January 19, 2021

Cloud Consultancy: How to Choose the Best Cloud Solution Now

Cloud consultation
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Cloud migration can be integral to your overall business strategy, which means many companies are looking for cloud consultancy. Depending on methods, you can save resources, improve performance, and even boost security and compliance. 

You need to know what you’re trying to achieve before you get started on migration. There are no instant wins for those who don’t know what migration method and tools are right for them. 

What should your cloud strategy be like?

Before you start your cloud journey, it’s important to define what your strategy and targets should be before jumping to cloud adoption.

The first step is to decide the scope of your transformation, whether it’s an entire enterprise or specific applications. There are various ways to approach your cloud strategies. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, which means you need to decide what kind of cloud strategy works best for your business. The most common types of cloud strategy are:

1- Cloud-native: This focuses on building applications with cloud-native technology and architecture, allowing functionality and scalability. This is usually applied to a small portion of the company, typically the digital offering. This type of cloud technology is widely known for its performance.

2- Lift and shift: Lift and shift is a process that shifts existing applications and data to the cloud, usually through migration. Lift and shift have been the most common approach to cloud migration in the past.

3- Hybrid: Hybrid is a mix of on-premises and cloud computing, which allows for a mix of cloud-native architecture and lifted and shifted applications

What is the difference between a cloud-native approach and ‘lift and shift’? 

As mentioned prior, cloud-native is about refactoring your software application to fit the container model of a cloud environment. You do so by adjusting the code and architecture of the application. 

Lift and shift – also known as rehosting or the forklift method – is about moving an existing application to the cloud as it is. In lift and shift, you simply use the infrastructure offered by your cloud provider to host the application. 

What are the business benefits of cloud transformation? 

There is a considerable cost-saving if managed correctly. You need to be aware that costs will not automatically be lower if you don't forecast them accurately or choose the right cloud strategy that is the best for your current business processes. 

Not having to pay for physical infrastructure accounts for a major chunk of the cost savings and might strengthen your competitive advantage. A cloud user doesn't pay for servers, datacentres, or the team to maintain security. All of this is taken care of by the cloud provider's IT services such as Microsoft Cloud Azure

Deployment is quick in cloud computing, resulting in major time savings. The speed of applying changes is instant. You can also scale up or down on your resources instantly, without having to wait for infrastructure, such as buying a new server. These cloud initiatives get better by the day. Never underestimate the power deploying the right cloud services can have on your organisation.

There are built-in tools on cloud platforms that take care of security and compliance. For example, if you have an eCommerce site, you can utilise a built-in compliance tool when processing payments. 

Many will be surprised to see security and compliance listed as benefits but unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness, especially at the management level, of what cloud computing has to offer. This lack of awareness has resulted in many businesses missing out on the full potential that implementing cloud strategies can have on your business.

How would you approach cloud transformation? What tools and services would you use? 

Your approach will depend on your business objectives and what you're using the cloud for, so you first need to know what you're trying to achieve. 

To simplify, there are four main ways to use the cloud. These are all distinctly different resources and are used for different purposes. You can also mix and match and use different services with different applications. 

The cloud can offer: 

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service 
  • Platform-as-a-Service 
  • Software-as-a-Service 
  • Function-as-a-Service

You need to know what the skills of the team are, so you can decide which of the four is best for you. For some of these, a cloud-based skill set is required, for some, it won’t be relevant. 

What is the best way to get an on-premise team ready and using cloud methodology? 

As with any major business change, change management becomes important. Consultancy and coaching is needed, and upskilling the team may be required. Your business value is heavily attached to how secure it is. Choosing a data center/ company that has a cloud operating model with a solid track record like Synetec has, is the best move forward.

If you are determined to avoid upskilling, FaaS may be the best approach for you, as there is less upskilling needed than, say compared to SaaS. FaaS is becoming more and more popular as the cost implications are also good if managed correctly. 

You need a very specific skill set for SaaS, and if it’s not present in your team, they would need to go through a learning process. 

Would companies see a reduction of costs straight away after cloud migration? 

Again, depends on how they’re using the cloud. In case of lift and shift, it’s less likely. If you’ve chosen a strategy that results in cost savings, the benefits are seen immediately. 

Would you typically see performance improvements in the first week or two? 

You may not see performance improvements at all, again it depends on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. You need to be clear on what the realistic expectations are when choosing your strategy. Cloud consultancy will ensure you make the decisions that are right for you, as every business case is different. 

But what are IaaS, PaaS, FaaS, and SaaS exactly? Which one fits the needs of my business? Contact us now for cloud consultancy.

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If you would like to discuss a bespoke software development project, challenge or goal please book a 30 minute Clarity Call with us and we'll point you in the right direction (even if you chose not to work with us)

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