Creating Your Competitive Advantage with the Cloud 

For most organizations today, migrating to the cloud isn't a question of if, but a matter of when. Whether you want to create a digital workplace, enhance business agility, or speed up software development and delivery, cloud computing offers a better way. Shifting to the cloud has become the standard for businesses looking to accelerate digital transformation because it provides:

  • Efficiency

    Scalability and agility to quickly flex as business needs change

  • Revenue2

    Cost savings through reduced physical data center storage and consumption-based services

  • Cloud Security

    Best-in-breed security provided by cloud platforms

  • Cooperation

    Increased employee productivity and collaboration

  • Process

    Streamlined business and IT processes

  • Cloud/Devops Services

    Faster speed to market with Cloud/DevOps processes, including automation tools like infrastructure as code (IaC)

  • Tool Efficiency Gear

    Backup and recovery services to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster

While the move to the cloud is inevitable, the journey is complex, requiring businesses to navigate things like security compliance and workload management. So, how should organizations approach this transition? As an experienced cloud consulting services company, we recommend considering the following:

Consider the Human Factor

Moving to the cloud not only affects an organization’s infrastructure, but their employees. Before moving forward, it’s critical to get buy-in from the impacted lines of business, ensuring everyone understands the full benefits of cloud computing as it relates to their specific business/IT needs. Employees need to be excited about and committed to cloud adoption, otherwise the migration efforts won’t deliver the true value the cloud promises.

IT staff need training and clear communication to understand new technologies and how their roles will evolve. It’s important to identify and train existing staff before jumping into a migration. Consider utilizing a third party to assess, plan, and execute your cloud migration to relieve the pressure on existing employees. By working alongside experienced third-party cloud architects and engineers, internal trained staff can truly get a hands-on experience.

Evaluate Cloud Candidates

Conduct an assessment of your cloud readiness, starting with an evaluation of current infrastructure and workloads. Identify which applications can benefit from increased networking, processing, storage, and security. Look at the migration and operating costs, and calculate the current and future total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) for moving the workloads to the cloud. The best approach for existing applications may be a combination of rehosting, rearchitecting, or rebuilding. The cloud workload should be optimized to maintain business continuity and reduce security incidents.

Choose the Right Cloud Platform

Evaluate which type of cloud platform is needed, recognizing that the platform that meets today’s requirements may not meet tomorrow’s. Depending on applications and company size, an enterprise may want a public cloud (shared computing resources), private cloud (entire cloud is dedicated to the company), or hybrid cloud, which can be a combination of public and private, or cloud and on premise. The cloud platform market is made up of the “big three”—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform—as well as smaller, more niche players. When evaluating a platform there are many things to consider, including cost, reliability, security features, backup and recovery options, infrastructure design flexibility, service level agreements, and the level of support provided.

Many organizations are choosing a multi-cloud model with more than one platform to increase agility, control costs, avoid vendor lock in, enhance disaster recovery, and cherry-pick the solutions that best meet their various business needs. In fact, a Gartner survey of public cloud users in 2019 revealed that 81% of respondents were working with two or more platforms. While a multi-cloud strategy provides many benefits, it’s important to build up expertise and comfort with the cloud in one platform before leveraging others to ensure the business can manage this model.

Making the Leap

Now it’s time to plan, build, and deploy your migration strategy. In cloud projects, there is a tendency to become too ambitious, moving too many applications at once with inadequate organizational buy-in and/or a lack of understanding regarding ongoing management/maintenance. A phased approach beginning with non-business-critical applications/workloads, as opposed to a mass migration, allows you to learn the challenges and mitigate them in future phases. Positive adoption of the first migrated workloads will lead to greater acceptance and excitement in later phases. Consider “must-have” applications, co-dependencies, complexity, and security when mapping out the migration order, opting for mission-critical and co-dependent applications last.

Don’t Set It and Forget It

The cloud-based environment is not a “set it and forget it” venture—it requires ongoing management, maintenance, monitoring, and cost optimization. Issues can be identified and remediated before they have a negative business impact by continuously evaluating and optimizing cloud costs, performance, storage, networking, and security. Costs can quickly grow if businesses don’t right-size their instance or lack insight into their overall cloud activities that could be driving up spend. It’s important to do research to find the right tools to facilitate these processes. If needed, identify and implement specialized solutions to meet specific needs, or consider utilizing a third party to manage, maintain, and monitor cloud infrastructure while controlling costs.

Accelerate Your Digital Transformation with
the cloud

CTG’s cloud consulting services offerings are designed to help you prepare for your leap to the cloud and support and manage all phases of your journey, whether you need an assessment, migration support, or managed services, or want to integrate Cloud/DevOps processes. We have experience with 185+ clients deploying 550+ cloud projects in every major industry and maintain strategic cloud alliances with AWS and Microsoft Azure.

With our knowledge and experience, CTG’s Cloud Solutions can help take your organization to the next level of its digital transformation with the cloud.

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