Koop advocates what he calls a “migrate first; renovate later” process of cloud migration. “Rather than re-architect and rebuild for cloud, save time and capture cloud economies of scale by first migrating an application. Once in the cloud, SMBs can begin the renovate/innovate process in the more flexible cloud environment,” he suggests.
BUILDING A ￼￼CLOUD IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY (excerpts)
A business investment with immediate payback ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
COMCAST © 2014 For the full ebook, visit mjmedit.com
INVEST IN MORE IN YOUR BUSINESS AND LESS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BUILDING A CLOUD IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼For most small and mid-sized businesses the future is all about growth, and a cloud-based approach to information technology is inherently supportive of growth strategies.
“Utilizing capital or allocating resources to manage IT solutions is a distraction from their core business,” says Todd Goodbinder, national vice president of sales at Comcast Business. “Businesses get a much bigger benefit taking their dollars and investing them in their business rather than adopting an IT solution that will be outdated within a year or so—not to mention the associated maintenance or upgrade costs that come with managing an IT solution in house.” ￼
￼￼Advantages of Migrating to the Cloud
Small and medium-sized businesses are probably the greatest potential beneficiaries of the cloud—and especially of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—among all types of businesses, says Eric Morgan, chief executive officer of AtTask, an Inc. 500 company that provides a cloud-based enterprise work management solution combining social media techniques with traditional project management capabilities.
“Think about it: Our clients with several hundred employees are enjoying the same robust, secure, high-performance platform and infrastructure as our Fortune 500 clients with tens of thousands of employees. To replicate that would not only be cost-prohibitive, it would be highly challenging to pull off.” Cloud-based IT strategies can reduce overhead costs and return faster time to value, while quicker upgrade cycles allow SMBs to stay current on the latest features, he adds.
Running an SMB on the cloud can be much less expensive than using a data center or an independent server, points out Eric Dynowski, chief executive officer and president of IT consulting firm Turing Group. The primary reason is that a cloud-based business no longer has to buy and run all the infrastructure equipment; that cost is now shared among many different users. “However, it’s important to remember that pricing is unique to each company and depends on user demand and workload,” he cautions. “The cloud is not a ‘set it and forget it’ solution.” For example, most cloud-based businesses are aware they can quickly and easily add more computing power—often with just a mouse click or two—and are quick to do so when needed, but fewer also think to scale down on computing power when there is less need for it. “Making or not making adjustments can have a large impact on the bill at the end of the month,” Dynowski warns. In worst-case scenarios, what started out as an inexpensive cloud solution can turn into something quite pricey. […]
EVERY COMPANY MUST DETERMINE ITS OWN BEST PATH
While the cloud paradigm offers important business and technical benefits, the “hidden truth” is that the path to the cloud is not the same for all workloads, says John Hawkins, Some of the most compelling reasons for migrating to the cloud include speed to market, lower financial risk, greater financial viability, improved cash flow, better IT budget forecasting, freeing up internal resources, and improved disaster recovery capabilities. ￼
Not every app is a perfect fit for public cloud, notes Ryan Koop, director of products and marketing at CohesiveFT, a creator of customizable, flexible cloud network platforms. SMBs considering a move to the cloud must look at each application, determine what it is likely to cost to run it inside their own IT operation for the next three years, and compare that to the potential savings from migrating it to the cloud, he advises. “From a performance perspective as well as a financial perspective, there are many factors to consider when moving to cloud. Things like failover (backup operational mode), capacity expansion (cloud bursting), and disaster recovery are fantastic use cases for public cloud, and the cost savings for these examples in the cloud are really attractive. But if a cloud customer needs to run an application 24/7/365 with terabytes of data involved, those costs start to add up,” Koop says.
DETERMINING BEST PROSPECTS FOR CLOUD MIGRATION
One problem with the question of data center versus cloud is that many SMBs are unsure how to compare costs for applications. “There aren’t always good financial models available that easily demonstrate how running an application and related databases in public cloud compares to running it in an existing or new data center,” Koop says. When undertaking such comparisons, it is critical that you also consider all related additional costs, such as network or database administration, manual labor, the human capital perspective, real estate costs, and so on. “Sit down with potential vendors, customers, and IT teams to work through what features the production environment should have so everyone involved starts on the same page,” he suggests. From there, begin building in the cloud environment to capitalize on the economies of scale. “Doing all the heavy lifting on the front end helps avoid any delays once the project starts and budgets begin burning.”
“MIGRATE FIRST; RENOVATE LATER”
Koop advocates what he calls a “migrate first; renovate later” process of cloud migration. “Rather than re-architect and rebuild for cloud, save time and capture cloud economies of scale by first migrating an application. Once in the cloud, SMBs can begin the renovate/innovate process in the more flexible cloud environment,” he suggests. That approach makes sense because the cloud has known physical economies of scale that can save SMBs the labor and maintenance costs of managing a data center; the next level of savings is focused on the production footprint.
BUILDING AND IMPLEMENTING YOUR CLOUD MIGRATION PLAN
While the potential benefits of cloud computing are undeniably impressive, SMBs need to formulate a plan that makes sense for them before diving in. After conducting an audit to determine which aspects of your operations are best suited for migration to the cloud, the next step is to build a team for planning and implementing Rather than re- architect and rebuild for cloud, save time and capture cloud economies of scale by first migrating an application. Once in the cloud, SMBs can begin the renovate/ innovate process in the more flexible cloud environment. ￼￼
For the full Comcast Business Services ebook, visit mjmedit.com
By: Margaret Valtierra