The key to cloud: Plan up front

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By Arthur Shih

In my role, I have the opportunity to speak to customers of all kinds from all backgrounds, ranging from technical operations engineers through to C-level executives. The one overriding question that comes up is “How can we use the cloud to enable and accelerate my business?”

It’s a complicated question, but it really comes down to one thing – spend the time up front getting your planning and governance right before you try to do anything.

Cloud computing gives users the ability to extremely quickly and cost effectively scale IT resources, but with speed and agility comes risk. We see customers who have developers who love embracing cloud, but all of a sudden something they do on their development environment in the cloud causes an important application to grind to a halt.

Unfortunately, this is an increasingly common occurrence, and the response of the business is often to lock down all access into the cloud and negate the great business benefits it could bring. The IT department needs to ensure that their governance frameworks encourage appropriate cloud use.

Risks can be mitigated if you do all your governance and risk planning up front. By spending time in the very beginning to understand all the factors, you can design a governance model around your business needs. This gives your organisation the freedom to use the cloud and innovate within an established framework.

Once the governance framework is established, you need to understand where you want to apply it. Organisations looking to adopt cloud should not look at it as “one-size-fits all”, but assess it based on which applications they are looking to put in the cloud. By understanding how your applications work and scale, and understanding the benefits and limitations of each different type of cloud, you can then understand which cloud can provide the most benefit for your business.

To ensure successful adoption of cloud, organisations need to understand how it can enable your applications to run more efficiently (reduce cost) and more effectively (available to users whenever required). The key to achieving this is to invest up front in your planning, which will then give your business the freedom to innovate and develop your business further.

Arthur Shih is Cloud Solutions Manager for Datacom Auckland.

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