A 5-Minute Overview of Cloud-Enabled Enterprise
A quick, but insightful look into the essential elements of a cloud-enabled enterprise and the challenges that come with them.
Cloud computing is much more than just an avenue to store your personal music or photos on the web. The cloud is also an opportunity for businesses to improve operational efficiency, scalability and security, especially in terms of services offered and affordable business technology solutions.
In fact, those who advocate for the cloud-first strategy feel that, in time, it will become the industry standard. Others say this standard already exists.
What a cloud-enabled enterprise looks like
There’s more to being cloud-enabled than simply having cloud services and technology. A truly successful cloud-focused enterprise must undergo a total shift in the nature of their existing (and future) IT services.
The first step is to implement a “cloud-first” approach. Doing so will allow companies to avoid having to create customized IT solutions (in house at a high cost). Rather, these companies can make use of the cloud services already available through external third-party suppliers like Microsoft Azure, SharePoint and other cloud computing solutions.
Essential aspects of a cloud-enabled enterprise blueprint
In order to be a considered a true cloud-enabled enterprise, an organization must contain the following three elements:
- Cloud service brokers. The brokerage level handles the delivery aspect of IT and is the essential component if a company that wants to be able to buy (and use) the most modern IT services (cloud-based, of course), as well as be able to benefit from cloud computing advantages. This is often accomplished using third-party brokers.
- Cloud service consumers. Cloud-enabled businesses need to be equipped to handle their consumers to want (and expect) to access any and all of their cloud data - anytime, anywhere and from any device.
- Cloud service providers. Typically, the end goal of companies wishing to wander into the realm of being cloud-enabled is to develop and foster an ecosystem comprised of consultants, integrators, partners and providers who strive to provide:
- Increased responsiveness for businesses and clients
- Superior agility
- Better delivery channels
- Cheaper services
Furthermore, these providers accomplish this while delivering privacy, confidentiality and security for the data in the cloud.
The purpose of developing (and sticking to) a cloud-enabled blueprint is to provide an easier path to ensure the enterprise’s cloud remains structured, in addition to keeping the level of risk well-managed.
Additionally, a cloud enterprise blueprint also fosters maximized value by:
- Engagement with IT via internal and external brokers
- Efficient leverage of technology as it evolves
- Support for the development of solutions (whether custom or integrated) for the use of cloud services from multiple sources
- Development of well-organized hubs for distribution
- Making procurement more streamlined
Enterprises who fail to structure their cloud adoption can face challenges that can be difficult to overcome later on.
Overcoming challenges of cloud computing adoption
Although there could be big payoffs from becoming a cloud-enable enterprise, companies wishing to adopt should do so carefully. Depending on your existing enterprise architecture and maturity, the challenges you may face vary from enterprise to enterprise.
These challenges include, but are not limited to, the factors listed below:
Business process and practices
Your organization's business processes and practices can be impacted during the transition of IT services to cloud solutions due to the way the systems may be linked to service delivery and the internal process and practices. Moreover, the initial change will likely need follow-up revisions down the line - some of which may need to be performed to interdependent and interrelated processes.
Hybrid IT integration
When a business uses enterprise systems that reside both inside and outside the cloud, unique situations can arise. This is especially true when the services and/or data used can be used in both forms.
IT workforce skills
IT core functions (especially functions that will continue being used) may be impacted by a cloud service adoption. This includes the knowledge and skills required of the enterprise’s IT team and general business management staff. Some additional focus may be needed to be placed on IaaS and SaaS.
Security is always a hot button topic. Since much of your company’s sensitive information could be shifted to the cloud, it is important that special attention is taken to beef up the security of the cloud environment. You should also put some consideration into security models that are end-to-end embedded, rather than the traditional perimeter models.
Should Your Business Migrate to the Cloud?
By having a well-thought out cloud enterprise blueprint and cloud adoption strategy, you can avoid these challenges that plague other businesses and be well on your way to improved efficiency, scalability and security offered by enterprise cloud computing solutions.
For more information about cloud computing implementation, integration or other cloud computing topics, contact our expert cloud consultants or continue browsing our site.