4 Tips to Staying Grounded while Looking at the Cloud(s)

If your organization is considering migrating to the cloud, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The rush to work from home created a significant spike in the use of cloud applications, which left many organizations re-thinking their cloud strategy. With the increase in cloud usage, many organizations decided to accelerate their journey, ramping up their public cloud consumption to help remote employees do their jobs effectively.  

If there is one lesson this uncertain time has taught us, it’s that’s it’s never too late to migrate to the cloud. Despite the countless surveys and research touting the cloud’s growth, the reality is many organizations still host the majority of their data on-premises – and that’s ok. Organizations continue to embrace a hybrid IT model to get their cloud initiatives off the ground, with some assets living in the cloud and some assets living on-premises.

As organizations continue their journey to the cloud during this unprecedented time, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to reap all the benefits the cloud has to offer.

Automation is an incredibly powerful force for enterprises. It can help handle IT tasks that are time consuming, repetitive or are prone to human error, and can improve nearly every aspect of a hybrid cloud environment. It has the potential to make virtual machine deployments more efficient, while reducing waste and cutting costs by reclaiming hardware resources or software licenses that would otherwise be wasted. When beginning a cloud migration journey, organizations need to think smarter and incorporate automation and standardization to create a culture where IT teams can be proactive instead of repeating mundane tasks and dealing with inconsistencies across deployments.

So much of today’s cloud consumption occurs in an ad-hoc or varied fashion across several pockets — especially within large organizations. The availability of pay-as-you-go public cloud resources has spawned shadow IT, where sophisticated end users bypass IT and use a variety of cloud resources directly. Shadow IT can occur for a number of reasons –  IT isn’t delivering at the speed users expect, poor corporate oversight, or even a merger/acquisition of a born-in-the-cloud startup that never had an IT department and is having difficulty adjusting to corporate standards. While it may sound hard to contain, organizations can overcome shadow IT by ensuring IT and business units collaborate on cloud strategy.

When getting started, many organizations find themselves treating public cloud like an extension of their existing data centers. However, that’s a surefire way to run up a bill and miss out on the advantages of cloud native technologies. In addition to the monitoring, backup and disaster recovery services used on-prem, IT teams must now also track the advancements and changes from the cloud providers and continually optimize deployments to make use of the appropriate capabilities. Each cloud provider has their own optimization techniques, with some standardized across all clouds and others created specifically for each provider.  Without sufficient expertise in each and every cloud vendor used, there will be a lack of standards and consistencies across the organization, resulting in an insecure and costly cloud environment.

Without the right tools to manage resources across cloud environments, it’s impossible to understand what resources live in which clouds, scale up and down based on demand, manage cost and transfer workloads to different environments if something goes wrong. Without the right cloud management tools, reaping the long-promised benefits of the cloud is impossible.

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Migrating to the cloud may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. At Snow Software, we believe that enterprise cloud management can move fast, while protecting your business from cost overruns and security breaches. To see how we can support your cloud journey, please reach out here.