Should you adopt Cloud Computing? This question garners a wide variety of responses. A recent IDG cloud computing report states that 73% of enterprises already have at least one application in the cloud.
Whilst the benefits of the cloud are simple enough to understand, it is the ‘how’ that often proves to be the catalyst of cloud failure. Failing to pick Cloud for the right use cases, and underestimating the need for heightened security, commonly lead to failure when Enterprises plan Cloud-first projects.
CIOs need to have a structured cloud adoption strategy in order to safely and cost-effectively leverage cloud.
The detrimental absence of a proper cloud strategy
It is simply not enough to adopt cloud technology to address specific issues as they appear. Adopting the cloud must be centralised across the organisation, and in line with business objectives to prevent issues, such as cloud sprawl, that can potentially lead to increases in costs, compliance issues and security vulnerabilities.
Without a framework to govern the migration, it is very easy for organisations to veer off the path. Factors that contribute to this include:
– Limited IT visibility: IT teams no longer have full visibility of data in the cloud, therefore unable to detect breaches
– Cloud Skills gap: A lack in cloud expertise required to align and maintain organisational objectives with the appropriate cloud initiative
– Shadow IT: business units choosing their own cloud applications and platforms without heeding necessary governance and compliance standards put in place by IT
How can you develop a cloud strategy?
Gartner research director Marco Meinardi explains in an interview that a cloud adoption strategy must involve a collaborative team, and executive level buy-in and responsibility, in addition to CIO oversight and accountability.
Quite often, cloud migration begins as ad-hoc, piecemeal initiatives due to the ease of initiation, however, do so without the proper adoption framework in place, or even in mind. Having a proper structure that includes application placement, governance, automation and cloud environment support capabilities, is essential and something that the CIO must consider.
When devising an effective cloud adoption strategy, know what questions to ask first.
1. Why should your organisation migrate to the cloud? First and foremost, business objectives should be top of mind when adopting the cloud. Not being able to answer this question is a good indication of a lack of preparation.
2. Does your organisation have the internal structure for migration? Cloud strategies require a collaborative work environment where the IT team is in sync with the rest of the organisation.
3. Is your organisation capable of the re-architecture of on-prem applications? This is quite often the fracture point in most cloud adoption strategies. Many organisations fail to realise that older applications cannot simply be moved to the cloud without ensuring that they are re-architected for a completely new environment.
Ensure that your organisation does not view the cloud as a last resort solution. If cloud migration is on the cards, make sure it is the right decision for your enterprise, with a holistic strategy to govern it.
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