3 Approaches to the Cloud

 In Cloud, IT Planning, Microsoft, Microsoft Azure

There isn’t an organization around that isn’t at least thinking about cloud. The promised benefits—lower costs, easier support, increased agility—are too tempting. But many organizations find making a commitment to the cloud to be scary. Turning over your information technology (IT) resources to a provider requires a strong level of trust.

Fortunately, moving IT to the cloud doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Companies generally fall on a spectrum of cloud usage, from tentatively testing it out to integrating it with their on-premises resources to going cloud native.

Test the Cloud Before Committing

For companies that are skeptical of the promised benefits of the cloud, small trials are the best way to experiment with cloud and see whether you’ll receive those benefits. Almost all cloud providers offer free trials, which give your staff an opportunity to get familiar with the cloud environment and its management tools.

Once the IT team has some experience playing with the cloud, take the time to think through how it will impact your business; this isn’t an invisible “technology” change. Cloud affects your risk management, disaster recovery, compliance policies, and financial management along with technology.

After reviewing those concerns, select a single test application. It needs to be important enough that switching to the cloud will produce benefits, while not so critical that your inevitable learning pains have negative impact on key business processes.

Related: Planning Your Move to the Cloud

Blend Cloud With Your Data Center

For many companies, using the cloud means using both public cloud and resources in the corporate data center. This doesn’t necessarily mean using hybrid cloud, which technically requires using both a private cloud and the public cloud.

In many organizations, it will make sense to use either public or private cloud for specific workloads, while other processes remain on legacy, non-cloud architectures. There are many applications that will never make a transition to cloud, because they’re based on incompatible technologies and would need to be rewritten, use highly sensitive data, or other reasons. Companies will need to develop strategies and procedures that allow them to provide the support these applications need while finding ways to leverage cloud for other workloads.

Companies may need to use application programming interfaces (APIs) to develop ways to connect their remaining internal applications with those in the cloud. They may also need to use APIs to integrate cloud dashboards and cloud management procedures with those for their internal applications to achieve a single pane of glass view of all their IT resources.

RelatedPlanning for the Challenges of Hybrid Cloud

Go Cloud Native

For some companies, the move to cloud isn’t about getting the benefits as quickly as possible; it’s about getting the benefits as fully as possible. These companies are going cloud native, not merely moving applications to the cloud but rewriting existing applications to allow them to take full advantage of the cloud.

The rewrites require re-architecting applications to have no dependency on a specific underlying hardware configuration, as well as exposing functionality through microservices that can be scaled and connected independently. This architecture allows companies to fine-tune resource-usage, performance, and costs.

Succeeding With Cloud

Whichever approach you take to cloud, you’ll have more success if you work with an experienced partner. Prescient Solutions is a Microsoft partner with expertise in using Microsoft Azure in both public cloud and hybrid cloud configurations. We’ll help you determine the best approach for your transition to the cloud and help you implement the migration. Contact us to start talking about the right approach to cloud for your business.

Additional Cloud Resources

What CFOs Need to Know: Moving to Cloud Isn’t a Financial Decision or a Technical Decision. It’s a Business Decision.

Is Cloud Backup Right for Your Business?

5 Things CIOs Need to Know About the Cloud

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