Businesses today are competing to make the most out of the $3 trillion opportunity that Cloud-based platforms present in EBITDA.
A crucial factor to consider when moving to the cloud is the resilience of applications, as the maximum of the cloud value lies in running business-critical operations.
Cloud provides a stable on-premises environment with faster recovery time, more compliance and upgraded tools that provide optimal resiliency capabilities. Companies must design, architect, and adopt appropriate resiliency patterns to meet their specific requirements and to leverage these cloud capabilities.
Cloud resiliency patterns are targeted towards reducing technical debt, automating operations, and equipping applications with cloud capabilities.
Understanding Cloud Resiliency
Cloud resiliency is the capability of cloud infrastructure to maintain high availability, reliability, and fault tolerance even during unexpected disruptions such as hardware failures, network issues, or natural disasters. It is the backbone of an organization’s digital operations, ensuring that critical services and data remain accessible at all times.
Amid rapidly evolving customer expectations and regulatory demands, leaders and industry professionals have expressed genuine concerns over ensuring that their critical applications are always functioning and available.
The reason that few companies have moved their critical applications to the cloud can revolve around these concerns. A survey of leaders and technology experts revealed that only 10% successfully moved their critical and mission-based processes to the cloud.
Want to move to the cloud? Download our exclusive Cloud Migration White paper for detailed insights.
Cloud-related issues can be tackled by conducting two crucial analyses:
The first analysis can help determine the financial and reputational impact on the business. Organizations often tend to underestimate or overestimate these costs, which leads to inconsistencies in the decision-making process.
The second analysis helps businesses determine the on-premises operations-related costs compared to the cloud-related expenses. Cloud-based solutions are often more cost-effective and flexible, which allows them to accommodate usage surges and their pay-as-you-go model.
To derive cost benefits, leaders must ensure that their applications are designed well, their infrastructure is well developed and configured, and the lifecycle of the existing hardware is also considered.
Organizations can avoid expensive capital investments and hardware-related costs by migrating critical operations into the cloud, especially before any major changes in their hardware structures. Strong Fin Ops capabilities are required to acquire and build on these insights.
Why Is Cloud Resiliency Important?
- Business Continuity:
Cloud resiliency is fundamental for business continuity. Downtime can lead to significant financial losses, damage to reputation, and customer dissatisfaction. Cloud services minimize downtime, helping businesses stay operational in all circumstances.
According to a survey conducted by Gartner, organizations that rely on cloud technology for over 75% of their backup and recovery requirements can expect to reduce their overall cost of business continuity and disaster recovery by 60%. ( 3)
The cloud allows businesses to scale their resources up or down as needed. A resilient cloud infrastructure ensures that this scaling happens seamlessly, enabling organizations to meet sudden increases in demand without service interruptions. According to a Forbes survey, since 2020, 83% of companies have been managing their workloads in the cloud. (2)
- Disaster Recovery:
In the event of a disaster or a hardware failure, cloud resiliency plays a crucial role in disaster recovery. Data replication, backup, and redundancy strategies implemented by cloud providers help safeguard data and applications, allowing for quick recovery. A survey by the Disaster Recovery Journal found that 46% of organizations using the cloud for disaster recovery reported faster recovery times. (4 )
Security is a significant aspect of resiliency. Cloud providers invest heavily in cybersecurity measures, protecting against cyber threats and data breaches. It enhances the overall resiliency of cloud-based systems.
Building a resilient on-premises infrastructure can be expensive and complicated. In contrast, cloud resiliency is usually more cost-effective. Cloud providers manage the complexities of redundancy, failover, and disaster recovery, enabling businesses to concentrate on their primary operations without the stress of extensive infrastructure management.
- Competitive Advantage:
Companies that can provide uninterrupted services have a competitive advantage. Clients value reliability and are more likely to choose firms that can guarantee their services will be available when needed.
Forbes reported that 74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) believe cloud computing has the most measurable impact on their business. (5)
Resilient Cloud infrastructures can adapt to changing business needs. They enable organizations to expand their digital footprint and implement new technologies without disruptions.
How Can Cloud Providers Help With Resiliency?
Cloud providers deploy redundant hardware and network frameworks across multiple data centres. When one data centre experiences an issue, traffic can be accordingly rerouted to another, minimizing disruptions.
- Data Replication
Cloud providers often replicate data across multiple geographic regions. It ensures data availability even if a specific area faces a disaster or outage.
- Load Balancing
Load balancing distributes incoming traffic across multiple servers, preventing overloads on any single server and ensuring high availability and performance.
- Automatic Failover
Cloud services are architected with automatic failover mechanisms. If a server or data centre experiences a failure, services are automatically shifted to a healthy one, reducing downtime.
- Monitoring and Alerts
Cloud providers regularly monitor their infrastructure and services. They use advanced monitoring tools and artificial intelligence to detect issues and send alerts to administrators.
Critical Steps To Take Towards Cloud Resiliency
To launch cloud resiliency, companies must be aware of potential risks and equip themselves with the required resources to mitigate them.
Here are five critical steps to adopt cloud resiliency:
- The first step is prioritizing urgent business operations, identifying all related applications, and aligning the organization’s strategic goals with the impact analysis results.
- The second step is to identify the pain points and technical hindrances organizations encounter during cloud migration. In addition to this, companies must also define resiliency patterns to meet specific business needs.
- Companies must design a roadmap to implement a trial lighthouse to accelerate the learning process and add value.
- Organizations must also identify gaps in processes (such as incident, problem, and change management) and talent (including unfilled engineering roles) in conjunction with the architecture.
- The last step should be setting achievable goals for making the cloud resilient and ensuring that it aligns with business goals, duration, and costs.
