In almost every organization’s internal meetings and corridors, there’s a lot of chattering about whether cloud computing is an option that can bring tangible benefits or not, and if it’s time for moving to the cloud. In this brief post, I will point out some issues why you should consider moving your business’s IT resources to the cloud.
Moving to the cloud can be a very challenging project. As well as the new technology implementations, there are some considerations you have to follow to minimize the risk of failure when considering the option of moving to the cloud. To put it simply, consider this basic step-by-step common strategy: define, measure, explore, and describe.
Define What to Move to the Cloud
To start, it’s important to define primarily what you are going to move to the cloud: data, processes, or both. There are a vast number of options when taking this into consideration. Depending on what you are planning to move to the cloud, it will be necessary to consider what you will need in terms of cloud model providers:
• A software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider: to move your data to the cloud and let a vendor provide you with the necessary applications
• A platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider: to provide you with all the facilities to support all the software development cycle processes
• An infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider: to provide you with a fully integrated cloud infrastructure (servers, storage, applications, etc.)
As you can see, you will need to explore a varied number of possibilities. Consider the resources or components subject before moving to the cloud.
Measure the Risk and Cost
How important or vital is the data or processes you are moving to the cloud? This is the question you will need to answer in order to determine the cloud movement feasibility. Considering that data and processes are vital resources of your organization, you have to make some basic risk considerations based on these resources: the risk of the resources to be exposed or becoming public; the risk of letting a third-party manipulate these resources; the risk of not having the expected result by using the cloud; the risk of not having certain resources available for a period of time (downtime); etc. It’s important to make a serious risk assessment regarding all your resources.
Explore the Possibilities
Once addressed, all possible risks it will be important to consider the possible cloud deployment types. There are some options that you will have to explore depending on the type of resource you will be moving to the cloud: a public cloud, a private cloud, a hybrid solution, etc. It will be important to gain knowledge about the actual offers and the possibilities for moving to the cloud.
With a better understanding of the possible paths for your cloud adventure, you can consider and evaluate your potential service providers. Evaluate providers using common criteria like cost, regulatory compliance, service and support, as well as specific sets of criteria like infrastructure, technology, security. Put special emphasis on the degree of risk control you can put on your providers for assessing a risk management strategy.
Describe the Information Flow
Describe the information flow between all components of your cloud infrastructure (your organization, the cloud service, and all additional nodes, if any). This stage is very important to gain a clear view regarding all phases of the information cycle and is useful with providing you and your providers a better understanding of your actual needs, criteria to meet, and expected results. With this information you could make a serious consideration to move your resources to the cloud.
Of course, addressing the challenge of a cloud adventure is by no means an easy task, but considering a method to define, measure, explore, describe can be helpful when considering a moving to the cloud. It can help detect the risks involved, and evaluate the possible scenarios for a deployment, which can help you decide whether or not it’s time to consider moving your information resources to the cloud.
Please take a second and answer the poll below.
I welcome your thoughts—please leave a comment below, and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
Risk is limited and I am already in the Cloud
I would like to thank you for this useful post.
I have a concern about moving data source to an external data centre in the cloud, my concern around data protection &privacy issues, in all cases if physical place of data center in cloud does not covered by country laws, this will lead to break down data privacy, am i right ?
i hope you can post on this issue as well, i think its crucial for moving from traditional IT paradigm to cloud computing paradigm
Thanx and best regards
Thank you for posting very good usefull post.
Customers might have concern on Data security and system availaility on critical business process & data.
And also Data protection & privacy might be a major issue.
I feel moving traditional IT method to cloud computing would be better.
Thanks and Regards
Thanks for the step-by-step strategy proposed: it’s very interesting.
We are an ISV company involved in the cloud since the cloud was called Asp or similar, many years ago.
I want to know you that our cloud’s S+S / SaaS customers are customers more and more satisfied than on-premises company’s customers but, first of all, the cloud shifting will be realize only by a real strategy shifting of insiders IT works. Today there are again too many interests for on-premises apps and this can’t help the market to really evaluate the cloud. For last, but not least, I think that the cloud could be more useful for Small Biz scenario (in some case more useful than for a big enterprise) because of their habits to use the commercial services already available, but this segment is little considered by a big market players (with exception perhaps of Google).
First of all, thank you for your feedback:
I would like to mention that risk is something inherent on every computing model. The trick here is to measure the risk accurately.
Ayman and Gopal:
The big goal, as in all services is to obtain the best cost-quality-security combination. Basically it would be crucial to at least:
- Understand clearly how the Cloud provider infrastructure help them meet their service levels.
- How the Cloud provider apply disaster recovery strategies.
- If necessary, have your provider to commit on storing your information in specific jurisdictions.
This basic measure could help you mitigate risks
You can check this interesting insight regarding risk:
Also, you can read this material regarding mayor cloud concerns:
Interesting point. There are some efforts to put cloud in the eye of big enterprise companies. Companies like NetSuite and SalesForce are making efforts to gain more presence in large companies.
Can you send me more information regarding your company (weblink)? It would be interesting to know more about your cloud offering.
Thank you for you comments. Please keep following the TEC blog. Hey, and you can follow me on twitter too :-)
Jorge, it could be seem incredible but our “marketing cloud model” has been based overall on indirect sales using our “traditional” partner channel , as a result our web presence is very small at this moment. Only since Dec 2009 we are developping an international web presence because before we operated only in Italian market througt partner’s sales. To understand better our offer you can visit this url and observe some case studies published by Microsoft:
And for last Italian Diamante website: www.diamante.it
Moving to cloud doest have to be difficult. I worked for an ASP,Cloud service provider who hosted desktop including clients bespoke applications, and all for one fixed per user monthly price. they handled the transition of data and users and could easily migrate 250 users over a weekend. As for security, again depends on the service provider, check to see what security standards they adhere to and what type of clients they have (if legal then you are onto a winner). So from a predicatble cost of £70 per user per month outsourcing desktop as a service is a viable option for many organisations. Just choose carefully, speak to existing clients.
Thanks for this simple & straighforward piece.
Please can you advice on Google & MS offerings on cloud computing.
To start with organisations can try SaaS and for application which may be used less frequently ,but in the course of business essential.
Is it possible to use either SaaS or Cloud for WMS and can it support WCS / automated material handling equipment, RFID…..
Your article nicely put framework for considering a movce.