Cloud computing holds great promises for the future of Information Technology (IT) and it looks like this coming year will see more explosive growth in this area. But as the technology begins to mature and the install base grown, it seems that more and more businesses are choosing a mixed environment of on-premises and cloud IT infrastructure, a Hybrid Cloud. Why is this? Wasn’t “the cloud” supposed to change everything?
The cloud HAS changed everything, but it hasn’t replaced everything. Most businesses are finding their existing IT infrastructure is not suitable to move to the cloud entirely. Issues with bandwidth, latency and compatibility have caused some frustration as they tackled to problem of how to move everything into the cloud, and still preserve the user experience required for full productivity.
The answer is simple, of course: move to the cloud only those portions of the IT infrastructure that will be able to realize the benefits promised there.
This requires a business to do some advance planning to reap the benefits of the Cloud Revolution. Here are some things to consider:
Analyze the Current Infrastructure
What applications does your business rely on, day by day, to function? How does it handle, sales, marketing, ordering, shipping and receiving, research and design? How do your employees interact with clients, colleagues and suppliers? How is data stored, where is it stored and how is it backed up? Of all these applications, which will provide benefits if moved to the cloud?
Consider Bandwidth and Latency
Different program handle data in different ways. Sometimes the data that flows to the end user device is in small increments. Sometimes, a large amount of data needs to be sent to the user device(s) often and quickly. Bandwidth can help of course – a large data pipe can move more data than a smaller one. But even electrons take time to make their journey – if large amounts of data need to traverse long distances, the lag time may deteriorate the user experience, and impact productivity.
Businesses that deal with a large amount of data dynamically, may find the cloud is not a good fit for that application.
Consider Reliability and Redundancy
The more your business relies on a single data connection to do business, the greater effect that an “internet down” event would have on your business. So, connection schemes should be designed with high reliability in mind and, ideally, with a secondary source of internet connection not related to the first. It should be set up for a quick failover if the primary circuit ever has problems. Of course, this is also a good argument to have IT assets in the cloud – if the office internet connection goes down for any reason, many businesses can simple have people work remotely.
The promises of cloud computing are not just hyperbole – but it takes some planning to choose the cloud strategy that provides the most benefit for your business. Clare Computer Solutions, an IT consulting firm, can help you navigate to the cloud – contact us today to get started!