Bringing your business onto the cloud has never been more important. However, the process of building an effective cloud environment for your business, called Cloud Enablement, can be daunting. In this article, we will explore what is Cloud Enablement, its benefits to your business, and how to get help from a Cloud Enablement service provider.
What is cloud enablement?
While it may sound complicated, cloud enablement is about finding the most effective approach to take your business operation to the cloud. This includes analyzing your organization's current infrastructure and systems, then planning out the best way to move them to the cloud and implementing that plan so that your IT infrastructure is completely or partially transferred to a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment.
Cloud enablement happens when a business or organization builds a more efficient and cost-effective environment that can host its IT infrastructure and other resources, like workloads, software, and applications while maximizing the benefits of the cloud. Some benefits of migrating to the cloud are reduced IT costs, because instead of purchasing expensive equipment, costs are reduced by using the resources of your cloud computing service provider. Using the cloud also offers scalability of operational and storage needs, which allows for flexibility and cost savings. The cloud also protects your data and is an important part of business continuity, especially in the case of natural disaster or power failure.
There are many ways to implement cloud enablement. One common way is by migrating the current server infrastructure or the in-house data center to a cloud solution instead. Since different areas of the business are already used to accessing business applications and data through the internet, this makes this transition seamless for most of them and allows organizations to enjoy the benefits of the cloud.
When it comes to using the Cloud, there are several different options to get started. The first one is called the public cloud and tends to be what most businesses choose. The public cloud is run by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP) like Amazon, Microsoft or Google, just to mention the most popular vendors. Public cloud providers offer a broad set of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) options to cover almost every business need.
Alternatively, you could choose a private cloud. A private cloud is a good choice for those concerned about privacy, and it can be hosted on-site or through a CSP. This option offers most of the capabilities provided by a public cloud while ensuring you’re not sharing resources with other organizations. It will have some limitations in terms of available resources to scale up, but this trade-off might be something an organization is willing to take under certain business scenarios.
The third option is the hybrid cloud, which combines elements of public and private clouds based on your organization’s needs and resources. This option is very common when certain aspects of the business cannot be easily moved to the cloud (or the cost-benefit relation makes it not viable) but still, there are areas where the benefits of the cloud can be leveraged. Another way to implement cloud enablement is by using your in-house servers. In-house servers are often not used efficiently and can therefore be consolidated in local virtualization to build a private
cloud, which offers the benefits of efficient use of resources and more security. This also avoids the material costs of purchasing more servers and the expenses that come from running them.
Organizations wanting to implement cloud enablement follow what is called a Cloud Strategy. This is the plan created to guide the cloud implementation process and includes defining the cloud’s architecture and plans for the development and governance model. Governance is the guidelines and rules an IT team creates to ensure proper functionality and safety within the cloud environment. These rules include incorporating basic things such as cost, security, and compliance. Without a solid governance model, the IT team can make decisions that do not support the overall performance of the cloud and the workload that runs on it.
Cloud Enablement Implementation
With today’s evolving marketplace it seems to be necessary to be on the cloud to keep your business lean and effective, so you can keep up with the competition. Having your business on the cloud is financially sensible in the long term because it will reduce IT operating costs, especially when it comes to hardware like servers.
One way to support your business’s efficiency is by transitioning to the cloud. Having your business, or even parts of your business online in the cloud allows employees to access work from all over the world and cuts down on IT costs because they will not be maintaining servers, or at least not as many as before. It is important to have a good cloud solution, or Cloud Strategy, before getting started with the cloud enablement process. This will eliminate many problems before they happen and can protect your business’s confidential information. It is important to avoid security risks to confidential information, especially if there are data compliance obligations in your industry.
But can an in-house IT team manage this daunting endeavor? One of the easiest ways to bring your business to the cloud is to have someone else do it for you. This is called Cloud Enablement Services, and the right company, like Encora, will be able to help you design your new cloud’s architecture, by selecting the right stack (e.g. AWS or Azure? If you do not know the answer to that, they will.) and coordinating the implementation process. They will also help with application development and migrating all your business’s data to the cloud. They will also be able to support your IT team with cloud management and security, all the while offering support during the transition. Having outside experts like Encora also means having access to specialized help such as on-demand SaaS product engineering and developing Cloud-native applications. Having an outside expert step in can help you prepare your cloud to meet your business’s future needs, as well as handling the process of migrating your company’s on-premises applications and software to the new cloud.