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The CIO's Guide to Cloud Adoption

Fotolia 50136582 XSThe cloud has quickly become a staple in the world of enterprise computing, but some organizations are still hesitant to work towards a swift and efficient cloud adoption. This is due, in part, to the lack of a clear cloud adoption strategy. While there are plenty of variables to consider, with enough time and consideration, you can create and implement a cloud strategy that’s sure to help you take your business to new heights.

First, we’ll discuss why a CIO uses cloud technology to begin with. From there, we’ll build out a process that you can use to create a cloud solution that works well with your existing infrastructure, minimizes data loss and privacy troubles, allows for complete control over your assets, and places the minimum burden on your IT budget.

Why CIOs Use Cloud Technology
According to a CIO survey by The Creative CIO, which targeted over 5,500 businesses across North America, CIOs tend to use cloud technology for three primary reasons:

  • Improve agility and responsiveness: 46% of businesses surveyed that they would like to use the cloud to improve agility and responsiveness. This includes being able to make quick changes to the infrastructure, as well as respond to industry shifts and consumer demands.
  • Improve availability and resilience: 45% of businesses surveyed claimed that they want to improve the availability of data and the resilience of their data infrastructure by using the cloud. This could range anywhere from remote data access to backup and disaster recovery via a cloud-based solution.
  • Accelerate product development and innovation: 36% of businesses surveyed claimed that they wanted to use the cloud to enhance product development and improve innovation. With the ability to communicate at a moment’s notice thanks to cloud-based solutions, and the time saved through doing so, innovation can become second nature.

The Unique Challenges of Implementing an Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure

Challenge #1: Interaction with Existing Architecture
47% of CIOs report that they are wary of problems with the implementation of the cloud in regards to their current infrastructure. If your enterprise is used to running legacy applications and technology solutions, compatibility could eventually become a problem as you move toward a cloud-based infrastructure model. Therefore, it’s recommended that you put significant effort into ensuring that your cloud infrastructure will work as intended, particularly in regard to your current technology assets.

Challenge #2: Data Loss and Privacy Risks
Nearly half of CIOs report that they are deeply concerned about security during the cloud implementation process. This signals that CIOs who are responsible for cloud implementation either don’t truly understand how to approach cloud-based security, or they underestimate the power of advanced, sophisticated threats that threaten the modern enterprise. It ultimately comes down to ensuring that you protect your cloud infrastructure using centralized, widespread security protocol in the same way that you would protect your in-house infrastructure.

Challenge #3: Governance over Cloud Solutions
36% of organizations surveyed identify governance over their cloud solutions as a major pain point for the implementation process. This can be considered the control of data and cloud operations. It’s important that your enterprise keep end-to-end policies regarding the control of data and how the cloud is to be used, as well as a clear understanding of who is responsible for managing and maintaining cloud-based services within your organization.

Challenge #4: Funding and Budget Allotment
Of course, it’s difficult to make any major change to your infrastructure of the budget doesn’t allow for it. There can be less flexibility than you might like, which affords little room for failure. Therefore, the importance of getting the job done right the first time cannot be stressed enough. To this end, it’s often helpful to involve professional third party consultants and technicians, like those at IronEdge Group.

To start thinking about the implementation of your enterprise’s cloud solution, here are a few steps to include:

  • Understand your business's needs before going all-in on a cloud solution
  • Find out if any cloud-computing shadow IT is going on without you knowing
  • Explain what proper cloud computing policies are to all employees
  • Keep a clear focus on data and network security at all times
  • Be cognizant of cloud computing regulations and compliance throughout the process
  • Don’t sacrifice operations for the sake of implementing the cloud

Managed IT services and co-managed IT allow third-party technicians, like those at IronEdge Group, to work on behalf of your organization and implement a solid cloud strategy. We’ll work with your organization from start to finish to ensure your cloud solution works without a hitch. Most importantly, however, we can work toward making the jump to the cloud while you focus on keeping operations moving forward unhindered. The value in this cannot be underestimated, as the downtime that can result from being unprepared for a cloud transition can be incredibly costly.

To learn more about cloud implementation services, reach out to us at 800-987-4766.

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