A cloud strategy aims to utilize cloud services as much as possible. It may not be feasible to move all applications to the cloud right now, but it can be your long-term goal. The benefits of having a cloud-first strategy are plentiful and include efficiency, data security and cost savings.
Before you dive into using cloud services, it’s important to define your goals and how cloud technology will help you reach them. Below are the most important things to consider when building a cloud strategy for your business or organization.
Assess your current IT capabilities
Before building a cloud-first strategy, you must evaluate your current IT state. This is done to determine how “ready” you are for cloud services. For example, do you have reliable data protection? How large is your organization? Are you a new company or startup?
As you assess your current cloud capabilities, you can better understand what you need to move to the cloud. It’s possible that your business has the right architecture to make this transition, or you may need to do more work before you’re ready to invest.
Choose the best cloud deployment model
The next step is to choose which deployment model is best for you. Here are the most common cloud deployment models:
- The public cloud is flexible and on demand. Because it attracts some of the world’s most talented engineers, the public cloud is efficient and secure.
- Private clouds are built specifically for your business. Therefore, they have a personalized and efficient infrastructure.
- A hybrid cloud is a computing environment that uses private cloud, public cloud and third-party cloud services. The benefits include cost efficiency, scalability and speed.
Pick a cloud service provider
Once you decide which deployment model is best, you can choose how you want your cloud services delivered. Cloud services fall into three main categories: Information as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). The main difference is that IaaS is fully self-service so you can purchase software as you need it.
Prioritize your cloud initiatives
When you know how the cloud will benefit your business, you can start prioritizing your initiatives. Identify the departments you want to focus on and how the IT services will support their activities. For example, how can your sales team use customer relationship management (CRM) and email to increase your bottom line?
To stay organized, we recommend creating a spreadsheet that uses color coding to show which services are current or planned. This way, you can keep tabs on the services that are most important and ensure they are being properly deployed.
Address potential risks
Lastly, consider the potential risks that your cloud strategy might have. Proactivity is key, so it’s best to require stringent security measures from the start. For instance, will your cloud services meet all state and federal compliance regulations? Who will be able to view the data? Do you have a process in place for managing and reclaiming data?
Are you looking to build a realistic cloud strategy based on your business needs? Contact GOBI Technologies to learn more about our cloud-based solutions. We’re happy to provide consulting, guidance and implementation of business-ready cloud services.