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How to Identify the Right Cloud Solution for Your Organization

Thought Leadership piece with Mitch Borochaner, Sales Engineering Manager

According to a recent Gartner survey, 90 percent of respondents are using the cloud in some fashion. Despite nearly universal adoption, cloud usage is expected to continue growing exponentially. In fact, Gartner estimates the global cloud market to almost double from $330 billion today to $623 billion in 2023.

Why is this happening?

  • Enjoy anytime, anywhere access to data and applications.
  • Modernize and scale infrastructure and services without buying, building, and maintaining expensive, premise-based IT assets. Instead, pay for the resources you need with a subscription-based or pay-as-you-go model.
  • Take advantage of high-end technology and services, which were previously accessible only to large enterprises, to improve how your organization functions.
  • Improve security, regulatory compliance, and disaster recovery.

Ancero uses the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which employs more than 3,500 engineers who constantly monitor their cloud environments and deploy advanced tools to prevent hacking and unauthorized access. Azure also ranks number one with most compliance certifications, including ISO 27001, PCI, HIPAA, SOC1 and SOC2, and FedRAMP.

Long story short, the cloud is the present and the future. Migrating more and more workloads to the cloud is not a matter of “if.” It’s a matter of when, for what purpose, and with which cloud solution.

Three Main Cloud Models

There are three primary cloud models. The first is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). With IaaS, servers no longer reside in your office or facility. Instead, your resources are hosted on cloud-based servers and accessed through the internet.

The second cloud model is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in which software subscriptions to popular applications such as Office 365 and Salesforce are hosted in a cloud environment. The third model, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), refers to the cloud-based deployment and development environment, such as Microsoft Azure or AWS, upon which applications run.

Because the options can be overwhelming, it’s important to work with a cloud solution provider like Ancero. As your local IT partner, we can evaluate your IT infrastructure, applications, and computing environment, and identify the right cloud model for your organization.

Determining What You Need from the Cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how quickly business needs can change – and how unprepared many business were to shift to remote working. Every year, we see an increasing number of severe weather events, which can take down organizations that rely on premise-based infrastructure to operate. This is one reason why many organizations have embraced the cloud as a means to support disaster recovery.

Planning is key to realizing the full benefits of the cloud. The first step is to determine what you want to achieve through cloud adoption. What business problems do you need to solve?

For example:

  • Does your sales team need more flexibility?
  • Are you struggling to keep up with compliance requirements?
  • Do you need to reduce downtime and improve business continuity?
  • Are you running out of storage capacity?
  • Are current systems and technology reaching end-of-life?

The cloud is a viable solution to these and other business issues. However, you have to identify the problem before you can pinpoint the best solution.

Evaluating Your Current IT Environment

Architecting the right cloud solution begins with digging into your current environment. Proper evaluation by your cloud solution provider is critical to success. For example:

What is the nature of your workloads? What are the primary applications that users run from their computers and how are your current applications utilized? How much bandwidth do they use? What are your hours of operation? If you don’t operate 24/7, it might make sense to wind services down when they’re not in use.

Keep in mind that the emergence of 5G technology will have a direct impact on cloud services, with faster, more reliable internet connectivity creating a better user experience.

Do you save files locally? If not, where is data saved? In addition to moving servers to the cloud, you can move desktops to the cloud. In other words, the use of virtual desktops ensures that all data remains in your cloud environment. If a device is lost or stolen or a disgruntled employee wants to steal or delete sensitive information, your data will not be exposed.

Specific services also need to be assessed. For example, which video conferencing services do you use most frequently? Video is very bandwidth-intensive, so it might make sense to continue running video applications locally. Do remote workers require printing capabilities at home? This seems like such a basic function but can be complicated for remote workers.

Finally, security tools and services need to be inventoried and evaluated. Your cloud solution provider needs to know if you own your domain(s) and have administrative access to your IT assets. Security controls integrated into cloud platform firmware and hardware ensure the environment is secure by default. Implementing two-factor authentication will further enhance security by making it extremely difficult for unauthorized users to gain access to your network.

Partnering the Right Cloud Solution Provider

Choosing the right cloud solution begins with partnering with the right cloud solution provider. Experience in a wide range of industries matters. Proof of security and compliance expertise, such as SOC2 certification, should be a requirement because the provider will be handling your sensitive data. The cloud platform, such as Microsoft Azure, should be reliable, secure, supported, and compatible with your mission-critical business applications.

Evaluate your cloud solution provider as carefully as your existing IT environment and any solutions and platforms you’re considering. This will help you prevent cost overruns and maintain the best possible customer experience.

As the Sales Engineering Manager it’s my job to evaluate and architect a cloud solution to best fit a customer’s needs. I am happy to offer a free consultation to dig into your cloud objectives and pain points to identify the right cloud solution for your organization. Give me a call at 856.210.5823.

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