Whether you’re in a large organisation, an up-and-coming challenger or a boutique specialist, chances are you are wringing everything out of a flat IT budget to keep core applications running. Nobody likes to say no to good ideas, but money doesn’t grow on old infrastructure.
The cost of infrastructure delay
That infrastructure, of course, is what is sucking up a big part of the budget – and your people have their hands full already. Still, given that those organisations leading or surviving market disruption are the digital innovators, the IT department needs to be a ‘yes’ centre that enables lines of business to progress. Delays can be expensive when being first to market is important.
Your cloud strategy is where you can break the deadlock. To spruik the benefits of operational expenditure (opex) over capital expenditure (capex) would probably be preaching to the choir here, given that 95 per cent of IT professionals report that their organisation is using cloud in some way*. For many, it is IT as a service (ITaaS).
Is a transition to cloud the answer?
That doesn’t make the transition less daunting, though. When we show IT leaders through our ITaaS facility, built on enterprise-level HPE Helion technology, their eyes light up. When we do a guided tour through the cloud data centre, we encourage them to grill our security experts to make sure everything is to their satisfaction.
We often ask IT professionals what they would do if they were a start-up, without any existing infrastructure. The answer is almost always that they would run cloud-based apps. But history can’t – and shouldn’t – just be erased.
Meeting the legacy application challenge
Legacy applications are invariably the sticking point, the thorn in the cloud strategy – and they are part of a carefully balanced IT ecosystem. Complex interdependencies mean that no matter how wonderful the as-a-service facilities may be, transitioning just isn’t that simple. Amazingly, most organisations have hundreds more applications than they realise, so gaining visibility must be one of the first steps.
blueAPACHE can perform an Application Visibility and Risk (AVR) assessment to find and map all your applications, whether on-premises or cloud-based, and can show you exactly what your risk profile is. Read on for our free AVR report offer.
When dealing with legacy apps – and who isn’t – cloud strategies have to tread carefully without slowing progress in a way that affects your business trajectory. It is like a virtual Jenga game, where if you pull out the wrong workload, the lot may crash – so winning requires smart tactics. There are so many choices, though, and many IT leaders have a sort of fatigue born of facing an overwhelming number of options.
Planning hybrid cloud workloads
It is in determining the right place for each workload, while respecting the interdependencies of every workload, that our hybrid IT specialists find they really can help the most. The experience of many transitions – and the wisdom of our vendor partners – comes in handy when determining what suits software as a service (SaaS), and where IaaS can bridge the gap for legacy apps. They also understand when perfectly valid reasons mean that on-premise is exactly the right location for some workloads, so they stay right at the heart of your business.
How to choose the right cloud provider
Some detective work is in order when you go cloud-shopping. A consensus of our cloud specialists is that the priority is to investigate your cloud provider thoroughly – and always find out exactly who owns the service. Because we must meet high standards for our government customers, we have everything here in Australia, using top-tier security – even smaller business customers on a low budget then get that same level of security as a result. These sort of arrangements can make cloud a tremendous bargain if you do your homework.
Grill them on security processes and policies, and ask who supports the infrastructure and what qualifications and experience they can offer. After all, if you were looking at an on premise solution, you would interview your staff in just the same way. Ask for a tour of the data centre if possible – and always ask for customer references you can follow up on before making your final decision.
* Rightscale 2016 State of the Cloud Survey
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For a more detailed discussion on workloads and the ideal cloud solution for your organisation, contact the blueAPACHE cloud specialists.