For all the upheaval to business caused by the pandemic, one positive is that it accelerated the move to the cloud, particularly among enterprise IT solution companies. Now as businesses emerge from the pandemic, cloud adoption is set to continue, with Gartner predicting that 51% of IT spending in key markets will shift to the cloud by 2025.
Those are encouraging numbers, but it still leaves a significant number of organizations that are reluctant to make the move. Indeed, Gartner reports that only 41% of spending will shift to the cloud in 2022.
Aside from security compliance concerns, the most oft-cited hesitation for the move is cost.
Fortunately, expense has become less of a deterrent due to the number of different providers and off-the-shelf solutions now available.
Rather than letting concerns and questions derail your decision to consider a move to the cloud, conduct a thorough investigation by starting with these three steps:
When planning a move to or expanding your presence in the cloud, the first step is to understand what you have and what you want to move. It may not be prudent to move everything to the cloud initially, so take inventory and establish your goals.
A word of caution here: I’ve worked with many organizations that never move beyond this step because they get stuck in “paralysis by analysis.” They get so caught up in cataloguing everything to the Nth degree that they never actually do anything.
Rather, determine what is mission critical and what is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck.
An important point to remember is that IT is no longer the only holder of technology once you move to the cloud. At most organizations, other departments can bring in tools. So there may be various solutions already in the cloud, either built in-house or bought off the shelf. This can be a challenge when doing inventory because departments may be siloed. However, this is even more reason to take the time to get a comprehensive picture of what you have, where it is, and where you want everything to eventually live.
Next, determine who’s going to handle the “care and feeding” of your operations once they’re in the cloud. Do you have people on staff, or do you need to hire?
Choose Your Provider
Choosing a provider can be a daunting task for those that do not have a grasp on what data they have and what to move. This is because technology providers tend to focus on one area or specific service. Knowing what you are trying to build toward can help narrow the field.
Another consideration when researching providers is how much of a partner one will be for you and your organization. Will they help you build your new systems and processes or leave that to you to manage? Will they help enable your team members so they can build newer, more innovative solutions in the future?
Which Cloud Approach is Right for You?
When it comes to different cloud approaches, you will need to determine whether a distributed or hybrid approach will best fit your organization’s needs. Hybrid cloud refers to a cloud deployment model that allows for both private and public clouds simultaneously.
A hybrid approach is a good fit for organizations that want to have their systems and applications in the cloud while holding all their data in a private cloud that they control. However, this approach is challenging because implementing and maintaining such a system can prove to be cumbersome. It requires that organizations continue to maintain dedicated hardware while not taking full advantage of all the cloud has to offer.
A distributed cloud approach refers to systems, applications and data being accessible from geographically distributed locations or data centers but managed through a single layer of orchestration. The benefit of the distributed solutions approach is that it gives those that are closest to the process the ability to evaluate what solution works best for them.
How Should the Decision be Made?
Organizations should resist the impulse to keep a chokehold on allowing technologies into the corporate environment. Instead, work with your IT department to review and understand the cloud technologies you seek to implement. Laggards risk falling behind, so prioritize your organization’s agility to remain competitive.