05 - Adopting Cloud Computing

There are debates still going on whether to adopt the cloud or not. An easy way to find the answer would be ‘know your business.’ Not all businesses require cloud to function seamlessly. It depends on the infrastructure requirements, customers, geographical span, and business requirements. The migration to cloud is slow though the hype is there. The cloud has been in existence for quite some time now. But it has taken a while for the users to migrate there because the decision cannot be made hastily. Lot of analysis and business cases need to be prepared before the migration.

The major reasons why organizations adopt the Cloud computing is as follows:

  • To bring down the operational expenses
  • To bring in more agility to grow the business

Nowadays, cloud computing has become synonymous with low initial costs, hassle-free installation, and seamless upgrades.

Who should adopt cloud computing

There is no well-defined rule on who should adopt cloud computing. Every user benefitting from the services of the cloud can adopt the cloud model. But let’s look at some users who can make the move.

Startup businesses can definitely look at availing the services of the cloud. These businesses would not be able to spend lot of money on setting up the infrastructure and purchasing all the required software. Using the services of the cloud would be the best option for them as they can use the infrastructure and services without spending so much money. They also benefit from paying only for the data used. This flexibility and agility of the cloud environment help them grow their businesses quickly.

Small and medium level businesses are other potential users of the cloud model as they can use the world-class infrastructure at reduced costs. They can use the money saved to invest on newer clients and business areas. So by cloud adoption, they save money on the operational expenditure, helping them successfully move ahead in the business.

Public institutions also now depend on the cloud services. With changing governments and based on priorities, public institutions mostly see reduced budgets for their proper functioning. Cloud is the best option for them to run businesses on the varying budgets. Another main benefit of using the cloud in the public sector would be the setting up of a shared cloud environment, which can be accessed by the different public institutions.

Roadmaps - How (ways) to adopt cloud computing

To adopt cloud computing it is necessary to have a clear plan and roadmap with milestones defined. After the analysis, organizations must have a clear-cut strategy on the adoption. If you are a single user moving to cloud, the preparation might be easy. But in the case of bigger organizations with hundreds of employees, the adoption would not be that simple. The milestones and targets vary from organization to organization.

For example, an organization can have the following milestones in the adoption of cloud computing:

  • Web Architecture: Creating the user interface from where the users can access the applications via a web browser.
  • Core Infrastructure: Creating the core framework to facilitate end-to-end working of the computing model.
  • Dynamic Infrastructure: Creating the infrastructure for the dynamic provisioning of the cloud computing mode.

Cloud Readiness

Analyzing if your organization actually requires cloud and is ready for the migration is termed as Cloud Readiness. Some of the questions that arise arewhether the organization is prepared for the cloud adoption, which model of cloud computing must be adopted, and which cloud version to adopt? You can have your own methods to assess the cloud readiness. Cloud Readiness Analysis tools are now available from IT giants such as, IBM, Microsoft, T-systems, and EMC2.

Operating Model

There are different operating models of the cloud. The adoption depends on the business requirements of the users and organization. Cloud computing is always treated as an operations model and not like a technology like virtualization. The operating model is different based on the type of cloud model you are using, such as, public, private, or hybrid cloud. There are researches and studies going around on developing newer operating models for the cloud computing model.

Service Level Agreement and Types

After deciding to move to the cloud model, you need to choose the service provider suiting your requirements. To avail the services you must agree on a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the provider. The SLAs are usually drawn by the providers and you must go through the SLA thoroughly before signing it up for your business. You need to check for important aspects such as the following:

  • Billing
  • Service interruptions and downtimes
  • Usage Limits
  • Disaster Recovery and Backups
  • Maintenance

There exist different types of cloud SLAs depending on the cloud operating models. Majorly these can be public cloud SLA, private cloud SLA, and hybrid cloud SLA.

Selection of Vendors

Selecting a cloud vendor is not an easy task. You need to go through the SLA of the provider thoroughly and understand the services offered and the terms and conditions. It might be difficult to find a vendor suiting your requirements perfectly. But there are vendors who are flexible to your requirements.

When selecting a vendor, you need to look primarily for the Quality of Service offered, Data security, Cost, Disaster recovery and Backup, and Availability.

Maturity Model

The Cloud Computing Maturity Model (CCMM) is a widely used term nowadays. It defines the key concepts as capabilities, domains, maturity, and adoption in the model. This model helps in benchmarking services and to calculate the level of success and achievability of service and business goals. The CCMM deals with the analysis of the actual services of the model and a detailed study on the information security within the model.

Application Migration Models

Application Migration is the technique involving the redeployment of an application on the new cloud infrastructure and operating platform. The new environment must be staged before the actual migration. The applications must be migrated to a target cloud from the data center. The target cloud model depends on the model suiting the business requirements perfectly.

The Application Migration models differ based on the cloud model opted – SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS.

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