How can Cloud Computing Transform your Business: Tips and Best Practices

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    Increased use of the internet and mobile applications has led to the rapid adoption of cloud computing services. Integration of innovations like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning needs intensive computing resources. It has further fueled the cloud shift among many organizations.

    According to Forbes, data aggregation worldwide will increase up to 3.5 times by 2050. Businesses are already facing the Big Data problem with massive infrastructure challenges. Cloud services are not just helping businesses deal with Big Data but also power modernized applications.

    Cloud computing is revolutionizing everything computers. Not just applications or software, the cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the manufacturing business. According to a survey, respondents across the manufacturing sector admitted that more than 50% of ERP and PLM systems are already deployed on private or public clouds.

    Cloud computing services are helping businesses across domains to power their digital transformations. However, not every organization is cloud-ready and in this blog, we will walk you through the important tips and practices as you begin to incorporate cloud into your IT and app development environments and maximize gains through cloud adoption. 

    But, first, let’s discuss why you need it.

    Why is the business world rapidly shifting to cloud computing?

    Before the rise of cloud computing, the biggest challenge for businesses was to scale their infrastructures. Imagine maintaining data from millions of users on your platform growing each day exponentially. Cloud services provide infrastructure, computing, and other facilities over the internet. 

    Businesses have more flexibility, availability, and scalability. This is why we see a rapid shift in companies across business verticals. For Gartner, 65.9% of spending on application software will be directed to cloud-based technologies by 2025.

    Multiple factors drive organizations to choose cloud computing over conventional systems, and that includes every industry from software development and financial services.

    Many organizations struggle with monitoring and compliance with government regulations. Switching to the cloud can help companies with compliance. Most cloud service providers comply with major data regulations. This is why 91% of cloud adopters believe it makes meeting government compliance requirements easy.

    Cloud services come with pre-built monitoring services, which enable better security. In addition, any cloud services also provide Identification and Access Management(IAM) pre-built. It allows businesses to manage data access for higher data protection.

    Apart from the security aspect, data modernization is the second factor that drives businesses to cloud migration. Companies need to handle massive data, both structured and unstructured. It’s not just about storage or retrieval.

    Organizations need business intelligence to stay competitive in the market. It allows them to strategize according to the changing customer demands. Cloud services enable organizations with data analytics and processing capabilities.

    Businesses can convert unstructured data into helpful information for enhanced business intelligence. Lastly, cost-effectiveness also drives companies to cloud migration.

    Conventional systems do not facilitate scaling the infrastructure as per demand. Companies end up paying for idle infrastructure capacity.

    At the same time, cloud services provide a pay-per-use model. Businesses can opt for instances they need and terminate them after the use. As a result, there are no idle capacities leading to cost optimization.

    Now that we know why organizations are adopting the cloud, let’s discuss its impact.

    How is cloud computing transforming the business world?

    Cloud computing enables businesses to offer a seamless user experience through advanced features. Dealing with massive peaks in traffic on conventional systems can be difficult, cloud computing allows businesses to add new instances in minutes. Similarly, flash sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer a nightmare for eCommerce businesses.

    Cloud services provide eCommerce businesses with auto-scaling capabilities to cope with peak traffic. Besides scaling capabilities, cloud services have played a key role in improving AI and ML adoption.

    Artificial intelligence use cases need high-performance computing services. Many cloud service providers offer virtual CPUs and GPUs for intensive computing. It allows businesses to build custom algorithms for business intelligence and enhanced analytics.

    This has led to a surge in the cloud AI market, which is expected to reach $13.1 billion by 2026. It is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20.3%. One of the key factors behind the rise of the cloud AI market has been the widespread use of virtual assistants

    Increased usage of popular virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and others has helped boost the cloud AI market. But, apart from AI applications, business intelligence, and scalability, there are many ways cloud services have transformed businesses. 

    Now that we know why organizations choose cloud services and how it’s transforming the business let’s discuss some optimization tips and best practices.

    Maximize your Benefits using the following Practices for Cloud Computing

    Cloud adoption has specific challenges which businesses need to overcome for maximum ROI. Cloud adoption requires thorough planning, from heterogeneous environments of legacy systems to skill gaps.

    Understanding the need: Why is the cloud suitable for your enterprise?

    The first step for cloud adoption is always to analyze your business requirements. Here are some of the questions that you need to answer:

    • What is the purpose of cloud migration?
    • What type of applications do you need to develop for your enterprise?
    • How much scalability and flexibility do your apps need?
    • Do you need to scale the database for apps?
    • Do you need better security and monitoring features for your database?

