08 Aug 2016

The Cloud series: Small steps to the Cloud

Last month in our Cloud series we examined some of the myths surrounding the Cloud. And here’s another myth: that migrating to the Cloud is a major upheaval.

It doesn’t have to be. You can eliminate much of the pain by taking a step-by-step approach and gradually shifting applications or systems to the Cloud, while keeping others on-premises – or adopting what’s called Hybrid Cloud.
Starting out, you can aim to get some early, relatively easy wins. New services, for example, should be almost automatic candidates for a Cloud implementation. By taking it steady and at pace that suits your business, the hybrid approach will help ensure you make the best possible use of your resources, keep to your budgets and maintain operations with minimum disruption.

By the same token, there’s no need to hold back a migration if it makes business sense and the timing is right from an IT and operations perspective. Many organisations prefer to wait till an existing technology investment is at end-of-life before even considering moving it to the Cloud, but this could be a mistake, if it delays the benefits of the move to Cloud and affects your overall IT strategy.

The benefits of Hybrid Cloud

A considered approach will also give you the time to select the right solutions for your needs, and whether they might be public or private Cloud, or software, infrastructure or platform as a service.

The gradual, hybrid approach is also helped by the current low-interest economic environment. Recently we’ve seen the capital expenditure (CapEx) versus operational expenditure (OpEx) debate recede somewhat, with more organisations looking at financing (or refinancing) their CapEx investment in on-premises equipment. This can reduce operational and other business risks associated with, say, a rushed migration to public Cloud.

Another benefit of the hybrid approach is that it can better support custom line-of-business apps. Typically, the vendors who write these apps are specialist code shops and they may struggle to provide support in a public Cloud environment. A Hybrid Cloud with dedicated hardware for the app may avoid compatibility problems that can arise on public Clouds and can make it easier for developers to support their apps – yet hybrid can still provide the Cloud’s key advantages, such as flexibility, scalability and consumption-based pricing.

In this way, a good hybrid solution offers an enterprise-grade platform without an enterprise-grade price tag. The savings can be considerable and you’ll still have access to top-shelf hardware, software, advice and support. And needless to say, it’s much cheaper than building your own custom-configured solution.

Minimising costs and risks

Meanwhile, those applications and systems that you migrate to the Cloud can deliver benefits such as reduced operating costs and a reduced risk profile from disaggregating your IT function. You’ll save on the up-front costs, minimise the cost of mitigating against disruption, and benefit from the cloud’s inherent advantages of scale and expertise.

Security is a great example of this. Cloud services are, broadly speaking, more secure than their terrestrial counterparts, as they’re operated at a scale that makes it easier for providers to gather dedicated teams of security experts, and more cost effective to deploy the very best network security appliances. It’s not cost-effective for most businesses to provide these services internally, so outsourcing them to a suitable hybrid Cloud provider is a good strategic decision.

Whichever way you look at it, we think hybrid Cloud is the smart option for most businesses today. If you’d like to find out more, why not visit http://www.brennanit.com.au/hybrid-cloud-tool or contact us on 1300 500 000 today?