Cloud Adoption Strategies

Strategic Impact of IT
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Parag Utekar
Student (MBA), India

Cloud Adoption Strategies

🔥NEW Technology shifts have always been instrumental in shaping the way we live and also the way we run a business. The latest information technology shift is cloud computing. The "Cloud" refers to the internet, but now enabling scalable, flexible and highly-available solutions. Cloud technology is given firms of any size access to extensive technological capabilities - modern programming tools, computing power, complex yet accessible architecture, algorithms.

Despite the advantages, cloud adaptation was gradual. The pandemic is now accelerating things. Companies learned to use cloud-native technologies to enable their staff to work from home, to push digital commerce, provide e-health, online streaming, and many more things. Though the cloud brings advantages to the daily functioning of companies, there is still apprehension and anxiety for cloud adoption. Let's look at these fears and whether we already have definite answers to solve them.

  • Security Major cloud service providers in the market are Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure. These cloud service providers are reported to be cheaper alternatives to a private cloud. Apart from the cost, these cloud providers typically provide advanced data security, including data encryption or data masking, database monitoring, and individual access control. Despite the benefits, many companies (especially those with sensitive data) refrain from putting sensitive (healthcare/consumer/financial) data on a public cloud. Thus, most companies turn towards a hybrid model of a private and public cloud. This allows businesses to access a certain amount of control over their sensitive information.
  • Legacy Systems, what do we do with them? Though companies wish to move to the cloud, a hesitation could be to unwind the technicalities of the legacy system as it often has become very complicated with time. Thus, companies are reluctant to move to a scalable cloud and reap its market agility and innovation benefits. To address this problem, the cloud service providers use the "Lift and Shift" approach. This is like moving your entire office from one location to another without bothering about the packing and unpacking of everything or even changing the way it looks. The new office would function in the same manner as it would earlier. For companies, this does make more sense as it causes minimal disruption to the existing stakeholders and is a quick process. But "Lifting and Shifting" is only an interim solution which must often still be followed by a complete modernization of the new system and a decommissioning of the old one.
  • What are the best cloud choices for our business? As we are aware, there are three significant cloud capabilities: Platform as a service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS). SaaS started the cloud revolution; companies could have an accelerated rollout, easily fund it, and standardize the process without ignoring innovation. With IaaS and PaaS, companies could ascertain more control over the alignment of the business and IT objectives. Today, the key to success is understanding the strengths and capabilities of each model and use them judiciously to drive business growth and innovation. IaaS is accessing computing and storage resources; with this, organizations can rent servers and storage in the cloud than purchasing and maintaining their infrastructure. PaaS helps create a unique application without many financial investments, as the platform is made available via the web and managed by an enterprise or third-party, thus giving engineers/developers the liberty to focus on software building without worrying about the OS, software updates etc. Finally with SaaS, organizations access software applications hassle-free as it eliminates the need to have the IT staff download, install, manage and maintain applications on each individual computer.
  • Can we reimagine business using the cloud? Cloud dissolves limits of innovation; for example, PaaS tools help companies create a unified view to visualize data from multiple customers across countries and teams across departments such as marketing, sales, research, and development can now work together and deliver a tailor-made solution without working in silos. Cloud innovation is not just limited to companies; even governments are embracing it. Barcelona city moved to the cloud in 2013 to redesign its smart-city strategy. IoT sensors manages central urban transportation, traffic, waste disposal, water, noise, and energy on a single platform.
  • I believe Cloud computing is here to stay; it can greatly support efficiency, growth, and innovation and help to determine any organization's success.

    ⇒ What are your experiences and recommendations regarding moving to the cloud?
    Sources:
    Quentin Hardy, (2018), "How cloud computing is changing management", Harvard Business Review
    Bhaskar Ghosh, Karthik Narain, (2021), "What CEOs need to know about the cloud in 2021", Harvard Business Review
    3-10-2021

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    Business Consultant, Denmark
     

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