Digital transformation Cloud strategies

Cloud strategies

Before embarking on any digital transformation project, organisations should determine the best data execution location.

Digital imperative

Businesses of all sizes face the digital imperative today. How to digitally transform while staying relevant and competitive in an ever-changing marketplace is one of the greatest challenges.

Cloud technology is rapidly becoming a key component of success. A recent study on digital transformation conducted by 451 Research for CenturyLink found that 57% of European executives considered cloud services to be a key enabler of digital transformation. Another 29% thought it was important.

The Cloud strategies promises much: almost instantaneous, paid-as-you go access to enterprise-class software and services, infrastructure, and the ability to quickly scale applications to handle seasonal traffic spikes and crashes.

Organisations must adapt in order to reap the cloud’s benefits, and keep their business strategy in line with them. They need to be able meet the expectations of their board. This includes meeting budget targets, security, reliability and uptime.

It’s a shortsighted decision to move everything to the cloud without having a strategy. Months later, you find out that it not only costs more than a private cloud environment or an on-premises environment but also that you have lost some of the governance control and control that is required.

These practices can lead to internal IT departments putting in place’shadow IT’ practices, personal data being at risk, and spiralling costs. Sometimes, it seems that the best option is to simply stop using the cloud and go back to your old infrastructure and practices.

Failed projects cost more

It’s not surprising that poorly planned digital changes can lead to significant financial losses. Fujitsu’s recent research found that UK companies lose almost half a million pounds every time a digital project is cancelled. This was due to a lack of skilled workers.

How can organisations approach their digital strategy in the best way to achieve success? How can they reduce the impact of the digital skills gap on their bottom line and address the possible financial implications to their digital future?

Multi-cloud to hybrid

Hybrid cloud is a term that IT professionals have used a lot over the years. It refers to combining public cloud with private cloud hosting or on-premises hosting. This concept centers on the idea of choosing the best platform for each application.

The hybrid Cloud strategies is evolving, however – while some private cloud technology is slowly waning in popularity and multi-cloud has recently been incorporated into the business vocabulary. There are many public cloud platforms, services, and applications that have advanced in security and functionality to the point where companies now choose to use multiple public clouds for different purposes, whereas previously, a single private cloud was used.

Businesses can now shop around for the right fit by building applications and services that use a variety of Cloud strategies services, such as IoT and AI.

Additionally, closing the skills gap, which includes hiring, training and maintaining staff skilled in all relevant cloud technologies, has become a difficult task. Businesses are attempting to combat this problem by outsourcing to trusted partners.

Plan for success – choose a cloud, any clouds?

Multi-cloud makes it more important than ever to choose the best platform or execution venue for your business-critical applications and systems. Organisations already dealing with cloud problems face additional complexity due to the multitude of cloud options.

They must be able take a step back, evaluate how their applications and systems are used, consider their security requirements, lifecycle stage and integration requirements, and then compare this with the functionality offered by different cloud providers and platforms. Although this can seem daunting, many organizations are turning to trusted consultants to help them review their current systems and tools in order to transform digitally.

This 360-degree, neutral view of a company’s IT infrastructure allows partners to create unbiased plans and make more realistic recommendations for digital changes than what might have been possible internally.

Not all legacy applications will be suitable for migration to the cloud. Forcing such applications to use a non-suitable cloud platform could lead to costly failures in digital transformation efforts.

For example, older, non-virtualisation-aware applications may be best served from a physical server environment, while cloud-enabled replacements are sought. A hybrid private cloud environment that provides predictable performance may also be more cost-effective for HPC (high-performance computing) and grid computing-style apps that are critical to the business’ operation.

Two options for businesses

Whatever route an organization chooses, it is clear that the IT skills gap can’t be closed in a matter of days. Businesses have two options. They can either hire new talent or partner with an expert to help them choose the best cloud- and infrastructure options.

It would be ideal if the partner could also offer additional tools and expertise to support or manage a digital transformation project.