Cloud ComputingLet’s begin with this false statement, “Moving your IT functions to the cloud may not be right for you.” I say it’s false because moving to the cloud is inevitable. But, by adding one little word, we can make this statement true. “Moving your IT functions to the cloud may not be right for you, yet.” Fail to plan for it and you’ll get left in the dust. I don’t just mean some applications either, as many early adopters are applying. According to Gartner, “by 2019, more than 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only.” But, how do you know when the time is right?

Some might say the cloud will immediately save you money because it gives you updated and robust security, virtually limitless scalability, constant redundancy, disaster recovery, and total mobility in terms of your workforce. While all those benefits are real and true,you can’t just flip a switch to turn on the cloud. It doesn’t just appear and suck up all your data. You have to transition it there. And that’s where you might not be ready, yet.

You need to assess your current IT environment and decide if you have the capability to shift with your legacy applications. The average business is dealing with loads of storage already existing in their data centers. To make the shift to cloud, these may need to be re-platformed which can be costly in the short term. Alternately, you may take a hybrid approach with the ultimate goal of full cloud operations. The key is to look at the savings over the next five years.

An article from Network World suggests how we should evaluate the situation:

The answer… can be found by exploring the provisioning, usage, and utilization patterns of your current compute, and then building an unbiased economic model around it. The challenge is churning through hundreds-of-millions of data points to find the best fit for your workloads, while ensuring the results are not tainted by the hand that holds the pencil, so to speak.

To that end, many of today’s leading enterprises, cloud providers and consultants use analytical and algorithmic decision making platforms to assist with the rightsizing and right-costing of enterprise compute. Adopting the right analytical solution can enable your organization to identify the best fit — on premise or cloud, instance size, and pricing option — to accommodate the real-time compute needs of your enterprise workloads.

While analytic and algorithmic analysis solutions will come in various shapes and sizes, to find the right fit there are a few key things to consider. The solution should be one that is cost-effective and does not require new agents to be deployed. Algorithms that have been validated by both hardware and cloud providers will ensure the outcomes are vendor agnostic and always represent your ideal future states. Lastly, the solution should contain a reference library of current on-premise costs, which will allow you to get immediate value and make it easier to identify the best fits for cloud.

By looking at the real-time compute needs of your current workloads and associating it with the economics of ideal future states, you will have the tools to make “To Cloud or Not to Cloud?” an easier question to answer.

If you are ready to start the move to the cloud, either via baby steps (like Software-as-a-Service) or a leap of faith (Complete Cloud), Great Lakes Computer can help. We offer a full range of cloud computing options to help you reach your business goals and keep you competitive. Contact us to learn more.

Download Cloud Computing 101