The public cloud has become a mainstream business resource. According to the Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report, 96 percent of organizations use public cloud services, with 98 percent of those using multiple clouds. Small to midsize enterprises (SMEs) have 67 percent of their workloads and 63 percent of their data in the public cloud.
The cloud offers proven benefits, including increased efficiency and improved security. Of course, many organizations turn to the cloud to conserve capital and reduce IT operational costs. Instead of installing and maintaining a server and storage to support a business application, you can “rent” that application from a service provider and use it as needed. You can also obtain server, storage and other resources via the cloud to support traditional applications.
That doesn’t mean that cloud adoption is an easy decision. Many options are available, and cloud services often come with complex licensing schemes and cost structures. In the Flexera study, 46 percent of SMEs said they struggled to select and size cloud services. More than one-third (37 percent) faced challenges assessing on-premises versus cloud costs.
Factors to Consider
In many cases, nontechnical staff choose cloud solutions on the fly to meet specific requirements. However, organizations learn from experience that the wrong cloud solution can be just as detrimental as the wrong on-premises solution. Furthermore, if the cloud service isn’t integrated with existing technologies and workflows, you’ll wind up with performance bottlenecks and isolated islands of data.
Fact is, there’s a lot to consider when implementing any technology, including cloud services. These factors are among the most important in developing a cloud strategy:
Identifying the benefits the organization hopes to achieve from the cloud
Choosing which applications should move to the cloud
Establishing cloud security policies
Developing a timeline for cloud implementation
Building a portfolio of approved cloud services
Defining disaster recovery, cost and approval policies for the cloud
Organizations should also develop guidelines for selecting specific cloud services. Security is of critical importance or you’ll risk data loss and regulatory compliance concerns. If cloud services are used for core business processes, they must also be reliable. What happens if you can’t access the application or data? What are the long-term costs of the subscription as compared to a traditional solution?
Getting Expert Help
Many smaller organizations don’t have the expertise to answer these questions or develop a sound cloud strategy. Even organizations with in-house IT staff may not have specific experience in cloud services. According to the Pluralsight 2022 State of Cloud Report, IT leaders believe that just 8 percent of their technical staff have experience with cloud tools.
That’s why IronLogix offers cloud assessment, planning and implementation services. Our experts can help you compare the costs of on-premises and cloud services, and determine whether it makes sense to migrate on-premises applications to Software-as-a-Service. We can then help you identify which cloud services are right for your organization and integrate them into your environment.
Gartner predicts that worldwide cloud spending will increase more than 20 percent in 2023 as organizations continue modernizing their IT environments. However, the research firm reports that half of cloud migration projects will be delayed due to a lack of cloud skill sets. If you’re looking to maximize the value of your cloud investments, we invite you to contact IronLogix for a no-obligation consultation. Let our experienced team help you determine if moving your applications to the cloud makes sense and which cloud services best meet your requirements.