Have you ever wondered what are the reasons why many organizations there days are attracted towards public cloud adoption? Here is the answer why?
The charisma of public cloud adoption is based on many impressive benefits – access to global infrastructure, increased agility, elasticity, consumption-based pricing and reduced operating cost. However there are chances that sometimes public cloud could have unexpected consequences which the organizations need to conquer to prevent manage compliance, cost overruns, maintain agility, and prevent failure of their cloud strategy.
You can also take a look at Hybrid Cloud Approach – A guide to Moving to the Cloud
In this article, we will target the best practices you can apply to help ensure your public cloud investment is a success.
Develop a Strategy
Every organization should have a clear cloud strategy in place whether it is leveraging the public cloud or just starting their cloud journey. This strategy should include the real reason why they are opting for the cloud and what they hope to achieve from this. They should also keep in mind that these goals and objectives are in line with the business objectives and how the cloud will balance against internal and external company requirements. This cloud strategy needs to be updated regularly based on changing business needs and market conditions.
Build a Core Team
Technology success is all about the people. It’s essential to acquire, train, motivate, and retain the best possible cloud talent for your business. Start by building a core team with the right cloud experience and skills to drive your strategy. With top cloud talent in high demand, building this initial team can be challenging. But trying to manage cloud complexity without a talented core team of professionals is a recipe for failure. Some of this talent may already exist in your organization, but others you will need to recruit externally. Having a clear strategy and a compelling value proposition will help substantially to attract talent to your initiative.
Most of the best public cloud success stories come from organizations that started with a small project and iterated their way into large-scale usage. Jumping into a high-risk initial project is rarely successful, as cloud complexities often present themselves in a non-linear step function that requires time and resources to manage. Starting small allows you and your team to develop real-world experiences, gain initial wins, and contain the business impact of your failures – and there will be failures.
The most successful users of the public cloud choose to deliver a series of lower-risk projects (“small bets”) that yield critical understanding, minimize risk, and drive learning. I recommend driving an iterative process similar to what is referred to in Lean Startup as a Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop. This Lean method is designed to optimize a product-development process for speed as a means of mitigating business risk. The idea is to build a subset of a product or feature, deliver it, measure its success, and use the validated learning acquired from its delivery to repeat the loop again. This concept can be adapted easily to the public cloud as a means of mitigating risk.
To read about Managed Cloud Services: A shift to Strategic IT
Bet on a Few Vendors
Regardless of your cloud strategy, you will need a community. This includes a combination of cloud vendors, service providers, and product/service vendors to support managing all aspects of your public cloud and hybrid environments. Some of the most common categories for vendor selection include the following:
- Cloud Providers.
- Configuration Management.
- Fault Management.
- Performance Management.
- Security Management.
- Incident Management.
- Cloud Service Management.
Because the cloud is still a relatively immature market, it’s common to find gaps or deficiencies in vendors within any category. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your current and future needs are aligned with your selected vendors and their roadmaps. The shared goals you define with the community you assemble help ensure your success. The key drivers in the decision-making process are to look for vendors that have a big vision, strong customer traction, and a proven track record in agile delivery. You also may want to consider making a few strategic bets within your vendor community in areas critical to your business. These will be the areas in which you dedicate more time and resources toward ensuring they deliver for your future needs.
The concept of real-time optimization is a startling reality when organizations move to the cloud. In traditional data center environments, an organization may manage optimizations for cost on a quarterly basis, security on a weekly basis, and performance monthly. However, the pace of change in cloud environments requires constant optimization. It’s critical to realize that managing all aspects of infrastructure – cost, availability, performance, security, and usage – is a continuous process that mirrors the Build-Measure-Learn process of Lean. Start by identifying clear owners for the optimization and agree upon key metrics that will be tracked to monitor the “health” of each aspect of infrastructure. Make the data visible to key stakeholders and proactively drive changes as required.
A standard way to deploy infrastructure is often referred to as reference architecture and represents a blueprint that drives the provisioning and operations of your infrastructure. Achieving standardization requires collecting and analyzing data from your chosen clouds and supporting systems. Your goal should be to have consistency across the infrastructure you provision, its configuration, and its management. New workloads deployed to the public cloud often have variability as you experiment to identify how best to deploy and optimize. But, over time, you should seek to drive consistency. The successful reference architecture should take into account all the lifecycle phases of managing applications and workloads and should include guidelines around the management of cost, availability, performance, security, and usage of infrastructure. It should be a living document, ideally codified but able to be changed rapidly based on the needs of your organization.
One of the biggest reasons why companies are cloud dropouts is their inefficiency to manage their costs accurately and efficiently. All successful companies are fully aware that effective cost management begins by effective measuring your goals and how will you measure your accomplishments. Every cloud user wants to extract more and more benefits from the cloud like flexibility, global infrastructure, and agility along with expecting it to be cost-effective. To achieve this amount of success they need to ensure that they understand the goals and objectives that they want to achieve and share how they assess the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your public cloud usage. Once they are done with this then they are left with driving the optimization process and ensuring that they drive the smart growth of their applications and infrastructure.
Is has been seen that companies today rely on the cloud to innovate their processes that way that were never imagined before. Since these changes were not foreseen before the levels of complexity have increased across the organization. If the organization fail to define a cloud strategy, the results can be disastrous like inefficient resource utilization, cost overruns, lack of compliance with business policies, and a host of other issues.
After all these consequences the future doesn’t have to be bleak. If the organization takes a thoughtful approach towards their cloud strategy they can easily overcome the complexities and take full advantage of the benefits that cloud has to offer. If the cloud strategy is successful it will directly impact the ability of the organization to address the challenges of having an ever-changing cloud infrastructure. These best practices are designed to get you well on your way to achieving success – while actually enjoying your organization’s cloud journey.
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