Eight Tips to Create a Fail-Proof Cloud Strategy
Organizations can dream their personal cloud environments are fail-proof, but inevitably, interruptions happen. When it comes to preparing for the worst, building a solid, enterprise-wide cloud strategy will put your business ahead of the game.
According to a recent Gartner report, the past few years have continued to see a rise in businesses using cloud services. However, an IDC survey sponsored by Cisco found that less than 15 percent of companies that are already using the cloud have any kind of strategy for the technology.
1. Know Your Vision
The first step to building an effective cloud strategy is to understand your motivations. What are the expectations driving your strategy? Are you looking to reduce expenses or increase efficiency? Determine what workloads you want to move to the cloud and why. Decide what you want to achieve, and design the process to get you there.
2. Set Strategic Milestones
Setting distinct milestones throughout your implementation process will help keep your team on task by breaking large, overarching goals into distinct, more manageable ones. When setting your milestones, consider short-, mid- and long-term benchmarks, or break them into separate phases.
3. Chose Your Vendor Wisely
Think about how your environment might evolve over time, and carefully consider all your options before selecting a vendor. Once you’ve made your choice, it becomes increasingly difficult to make a change.
4. Involve Everyone in Decision-Making
Bring operations and IT together to measure business goals against the resources needed to meet them. These resources can also include making sure your existing IT staff is well-trained in the area of cloud services.
5. Don’t Forget Security
When it comes to building a fail-proof strategy, consider security early and often so that organizational data is protected at all times.
6. Take It Slow
Begin migration with your organization’s least critical business units, and gradually move up to those that are higher on the scale. If you put too much pressure on meeting an arbitrary deadline, the rush could put your critical data at risk.
7. Consider New Technology
If you don’t at least consider how new technologies could affect cloud services in the future, you may be left behind. You don’t have to try out every bright, shiny new option, but keep an out out for those you feel could bring exciting opportunities for innovation to your organization.
8. Keep Costs Low
Careful planning when laying out your cloud maintenance plan can prevent overspending. For instance, take a look at whether you might be underutilizing your virtual machines by paying for instances that are no longer in use.
Ultimately, the changing nature of cloud services will mean that any enterprise-wide strategy will have to be flexible. However, without a map to guide you through the process, the risk of failure becomes even greater. With proper planning, built-in flexibility and input from key departments, you can build a cloud strategy that should serve your enterprise well for years to come.