    The answer to the first question is the core of your decision to choose cloud. Enterprises need to spend enough time in the pre-migration phase to analyze their systems and further decide on cloud migrations. However, cost optimization needs a proper understanding of cloud economics. Leveraging enterprise software development expertise can help build customized, robust systems suited for the cloud.

    Understand your cloud economics

    Cloud economics is an analytical study of cloud computing costs and benefits which helps businesses make decisions. Some of the critical questions that, as an enterprise, you can answer with cloud economics are:

    • What is the ROI of migration to the cloud?
    • What is the total cost of ownership migrating to the cloud 
    • How is it better than an on-premise setup?

    Cloud economics comprises two fundamental principles:

    • Economies of scale- Companies use shared resources procured by cloud service providers in massive quantities at a lower price. It helps reduce the initial capital expenditure that businesses need to spend on cloud infrastructure.
    • Global deployments- Cloud is best when organizations need to deploy applications worldwide and don’t want to maintain on-site data centers. Cloud deployment provides the flexibility and economy of global deployment.

    One of the critical roles of cloud economics is to help organizations understand what cloud business model will suit their requirements.

    Adoption of cloud-based business model

    Cloud-based business models differ based on the types of services your organization needs. 

    Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS)

    Cloud services providers offer storage, hosting, networking, and virtualization with an IaaS. It reduces the need for building internal infrastructure and maintaining it.

    Platform as a Service(PaaS)

    The service provider offers a platform for clients to build, test, and deploy applications. The best aspect of using this model is pre-built tools that make development faster.

    Software as a Service(SaaS) 

    Cloud service provider enables clients with software for data management and service on demand. It allows them to use the software on the internet rather than installing it on the device.

    Once organizations have clarity on the business models and cloud economics, the next step is to train in-house resources.

    Educate and train Resources

    This is one of the most crucial steps as most organizations are not well-versed in the migration process. Therefore, businesses need to design training modules and programs to educate their in-house teams for the migration process. It involves understanding cloud migration’s economic, technical, and business aspects. 

    Further, organizations can also plan to have joint training sessions with the cloud service providers for enhanced collaborations.

    Plan a cloud governance framework

    A cloud governance framework is like a handbook of practices that enable organizations to optimize efficiency. It involves methods like:

    • Financial management
    • Operations management
    • Security management
    • Data management
    • Performance management
    • Configuration management

    Each of these aspects is interwoven and not isolated. A governance framework facilitates monitoring, management, and evaluation of each element. However, despite having a reliable framework for cloud governance, managing Big Data and operational capabilities with cost optimization can be challenging. 

    This is where the most significant cloud benefit comes into play: “Automation.”

    Include automation

    Automation can help your organization reduce repetitive tasks and optimize time-to-market. However, especially if an organization embraces an agile approach, testing each iteration becomes challenging without automation.

    Test automation allows organizations to reduce testing times and errors. With fewer errors, the time and effort needed to resolve issues are low, making deployments faster. Next is to create a cloud center of excellence (CCOE). 

    Establish a Cloud Center of Excellence

    A CCOE is an enterprise architecture function that allows the execution of centralized cloud governance. It is a consultative entity responsible for setting cloud policy, selecting the right service provider, architecture solutions, and workload placement. Further, it oversees all the cloud computing activities in the organization. 

    One of the critical aspects of CCOE is to monitor and evaluate the performance of cloud-based solutions to ensure higher ROI.

    Monitor and Optimize

    Monitoring cloud KPIs needs a proper definition of metrics. Organizations need to define specific parameters to evaluate the solution’s performance, costs, and resilience. Based on these parameters, teams can monitor systems and measure performance. It helps in tweaking and fine-tuning the cloud services for better ROI.

    Conclusion

    There can be several reasons to choose the cloud. However, your organization’s reason will be different from others. This is why analyzing the systems becomes vital for selecting the cloud service. 

    Companies should assess their needs, cloud services, and best practices that fit their requirements to create a cloud migration plan. Avoid delays or budget overruns in cloud transitions by implementing the cloud solutions based on a migration plan and conducting an in-depth audit ahead of time for better performance and ROI.

    While there are numerous advantages to cloud adoption, such as more efficient business operations and cost savings, any company that operates in the cloud should carefully consider service providers, security concerns, and ongoing process challenges in order to provide an efficient and secure experience for their team and customers.

    About the author

    Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading Cloud consulting company. He leads large-scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of software methodologies @hsshah_ on Twitter.


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