As the IT industry continues its rapid pace of evolution, businesses are increasingly relying on cloud-based infrastructure for managing and deploying their technology. Managing technology and applications as a hosted solution frees both the software developers and businesses alike from the requirement of purchasing costly infrastructure. Companies that no longer want to make capital investments in additional IT infrastructure and personnel are making cloud or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) a requirement in their application selection criteria.
According to a recent CIO Magazine article, cloud adoption is at an all-time high with more companies migrating their data centers to the cloud. Gartner estimates the worldwide market for cloud computing grew 18.5% in 2012 to $110 billion and is expected to reach $210 billion by 2016. Likewise, IaaS deployments are fueling forecasts of double-digit growth in the annual adoption rate of cloud services, according to Gartner, which predicts that IaaS will achieve a compound annual growth rate of 41.3% through 2016.
With this massive shift of infrastructure hosting, there are a few tips during each phase that companies can keep in mind as they prepare their transition to the cloud.
When you create your plan for transitioning to the cloud, keep in mind that the key is speed and accessibility. Your users need an IT foundation that can keep up with them and that is easy to use. The other key, of course, is stability and security. For maximum effectiveness, you will want to minimize any extra work required to support your IT environments; things like security, back up, maintenance, and performance optimization can and should all be handled by your outsourced cloud provider.
By leveraging a cloud provider with an enterprise cloud infrastructure in place, you are able to bring cloud-based offerings to market much faster than building an in-house solution. However, it is crucial that you examine your cloud providers managed service levels and offerings. The goal is for the cloud provider to free you and your internal staff from commonplace yet time-consuming tasks such as managing the infrastructure, monitoring incident reports and responding to alerts. This frees you to focus on what you and your employees do best within your highly specialized functions.
Deploy and Optimize
Best practice is to standardize and automate as much as you can. The cloud offers on demand, automated, and API-driven interfaces to ease deployment. Automated compliance, availability, scalability and performance management are key features your users will expect to be deployed as part of your cloud solution. Make sure systems are in place to monitor all of these areas to maximize your ongoing cloud spend and ensure that your cloud provider service-level agreements (SLAs) are meeting your requirements.
The cloud infrastructure should not get in the way of productivity. The system should be optimized to eliminate users from having to go through a cumbersome request process to deploy services. Developers don’t want to fill out a help desk request, nor will they tolerate a lengthy approvals process to get access to cloud resources. You should also be mindful to not limit your users’ ability to configure infrastructure, middleware, database or server components as they need.
If you are interested in finding out more about Valor Global and our cloud or IaaS offerings, please contact me today and I’ll be happy to discuss a needs analysis based on your particular environment and situation.
Vice President Strategic Development
Valor Global Services
Forrester Research, Cloud Management in a Hybrid Cloud World, Dave Bartoletti, July 30, 2013
CIO Magazine, Cloud-Enabled Data Center Infrastructure, January 17, 2014