Every day, more and more businesses continue to move their mission-critical applications and infrastructure to the cloud, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Gartner is predicting a 16.5 percent growth in the public cloud services market this year, to $204 billion.
It’s pretty easy to see why this trend is still so hot. Enterprises are discovering that they can use the public cloud to cut operational costs, drive new efficiencies, and improve security. They can also gain agility, utilizing the cloud to launch new compute resources as needed.
Try before you buy
One of the biggest benefits of the public cloud is that it can offer you a place to quickly spin up dev and test assets before you make internal infrastructure investments. Many enterprise projects stall in the procurement stages based on the hardware required for the final project delivery. The public cloud, meanwhile, enables a project to prove its business value on a smaller scale, with limited investments in infrastructure. It can also help you capture the real requirements to run applications internally. As a result, you can reduce waste by right-sizing the final infrastructure purchases based on real usage data, not front-end estimates.
Asking the tough questions
If you’re like many other companies and you’ve made the decision to move to the public cloud, you’re faced with some difficult but important questions. For instance, do you know exactly how you want to leverage the cloud? What kinds of applications do you want to use the cloud for: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)?
Ultimately, these questions culminate in a deeper and more vital question: what is your cloud strategy? And if you don’t have a formal strategy, where do you start?
Getting on the right path
Data Strategy is uniquely qualified to help you develop a cloud strategy that’s best for your business. We do this through our Cloud Strategy Workshop, an in-depth series of strategy sessions that assist you in defining and documenting your customized cloud strategy.
The workshop consists of a series of three 4-hour meetings, each bringing together key business leaders from across the enterprise. The sessions include key steps to defining your cloud strategy, including:
• Assessment. A dialog-based assessment of your current state that helps you determine where your organization is and any pressures or challenges present within your environment.
• Discussion. Discussion that focuses on your essential goals and capabilities, so you can decide where you need to be in the cloud.
• Measurement. A measurement of your current capabilities and goals against a standardized maturity model, providing insight and comparison against your peers.
• Recommendation. A list of recommendations based on your current capabilities mapped against your desired capabilities.
The workshop also includes documentation and presentation of all findings, recommendations, and deliverables from the sessions.
Putting it all together
So what’s the ultimate outcome of the workshop? Finding the right cloud strategy for your needs. If the public cloud is chosen, we can then help you migrate your applications and infrastructure to the public cloud.
Once the session findings are presented and discussed, we narrow down a list of projects to a half-dozen or so key initiatives you want to pursue. At that point, we work closely with you to develop stronger visibility into your IT budget, and we assist you in creating a complete view of compute, network, storage, and software licensing footprint. We also identify customer revenue potential and margin projections with estimated timelines for each of your key initiatives.
Finally, we create a scope of work and discuss project timelines. At that point, you can take advantage of our cloud migration services to begin moving to the public cloud. We have helped several large enterprises move from on-premise deployments of Microsoft Exchange Server to Microsoft Office 365, and we also help organizations migrate workloads to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure cloud environments.
Ultimately, you should keep in mind that moving to the public cloud doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. Armed with the tools you need to create the right cloud strategy, you’ll be well-equipped to realize the real business advantages of the cloud.
Andrew Murrey, vExpert, is a Sales Engineer at Data Strategy.