What is a Cloud Strategy?
A cloud strategy is a company or organization’s point of view on the role of cloud within its infrastructure. It bridges the gap between the high-level, overall corporate strategy and a cloud adoption and migration plan. In this respect, it is different than an actual cloud adoption plan as it doesn’t dictate the precise method and timing for adopting the cloud for different applications and workloads.
Establishing a cloud strategy offers many benefits. It helps the company determine the best way forward in adopting the cloud for its applications and data. It helps you clearly communicate your cloud approach to stakeholders while ensuring that the approach throughout the organization is aligned with the company’s ultimate goal. It can also help improve efficiencies in the cloud by making sure that teams are getting the most out of their cloud resources without duplicating work or creating silos in the organization.
Depending on where your business is – whether it’s a startup or a well-established brand – will determine the direction of your cloud strategy. For example, if you’re a new organization, you might need quickly grow and gain new customers. This might look like adopting more managed services in order to keep costs down and help you avoid the heavy lifting typically involved in building and maintaining cloud infrastructure. If you’re a more established business, you might have many of your workloads and applications on-premises. In which case, your cloud strategy might be to migrate some – or most – of these workloads onto the cloud. Or even leave everything on-prem and only move new initiatives to the cloud.
How to Create a Winning Cloud Strategy
Creating a winning cloud strategy requires a lot of planning upfront. First you need to outline your technical and business objectives to better understand why your company is making the move to adopt the cloud. Perhaps it is in order to solve some business challenges, accelerate innovation, or drive a total digital transformation in the organization.
Next, it helps to prioritize a cloud vendor of choice as the go-to vendor for all workloads. This doesn’t mean completely throwing your hat in with only one vendor, which can result in vendor lock-in and stifle flexibility. However, you can set a strategy in place for placing workloads onto this cloud and if a vendor cannot meet requirements for a particular workload, an additional vendor can be selected for a multi-cloud strategy in an orderly fashion.
It is also important that your cloud strategy have a plan in place should disaster strike. Whether this disaster comes from a cybersecurity attack or a natural disaster, having a plan in place can help you minimize downtime, making the organization more resilient and keep business as usual in a worst-case scenario. This plan can include establishing Disaster Recovery (DR) sites that house copies of the most up-to-date production data that can quickly failover should the production site go offline.
Finally, it is key to make sure that your team has the skills needed to manage cloud infrastructure. Identify the particular skills and roles that are currently gaps and build a talent enablement program to help current employees grow into these skills and roles.
The Silk Cloud Platform can help you ensure that your cloud strategy is a success. If your goal is to migrate workloads as quickly as possible to the cloud, Silk can help you simply lift and shift them to the cloud today while you work to refactor them to be cloud native tomorrow. Silk can do this for even the largest, most complex workloads like Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server. And once your workloads are in the cloud, Silk offers up to 10x faster performance compared to native cloud alone, making them ideal for your fastest performance needs. Finally, with Silk’s enterprise data services, you can easily replicate data for DR. And should the need to failover occur, Silk can automatically and non-disruptively scale up or out to add more resources as needed without the need to preemptively pay for resources you don’t necessarily need.
FAQs Related to Cloud Strategy
What should a cloud strategy include?
Your cloud strategy should include a number of points. Most importantly, it should outline the goals you have for migrating and leveraging the cloud including unmet needs or issues that the cloud would address. You should also have an idea of who the key stakeholders are including the teams and business units who will be most affected by the shift to cloud. Once you’re ready to begin executing, your organization should conduct a Readiness Assessment to score if you have the framework in place to actually begin operating in the cloud. Next, you need to assess and choose cloud initiatives throughout the business to prioritize for deployment. Finally, ensure that you conduct an assessment of the risk the cloud entails and prepare a plan in case of disaster.
What is a cloud-first strategy?
A cloud-first strategy is when a company decides that all applications and workloads must either be born on the cloud or migrated to the cloud. While this is a popular strategy for companies looking to completely transform the way they operate, it isn’t necessarily the best strategy. A cloud-smart strategy is much preferred as it allows the organization to assess which workloads really are best suited for the cloud and which instead can benefit more from leveraging the security, flexibility, and performance of on-premises infrastructure.
Why do you need a cloud strategy?
You need a cloud strategy to guide and align the organization through the transition to the cloud. This includes providing guidance on how to avoid putting the project at risk, such as determining a preferred cloud vendor – while also putting in place a strategy for determining that a workload is ready for this vendor or if it is necessary to migrate to a secondary vendor instead.
What can I do to build a multi-cloud strategy?
To build a multi-cloud strategy, you should first select and stand up a cloud environment with a preferred cloud provider of choice. Once this choice is made, a framework should be put into place to determine a workload’s readiness to be moved into that provider’s cloud. If the provider doesn’t meet certain business criteria of that workload, a secondary vendor can be selected. Adding on additional providers on a needed basis to meet particular business requirements ensures that your multi-cloud strategy doesn’t become overly complex and helps to minimize data silos that naturally arise in multi-cloud.