reduced chance of errors?
Knowledge transfer is critical. But not just the technical knowledge. You need a system of processes and procedures in place that are simplified and easy to follow. You need redundancy in that system so anyone in your organisation can pick it up and easily take over if needed.
Moving to the cloud if you are a newcomer doesn’t have to be as daunting as everyone proclaims. While things might seem complicated at first, if you spend some time and effort putting the right toolset in place you’ll find it easy to roll out systems and processes that simplify your path to cloud computing.
About Qirx in a Box:
We have a simple approach to cloud solutions – we build cloud experts.
Qirx in a Box is a game changing product that turns everyday IT people into cloud experts. It’s a one-stop solution that allows us to transfer our expertise to you and your team. This means you are empowered with the knowledge, tools and know-how to accurately determine what your business requires. Then you are perfectly positioned to create a more efficient hybrid cloud and maintain and scale your hybrid cloud environment as your needs grow.
- Increase your competitive edge;
- Access your own virtual consultancy;
- Reduce your risk; and
- Increase your skill set.
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