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Community Blog Developing an Enterprise Cloud Strategy – Part 2

Developing an Enterprise Cloud Strategy – Part 2

Part 2 of this 2-part series discusses solutions to the challenges from Part 1.

By Shantanu Kaushik

Enterprises contemplating a shift to cloud computing architecture often look for solutions to deploy new applications that can introduce agility, flexibility, and adaptability into the mix. The second most important factor is cost-saving. Cloud computing functions on a highly scalable shared infrastructure that can orchestrate or provision resources on the fly.

A Flexera report stated, "The shift of spending on the cloud will continue in 2021 along with increased investments in automation and artificial intelligence (AI)."

Assess Your IT Standing

Planning and outlining your business goals are important before shifting to the cloud. We recommend making a list of objectives based on priority and the value you want to extract.

Setting out clear goals will help define a strategy that includes upgrading. You should assess how capable your IT solution is in its current state. The most important aspect of your current IT standing includes your readiness for the shift to the cloud.

You will need the current frameworks, the programming development languages, and a clear differentiation between which modules or parts of your IT infrastructure can shift directly to the cloud and which things will require an upgrade. You need to check your cloud readiness factors:

  • Security and Identity

The cloud is more secure than a traditional setup. There are managed services and products that can provide an added security layer depending on your specific requirements. When it comes to identity-based authentication and authorization requirements, you can enable zero-trust security with IAM products like Alibaba Cloud RAM and Identity as a Service (IDaaS). Alibaba Cloud transfers your users and roles to the cloud, which can make all the difference with business continuity.

  • Integration

The assessment of your current IT services can give you a clear picture of the service integration you might require. Some legacy services or practices are still supported. You can reinvent other practices using cloud services.

  • Business Practices

The goal is always to transfer your core business values and keep them intact throughout your shift to the cloud.

  • Departments

A strategy should be as elaborate as a cloud implementation guide. You must focus on the specific departments you want to connect to the cloud, based on the anticipated upgrades. These can include your most expansion-worthy departments like sales, ERP, CRM, or support.

  • Agility and Flexibility

After you choose the departments that you want to shift to the cloud, you need to ask yourself a question, “Which services can increase the agility and flexibility of your organization’s solution on the cloud?”

  • Cost

Cloud services help organizations and enterprises save a lot of money with pay-as-you-go models. However, if you implement your cloud strategy without thinking about how many services you are putting on the cloud, you can spend more than you will save.

Choosing the Correct Cloud Model

You must choose which cloud architecture you want to deploy for the next part of the aligned strategy.

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If you want to use traditional cloud services with an option for a public cloud or private cloud interface, you have to think about how service-oriented you want your cloud architecture. For an organization contemplating an initial move to the cloud, we recommend dipping your toe into the cloud-pond and slowly shifting your services to the cloud by taking advantage of Free Trials.

Flexera stated, “Among the top priorities of enterprises, digital transformation and cybersecurity tied as the top priority initiative, with 24% of respondents placing each of them in the top spot. Cloud/cloud migration follows closely behind at 20%.”

A hybrid cloud setup requires physical hardware maintenance with private cloud setup scenarios. For organizations on new digital transformation journeys, choosing multi-cloud as their default cloud setup would be like jumping onto a moving train.

Service Segment

The cloud offers many managed services. You can differentiate the services based on how much each party manages. There is more information on the chart below:

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After you decide which cloud deployment model will implement your cloud solution, you need to select which service model (or models) will implement your services. It is highly dependent on how much you want to be involved in your service scenario.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a raw infrastructure you can scale and build on without depending on anyone. While that sounds very lucrative, with Software as a Service (SaaS), you don’t need to manage anything; you can focus on business goals. It depends on your organization size and how much you want to leverage the core infrastructure provided by your cloud provider.

Risks

Data security and compliance are worth exploring. If your organization deals with private and sensitive data, you need to devise methods to implement solutions like Alibaba Cloud Sensitive Data Discovery and Protection.

Alibaba Cloud provides a highly elastic and scalable product lineup with deep integration. There are solutions for every situation. The first thing to do is list any potential issues you could face during cloud migration.

Team

A well-trained and well-equipped team is the most important concept. The team should be well-versed with your technology group to drive you through your initial cloud implementation phases and expansion. However, a solution-centric team builds over time, with professionals and experts joining the team along the way. Digital transformation is not only about adopting tools and practices; it is about building a team that can leverage those tools and practices to enable a comprehensive cloud IT solution.

Wrapping Up

Once you have covered all the points listed above, you have a working strategy on your hands. The next step is choosing a cloud service provider that understands your requirements. You can use Alibaba Cloud’s expertise to analyze your organizational goals and provide possible solutions based on highly effective algorithms.

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