Little Known Ways to Make the Most Out Of Cloud Computing16 October 2014
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The cloud may be a fancy place to be in. At least that’s what the professional claim. But before walking through the cloud you have to understand a few basic concepts which will make your progress steady and error free. Here are eight ways to achieve success in implementing cloud technology.
Understand the working of your organization first
Cloud technology is great as long as your organization knows how to adapt to it. A major problem faced by organizations is lack of proper coordination between the IT and other staff. This leads to either a deep distrust of new technology (fear of getting laid off) or to a reluctant acceptance of changing work environment. Neither of these options is healthy for an efficient adaptation of cloud technology.
People and employees are generally wary of change. A status quo is always preferred. When the management wants to shift gear and move into a cloud, it’s essential that you communicate your decision to the line and staff. This step can mitigate the reservations which the employees may have regarding this new technology initiative.
Understand cloud technology
Many companies take to cloud technology simply because others are doing it. This follow-the-leader concept is unproductive. Not every organization needs cloud or may need it for different reasons. A brick and mortar real estate company may be quite happy with a dedicated server and find no reason to opt for a cloud service. Essentially, it’s important for management to understand cloud technology first before attempting to implement it.
Do a SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis or Strength, weakness, opportunities and threat matrix has to be evaluated thoroughly before walking into a cloud. Particular attention must be paid to the cost aspect. Most of the websites which focus on cloud services applaud the cost savings and benefits. However, this may not be the case for all applications. In fact, the entire shift to cloud may turn out to be a costlier affair. The problem is that once you start off on your cloud trail, a comeback may not be possible. Working out an opportunity matrix may bring out many aspects of cloud computing which may not have become apparent otherwise.
Choose your service provider carefully
From the SWOT analysis you would understand your requirements better. It is possible that you need handholding for some time because you don’t have trained technical staff. In such a situation, it would be inadvisable to go for cloud services like AWS and Azure. You will be better off with a service provider who can setup your cloud and even maintain it for you. You may even opt for managed cloud services and ready to pay more for it. A good service provider must have an excellent track record of providing assistance in the form of helpdesk and live support. You just cannot afford to have your site down even for a few minutes and this means you need professional service.
Chart out a plan for migration
There is no need to hurry. This cloud is not going to drift away. Planning your migrating strategy is important from several perspectives. Technical issues can never be envisioned in advance. You don’t know what you will encounter on the way to the cloud. If you migrate your operations one by one, you would be able to smoothly scale up your transition. You may even roll back some parts of your migration or even try other options. You can also get to know your service provider better. If you are unhappy with the service you can opt for another cloud provider. On the other hand if you go for a full migration, the learning curve may prove to be too steep. Cloud implementation fails primarily because organizations take on much more than they can chew.
Do a pilot project
A pilot project is ideal for large enterprises. Generally, a pilot is undertaken for departments which are non-critical. The operations will not be hindered or jeopardized if any problem is encountered during the pilot stage. You and your staff can get used to the cloud environment before you roll out a full implementation. A pilot also exposes the chinks in your armor and provides an opportunity to rectify problems.
Get you SLA’s right
Service level agreements or SLA’s are quite important when you adopt a cloud service. There are many levels of service and the cost for ironclad SLA can be quite steep. Sacrificing high availability for cost can prove to be costly later on. At the same time, you must understand that not all your digital assets require the same level of availability. In fact, you can opt for diverse cloud services for different requirements. You can negotiate specific SLA for your storage requirements and altogether a different one for your operations. You must make sure that the selected cloud service provider has the capability to deliver on agreed terms.
Monitor your progress
This step looks redundant. However, many enterprises tend to ignore progress of any program after some time. This can bring in distortions in systems and process which had been put in place initially. Laxity in monitoring the progress of cloud implementation can be disastrous. Adhering to the high quality standards, both from the enterprise and the service provider is critical. Eventually, proper course correction, from time to time, is necessary to ensure a smooth transition from traditional environment to the cloud.
It has been seen, time and again, that technical aspects of cloud computing are the easiest to implement. It’s the people and employees who come in the way and put the cloud into a spot. A strong management is required to ensure proper migration. Fears of lay-offs and downsizing, in the wake of cloud, must be alleviated. Otherwise the program is liable to be sabotaged. Remember that every new technology encounters stiff opposition from the employees and a major cause of failure. The other important aspect is the selection of cloud service provider. This must be done carefully by taking into consideration your unique enterprise requirements. Overall, cloud technology can improve productivity and boost profits, if carried out in the right spirit and manner.