What strategies should organisations have in place when adopting the public cloud?
By Itayi WP Mandonga, Oracle PaaS Cloud Champion (South Africa)
Cloud computing is now broadly accepted as an economical way to share a pool of configurable computing resources. No one solution works for every business. Flexibility is great, but with so many choices, making the right decisions can often become confusing and overwhelming.
Innovation, business agility, a better customer experience – the potential benefits of cloud have made it a key component in enterprise IT strategies. However, for technology to provide competitive advantage for an organisation, it needs to satisfy two themes.
First, the business must configure itself to do something unique and valuable. Second, competitive advantage comes from the full range of the business’s activities. Therefore, when embarking on the journey of cloud computing, business process redesign needs to be done in tandem with the cloud adoption – to not only establish an organisations advantage but to also influence whether the advantage can be sustained.
Although cloud adoption is an IT project, the smart money lies in evaluating its business value. You need to look at your business’s strategic goals and make sure that you implement the best option to support those targets. In the digital economy, technology matters and you must deploy the capabilities best suited to your company’s digital endeavours.
When it comes to cloud adoption and deployment, governance plays a very critical role as the nature of cloud is such that shadow IT can easily proliferate without notice. The very promise of low cost, easy provisioning and self-service in most cases, that cloud provides, potentially allows for anyone to buy and or deploy services without consulting a central decision-making point.
Organisations have to put proper and strong governance structures that can be monitored in place to manage this.
Here are some critical factors in formulating an adoption strategy:
- Understanding what you wish to achieve through public cloud adoption. Is it cost cutting, is it agility, self-service etc or is it everything that cloud promises? Will cloud give you these, without or with compromise? Should there be a compromise, how will the organisation handle it? This addresses the question of why the organisation is even considering cloud.
- It is also very important while interrogating your cloud adoption strategy to look at and understand all the available options, determining what would work best for the organisation.
- Do you deploy full-on public cloud, do you go hybrid – what is best for the organisation? Much of this interrogation and determination will depend on where the organisation is in its IT/technology maturity.
- Does the organisation understand the various deployment models and what is the impact of embarking on any one of them? Either?
- Not all workloads are suited for public cloud – does your organisation have proper mechanisms to identify those workloads that are public cloud ready. How do you move the suitable workloads to the public cloud? A simple ‘lift and shift’ might not do it for the organisation as the applications might need to be re-architected and re-factored for optimal deployment in the public cloud.
- Oracle offers Cloud at Customer to combat this, empowering organisations to move workloads to the cloud while keeping their data on their own premises.
A serious look into these points will ensure that your organisation gets to understand what cloud services and solutions will address the business’ needs.