The Impact of Leveraging a Cloud Delivery Model

In a recent discussion about the positive shift in the Cloud Computing discourse towards actionable steps as opposed to philosophical rants in definitions, .NET Developer’s Journal issued a list of five things not to do. The first mistake among the list of five (which included #2. assuming server virtualization is enough; #3 not understanding service dependencies; #4 leveraging traditional monitoring; #5 not understanding internal/external costs), was not understanding the business value. Failing to understand the business impact of leveraging a Cloud delivery model for a given application or service is a crucial mistake, but it can be avoided.

When evaluating a Cloud delivery option, it is important to first define the service. Consider: is it new to you or are you considering porting an existing service? On one hand, if new, there is a lower financial bar to justify a cloud model, but on the downside is a lack of historical perspective on consumption trends to aid an evaluating financial considerations or performance.

Assuming you choose a new service, the next step is to address why you are looking at Cloud, which may require some to be honest about their reasons. Possible reasons for looking at cloud include: your business requires a highly scalable solution; your data center is out of capacity; you anticipate this to be a short-lived service; you need to collaborate with a business partner on neutral territory; your business has capital constraints.

All of the previously listed reasons are good reasons to consider a Cloud option, yet if you are considering this option because it takes weeks, months even, to get a new server in production; your Operation team is lacking credibility when it comes to maintaining a highly available service; or your internal cost allocation models are appalling—you may need to reconsider. In these cases, there may be some in-house improvements that need to be made before exploring a Cloud option.

An important lesson to consider is that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you necessarily should, and this is easily applicable in this situation. Many firms have had disastrous results in the past when they exposed legacy internal applications to the Internet. The following questions must be answered when thinking about moving applications/services to the Cloud:

·         Does the application consume or generate data with jurisdictional requirements?

·         Will your company face fines or a public relations scandal is there is a security breach/data loss?

·         What part of your business value chain is exposed if the service runs poorly? (And are there critical systems that rely on it?)

·         What if the application/service doesn’t run at all? (Will you be left stranded or are there alternatives that will allow the business to remain functioning?)

Embracing Cloud services—public or private—comes with tremendous benefits, yet a constant dialogue about the business value of the service in question is required to reap the rewards. To discuss the benefits of adopting a hybrid On-Prem/Cloud solution contact Nubifer today.

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