What is Cloud Strategy Consulting and Why Should I Consider it?
Cloud computing revolutionized how organizations manage their IT, allowing businesses to transition away from managing the complexity, hassle, and risk associated with owning their own IT infrastructure. Cloud technology allows organizations of any size to optimize scaling and quickly adjust IT infrastructure to fit changing business needs.
However, any cloud migration is bound to be a complex project and will inevitably come with unforeseen pitfalls. By partnering with the right cloud strategy consulting provider, your business can ensure your cloud migration goes smoothly, allows you to focus on driving your business forward, and provides your employees with the best IT experience possible.
Here are a few critical questions that a cloud strategy consultant can answer for your business:
Which Cloud Solutions are the Best Fit for my Unique Needs?
There are many different types of cloud services, multiple cloud platforms to choose from, and decisions to make about whether to choose a public cloud or a private cloud. Cloud consulting services can help you understand which solutions are best for your business.
For example, many organizations are tempted to go with private cloud providers. However, a good cloud strategy consultant will usually suggest you go with a public cloud-like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), for a few reasons:
Public clouds have nearly unlimited resources and can provide long-term stability to your organization, and you’ll have a clear exit strategy if you later want to switch to a different cloud platform.
There are a lot of IT service providers who can help you manage your public cloud infrastructure. Conversely, you are stuck with one option when working with a private cloud provider, and they know it. This usually leads to poor service, and leaving one of these providers if you’re unhappy with their solution tends to be complex and costly.
Answering questions like “private vs. public cloud” and avoiding hidden pitfalls is a major reason to engage with a cloud strategy consultant when building out your cloud adoption roadmap.
What is the Best Way to Reduce my On-Premises Server Footprint?
Managed servers hosted on-premises are quickly going obsolete as a viable option for business IT infrastructure. They take up precious physical space, require a dedicated team to update and maintain them, and are in continuous operation whether you need their resources or not.
Every business should be asking how best to reduce their on-premises server footprint. Whether this means a hybrid cloud solution, full migration to SaaS offerings, or an infrastructure migration into public cloud providers, a good cloud strategy consultant can help your business develop a plan and a budget to get you where you need to go. This might include strategizing about reducing risks associated with on-premises servers, discussing options for slowly reducing hardware over time, and thinking through the best ways to manage the user experience and costs of cloud migration.
Another reason to engage with a cloud specialist: even public cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud can be complicated to set up properly. For example, if you’re not familiar with the nuances of the various storage tiers and processing tiers available, you can easily set things up improperly and end up with a huge bill. A cloud solutions partner can pinpoint the right storage and processing options for your organization and help guide you through best practices as you get started with the cloud.
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How Can I Improve Security by Leveraging Cloud Solutions?
Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting businesses of all sizes, and leveraging the cloud to improve overall cybersecurity posture should be a top priority for any organization today. The reality is that large cloud platforms like AWS and Microsoft Azure can invest more in security than smaller companies with on-premises servers. A cloud strategy consultant will be able to guide you through the available cybersecurity options and then develop a plan for implementing them at your organization.
For example, Microsoft 365 comes with a complete security suite that allows your organization to securely manage identity, implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to protect company data, and control how company data is accessed and shared, both inside and outside the organization. However, most businesses using Microsoft 365 are either not aware of these tools or don’t have the expertise to set them up properly, and this is the case with most other cybersecurity tools available for cloud platforms.
A cloud strategy partner will help you understand how you can leverage the cloud to improve your security posture, point out which cybersecurity tools are right for your organization’s cloud environment, and assist with the implementation and adoption of cloud security policies.
Find a Cloud Strategy Partner
The considerations above are just a few of the critical questions that any organization should think about before implementing its cloud migration strategy. Whether you’re looking to leverage the cloud to improve business scalability, reduce risk, or increase security, your first step should be to partner with a cloud strategy consultant so you can get clarity on how to move forward.