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Flexential: Establishing the framework for a solid cloud strategy

Realize major benefits from moving while avoiding some of these pitfalls to attain success

In a new whitepaper, Flexential explores some of the key challenges and pitfalls that enterprises need to overcome while migrating to the cloud and discusses how an optimal cloud environment can create an optimal and holistic cloud migration strategy, map the proper cloud environment to the right application and workload, maximize cloud security and compliance, as well as improve cost efficiency.

For most businesses, moving data-center applications to the cloud represents both significant opportunity and unprecedented challenges. Industry estimates suggest that by 2021, as much as 94% of workloads will be processed in cloud data centers. The rationale is clear: applications hosted in the cloud represent a lower upfront investment in infrastructure, the potential for simplified operations, and an ability to respond to capacity demands that often outpace on-premise availability.

However, it is worth noting that a majority of businesses utilize two or more cloud service providers, and more than half of IT professionals say that optimizing cloud spend is a top priority next year. While it is obvious that investment in cloud solutions is accelerating, it is equally clear that businesses of all sizes are not seeing the efficiencies that they had anticipated — and struggle to find a single cloud provider that meets all of their needs.

Part of this challenge arises from the changing nature of IT in general. Technology is increasingly being leveraged beyond back-end business operations to provide revenue generation and competitive differentiation. Unfortunately, traditional operational best practices are often optimized around reducing churn and minimizing expenses, rather than agility, iterative development, and accelerating time to revenue.

A common negative side effect of this conflict is the growth of shadow IT, or instances of applications being hosted ad-hoc, often in the cloud — outside the purview of the IT department. While it may start as a short-term solution that allows internal stakeholders to establish their own workloads in the cloud, this practice invariably results in issues down the road with budgeting, security and even regulatory compliance.

Both IT’s changing role and the rise of shadow IT mean that stakeholders within the business have an increasing need for responsiveness. But many businesses acknowledge that they lack a clear cloud strategy and/ or the in-house expertise to manage cloud-based applications efficiently.

As a result, while the move to the cloud is inevitable, how to get there is fraught with misconceptions and risks that need to be managed. There are, however, some simple guidelines which can help establish the framework for a solid cloud strategy.  

To read more, download the whitepaper here.

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