Cloud technology has continued to boom over the last decade but the question remains of how readily it is actually being adopted by businesses.
Cloud technology has continued to boom over the last decade but the question remains of how readily it is actually being adopted by businesses. Generally, companies are aware that cloud can bring in significant benefits to their business and operations. From efficiency to cost savings and scalability to flexibility, cloud technology has the power to enhance a company’s ability to innovate and keep integrating new technologies.
However, it’s important companies realise the many different cloud strategies available; it can be difficult to keep track of all the different packages that vendors are trying to sell to you. Choosing a cloud strategy that specifically suits your needs is the only way to maximise the benefits that cloud technology can offer.
Making sense of cloud offerings
Cloud technology has advanced so rapidly over the last few years that companies are no longer simply using one cloud platform; the latest trend in the space is to explore options that provide multiple platforms. ‘Multicloud’ and ‘hybrid cloud’ are two increasingly popular strategies for businesses looking to capitalise on the advantages of cloud.
However, it can be tricky to understand what exactly they offer, especially when different vendors, bodies and industry figures can’t settle on one strict definition for the strategies. Originally multicloud was set to mean the use of several ‘as-a-Service’ platforms such as SaaS or PaaS to help your company. Multicloud has now morphed to being recognised as using multiple public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM, Oracle, SAP and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Hybrid cloud entails using multiple different types of cloud platforms such as private and public cloud and virtualised on-premise.
This lack of concrete definition is only making it harder for more businesses, non-tech Boards and C-Suite executives to understand the ins and outs of creating a cloud strategy for their company.
Prioritising your requirements
Choosing a cloud ecosystem is a big decision and with so much confusion around the different cloud strategies, it’s no wonder that widespread adoption of cloud in enterprise is slow. When cloud was first adopted in enterprise, businesses would opt for a single cloud provider, usually one of the leading public cloud platforms such as AWS or Azure. This meant applications, workloads and assets were all squeezed to conform to the requirements of that particular cloud platform. While this limited the performance of certain apps and workloads, businesses are now finding it difficult to revert these apps and systems to work on other cloud platforms and have become trapped with this one vendor.
This is why many industry professionals are advocating the development of cloud ecosystems that allow the business to spread their apps and workloads across several platforms. Using a strategy such as multicloud or hybrid cloud will ensure companies are able to diversify their assets and avoid any dependence on one single vendor.
While IT leaders will be feeling the pressure from Boards and C-Suites wanting to reap the benefits from cloud technology, it’s important they don’t rush into their decision. Instead, businesses need to do a deep dive to understand what they need from the cloud, how best cloud can fit into their business operations before considering which cloud platforms and strategies suit their business needs. It’s vital that companies prioritise their requirements before choosing their solution.
For companies that are currently undergoing digital transformation, a multicloud or hybrid cloud strategy is usually most fitting. Some of the biggest benefits that cloud technology offers are scalability and flexibility; being able to exercise these abilities to their full extent is the main advantage of using a multicloud or hybrid cloud strategy. It will also allow companies to store apps and workloads in the most appropriate locations, instead of trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes. Mission-critical applications can stay onsite to mitigate risk whereas apps that need elasticity can be stored in the cloud.
Reducing reliance on a single cloud provider will also minimise the security risk; if the cloud vendor has issues, then apps and workloads hosted in other locations won’t be affected and the business can continue to function. Ultimately, the cloud will bring serious advantages to companies - but only if they choose a cloud solution that fits their requirements. In addition to flexibility, cloud can help companies save costs and increase efficiency, helping to provide a smoother transition as companies deploy new technology into their businesses.