As cloud adoption continues on its impressive growth trajectory, new technologies across the public and private cloud sphere are shaking up how it is deployed. No matter where an organisation is on its adoption journey, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when planning for the future with cloud.
1. Is your solution future technology enabled?
With cloud technology changing at such a rapid pace, organisations should invest in flexible solutions that enable easy integration with new technologies in the future – such as sensors and IoT devices – and also provide clear opportunities to migrate away when you need a different solution. In today’s technology landscape, organisations can’t afford to stick with the same cloud solution for ten years, so find a provider and a cloud that is open and flexible to change.
2. What’s your IoT strategy?
No business can ignore the Internet of Things. Whether it’s an Amazon Echo in the office, a button to re-order printer supplies on the fly or a temperature sensor in your building, IoT devices are going to become integrated into everything we do. Given the pervasiveness of IoT, organisations need to plan ahead and think about how their solution will incorporate IoT devices and data outputs in the future.
3. How will you manage GDPR requirements for your new cloud?
Is your new supplier GDPR compliant? Under the new regulations, both you and your provider have guidelines to follow and both entities can be subjected to fines or restrictions. Understanding compliance should be a conversation that happens with a prospective provider in the initial stages of discussion. You should be armed with knowledge about GDPR requirements and be fully reassured that you’re working with a knowledgeable technology partner.
4. What does your budget look like moving forward?
Do you have any big IT investments planned in 2018? Is your budget getting squeezed daily? Future capital investments such as support renewals or hardware refreshes often mean organisations look to the cloud to reduce the financial hit to their budget, so think about how you can utilise cloud to get everything you need within budget in 2018 and moving forward. Want to know more about how the cloud can help you with your budgets? Check out the importance of the cloud to enterprise.
5. Is this the right time to move away from legacy systems to industry standard solutions?
Moving to the cloud can be an opportunity to move your IT away from legacy applications and towards a more standardised model that’s easier and cheaper to run? Transforming IT strategy is a huge undertaking, but carrying out a rationalisation activity as part of your move kills two birds with one stone.
6. Where are your users based?
Is a central model the right approach for you? In the coming year, we expect to see more distributed cloud models as more services move to the edge – closer to user locations. This will in turn encourage providers to offer more regional clouds to support users across the UK.
7. Have your IT stakeholders changed?
Your IT stakeholders for your data centre ten years ago are different to your stakeholders today. Nowadays, with more apps delivered in a SaaS model, the buyers are usually the department heads of the business area using the application, so your stakeholders might now involve the HR director, sales director, office manager and more. When making decisions about how the cloud fits in your IT roadmap, always consider the stakeholder at the other end of the deployment and how their needs might change and evolve with the technology.
8. Who will your suppliers be?
The cloud and IT supplier world has certainly changed over the past 18 months. HPE has broken up into multiple companies, Dell and EMC are now integrated and many service providers are reselling Azure and AWS services. While it seems like there is lots of choice out there, the solutions are often being delivered by just a handful of suppliers. So, who will your suppliers be moving forward? Do you know who is ultimately delivering your service?
9. What’s your security strategy for staff?
More focus is being put on staff when it comes to security. The majority of cybersecurity issues come about due to poor staff awareness around security; not clicking on that link, not opening that email, not saving that password there. More security suppliers are now integrating a degree of staff training into their offerings to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks. Want to know a bit more? Check out what everyone should know about cyber security in the cloud.
10. How will you integrate everything?
With more choice comes more confusion. The supplier landscape has become the wild west; essentially, with so many cloud offerings, cloud providers, cloud options and cloud locations, it’s so easy to quickly end up with many different cloud services being consumed within your business, without anything being properly integrated. Having a hybrid cloud strategy that details what needs to be integrated, how cloud services will be purchased and introduced to the environment, and what data needs to be shared to each application and cloud service will hopefully bring everything together.
With so many cloud options, there is a great responsibility for IT decision makers to ensure that the right solution has been picked for the organisation. These are just a few of the considerations that should be top of mind before embarking on a deployment.
Dave Ricketts, head of sales and marketing at Six Degrees