Choosing between either of public or private cloud had been one of the biggest debates in the IT world over the last few years. And, the majority of the tech realm believe that it is the age of ‘hybrid’ or ‘multicloud’– the mingling of both public and private cloud. Amazon AWS’s announcement of Outposts and Azure Stack clinched the direction of the industry.
Multi-cloud is the latest topic of discussion in the cloud industry, in which there are different schools of thought. One definition is where enterprises using many different private and clouds in IaaS, PaaS or SaaS service models. Multi-cloud may not be the most efficient, and security models are still being figured out, but the reality is most are leveraging a SaaS solution like Salesforce or Office 365.
It’s important to come up with some methodology to figure out the direction of which strategic cloud provider to pick. According to experts, the following are a list of what enterprises should be looking at to determine which cloud to use.
Hard cost savings
Potential infrastructure cost savings should be the most obvious thing that an organization must consider while choosing between cloud options. Measurement of your organizations’ infrastructure costs is important in determining the right cloud solution according to your needs, this can be further broken into four areas: server, storage, networking, and facilities.
Server, networking and storage cost tracking should include the necessary hardware including the maintenance as well as the software side of the equation. Facilities expenses are huge, but sometimes get ignored in the calculations and should account for the power, cooling, and space itself. Also, there’s more to be accounted for—many organizations must consider database management, and other software costs.
It’s easy to run up a major cloud tab, and the key is to have a transparent cost-management and governance approach. Many customers say that with more use their savings will also increase as their ‘cloud IQ’ rises. But, it takes some time to ‘right’ compute instances, match with the right storage options, and get into the correct upshifting and downshifting modes. em, let’s say to containers and serverless.
Find strategic cloud providers who actively try to help you reduce costs through education and auto downshifting of services you don’t require. Avoid vendors with minimal services and one-size-fits-all offerings.
An organization should recognize the cloud’s potential to improve staff productivity. Consider which cloud option is best suited for your organization to save your employees the most time and effort.
Measure all of the time and effort that earlier went into server budgeting, planning, negotiating and purchasing. Tasks such as longer-term capacity planning can be automated, as can the installation, upgrading, and removing of software. With the public cloud, IT no longer has to deal with hardware repair or failure. Security doesn’t go away with your strategic cloud provider, as you still need to manage security “in” the cloud, but your provider will provide security “of” the cloud.
If IT staff isn’t having to focus on all of these issues, it frees them up to work on more value-added projects for your organization closer to the business units and end customers.
Another factor to consider is the uptime or operational resiliency a public cloud option can provide to an organization. The cloud can provide many benefits in terms of reliability, scalability, and security, and can save organizations big bucks in terms of the costs associated with outages and downtime.
Let’s take a look at the costs of downtime:
third party contractors and consultants called in to tackle an outage
new equipment purchases and their maintenance
lost time and costs associated with incident detection, investigation, and recovery
hits to both end-user and IT personnel productivity
revenue loss due to business disruption (including damage to an organization’s reputation).
The cloud isn’t perfect, but its fault-resilient design and proper use of AZs are designed to avoid most of these issues.
Flexibility and agility
The winners and losers in business are no longer just defined by size as they were in the ’80s and ’90s, but their ability to move to where the revenue and customer puck is going. Organizations should be aware of the business agility benefits the public cloud brings with it.
There are a lot of different metrics enterprises can monitor to handle their “business agility and flexibility,” and many of them have the potential for improvement with a public cloud. These include:
- number of new applications launched per year
- time-to-market for new applications
- response time to product and service defects
- time to provision new environments (compute, storage, networking)
- number of incidents and defects
- access to game-changing bleeding-edge capabilities
- Business agility can also pay dividends in terms of employee and customer satisfaction and retention and reducing absenteeism in the office.
Generally speaking, the quicker an organization can innovate and respond, the happier everyone is, inside and outside the company. While I don’t underestimate the comfort of sticking with what you know with older systems, this is now an innovation trade-off.