Much of the low-hanging fruit for cloud deployments has been plucked. Over the past several years, organizations have moved relatively simple applications, such as email and office productivity software, to cloud service providers. But the value of the cloud extends well beyond these migrations.
Many organizations are finding that they can derive major benefits by moving IT infrastructure operations to the cloud rather than hosting them on-premises. Among the prime examples of these operations are:
- Disaster Recovery as a Service
- Development and testing
- Extending existing applications
- Web and mobile apps
- Desktop as a Service
Moving these operations to the cloud gives enterprises the opportunity to stabilize their budgets, simplify their management responsibilities and reduce the burden on their IT departments, while offering key advantages in flexibility and scalability. The shift also helps organizations earn a significant edge over competitors and meet demands for growth and new services.
Getting Ready for the Cloud
IT leaders who are ready to make a move to the cloud are in good company. According to research conducted by CDW, 35 percent of IT services today are delivered totally or partially by the cloud. And organizations are considering the delivery of an additional 35 percent of entirely new IT services via the cloud. But before an organization migrates to the cloud, its IT leaders should consider these five steps:
- Evaluate the operation. IT staff should assess and identify the applications, services, workloads and assets that might be allocated to the cloud, and determine what needs to happen to make them cloud-friendly.
- Manage compliance. Any organization must be aware of its regulatory compliance mandates and carefully consider them in the context of a cloud deployment. IT decision-makers must understand that some assets and applications might need to remain in-house.
- Address security. The state of cloud security is better than many think. Still, organizations must assess their current and forward-looking security infrastructure, from authentication and access controls to data encryption and mobile security.
- Ask for help. IT leaders with little cloud experience should consider partnering with knowledgeable solutions providers that can help navigate cloud options and effectively assess vendor offerings.
- Look downfield. Forward-thinking IT leaders should explore second-wave opportunities such as Disaster Recovery as a Service, or consider deploying a hybrid cloud to bring on-premises workloads into a more streamlined, scalable and unified environment.
Learn more about cloud deployments by downloading the white paper, "Innovating in the Cloud."