Cloud resiliency is vital for ensuring the availability, reliability, and security of digital services in an increasingly interconnected world. It not only safeguards businesses against disruptions but also enables them to thrive, innovate, and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Consequently, it is a key consideration for organizations when selecting cloud providers and designing their cloud-based solutions. Businesses that harness the power of the cloud’s resiliency are better prepared to deal with disruptions and continue delivering their services without hindrances.
For more insights on Cloud Migration and Top Trends in the Cloud, please refer to our informational video on Top Cloud Native Trends to Watch in 2023.
- 83% Of Enterprise Workloads Will Be In The Cloud By 2020. (Forbes)
- Source: Gartner
- Source: Disaster Recovery Journal
- Roundup Of Cloud Computing Forecasts, 2017. (Forbes)
Serverless computing is a cloud computing architecture model in which the cloud service provider allocates hardware resources on a need basis. The cloud service providers own the physical server installation setup, management, and maintenance. The service provider allocates server resources only during execution and is free during idle time or when the application is not in use. The end-users or the customers pay for what they use to these service providers. The end-users using these server services need not worry about the backend infrastructure capacity or maintenance.
Serverless Computing offerings
There are several reasons to adopt Serverless computing over the conventional cloud-based or server-centric data centers or cloud computing. Serverless computing architecture is flexible and economical. It offers greater scalability and a short turn-around time to release. Organizations save cost and time in planning infrastructure space, purchasing hardware, installation, and maintenance of servers.
Advantages of Serverless Computing
No server management
Since the vendor manages the physical server’s planning, installation, organizations, or developers need not worry about the physical server’s maintenance or DevOps. The labor and logistic costs are saved, and the organizations can re-invest them in opportunities that are productive or areas that give returns.
Serverless computing can scale automatically as per demand or usage increases. If a function needs to be run in multiple instances, the service provider’s servers will start, run, and end them as they are needed, using the concept of containers.
Code only runs when backend functions are needed by the serverless application, and the code automatically scales up as needed. There are server services that can track finer, and smaller details or timings of the server used and provide better and more accurate expenses. This results in heavy savings compared to the conventional server system where organizations must bear operational expenses of servers irrespective of their usage.
Performance for continuously running code
If an application is using code regularly, then the performance will be the same on a serverless environment compared to a traditional server environment, irrespective of the number of instances being run in parallel. If the code is continuously running it might need a short cycle to start called the “warm start”.
Since the code and application are hosted on an origin server, the code can be run from anywhere and very close to the origin server, thus decreasing the latency.
Faster deployment and easy updates
In a serverless environment, since the code is maintained in the cloud, developers can quickly and easily update their code to develop and release newer versions of the application. Developers can choose to upload the code either one function at a time or all at once because the application is typically a collection of functions provisioned by the service provider.
This helps in applying and releasing the patches or updates with bug fixes or new features quite fast.
Disadvantages of serverless computing
“Multitenancy” – means sharing the same infrastructure with multiple and independent end-users like sharing HW resources in serverless computing. So, in a serverless environment, during the sharing of resources across different end-users, if the multi-tenant servers are not configured properly, it can result in potential security breaches and data theft or misuse. But if configured and maintained correctly, through proper vetting it can reap benefits.
Costly for long-running processes
If the applications are designed to run for long durations, then sometimes the cost using serverless compute, may overwhelm compared to using traditional server services. So, the benefits of serverless computing would be trimmed to applications meant to run for short durations.
Challenges in testing and debugging
It is challenging to simulate a serverless environment to experience how the code will execute once deployed. And with no access to the backend processes or the application is broken into smaller functions, sometimes developers may find it hard to test or debug the issues.
Performance degrades for irregular runs
There may be cases where the serverless code may not be constantly running in which case, to boot up and start the code, might take considerable time, and impact the performance. This is called a “cold start”.
Single vendor dependency
Cloud service provider selection should be depending on the more open and generic APIs that the features and workflows offer, giving us an option for easy switching to other vendors if need be. Sticking to one serverless cloud service provider can often be risky for unforeseen circumstances.
When do you need a serverless architecture?
Serverless architecture is most preferred for developers if:
1. They want to reduce their go-to-market time.
2. Build lightweight and flexible applications.
3. Apps need to be scalable or updated frequently and quickly.
4. Apps have inconsistent usage, peak periods, or traffic.
5. App functions need to be closer to the end-user to reduce latency.
When should you avoid using a serverless architecture?
Large applications running for longer durations or having consistent and predictable workloads may better be benefitted from a traditional server compared to a serverless architecture both in terms of cost and architecture.
Inovar implements Serverless Cloud Computing
Achieving business goals with a collaborative approach and tailoring the use of apt cloud computing technology infrastructure is very important.
We provided many of our customers with better infrastructure, ensured effortless and uninterrupted operations. We delivered all the features that would help find information for the SMEs and enable them with the right guidance. For many of our clients, we have digitalized the entire process with end-to-end workflow applications. Inovar helped a few clients to deploy a hybrid cloud solution for data security and access control and boosted processes with serverless engines.
We ensured that the client’s services are met and addressed to the business needs with improved user experience and substantial cost savings. If you are looking for services with the best-in-class infrastructure and leaders who ensure strategy lives for ages, reach out to us.
Take full advantage of the cloud computing model by containerizing the applications and building microservices for agility, flexibility, reproducibility & transparency.
Build new applications and modernize the existing ones in accordance with the principles of the cloud that are optimized for the utilization of product development & faster service delivery to your customers.
Benefits of Cloud-Native Application Platform
1. Faster Release
The faster an organization can conceive; build & ship software determines their market stand against the competition.
User demand for new functions grows faster than your development processes can meet. You need a platform, methods, application services, and tools that can keep up without forcing you to leave behind the existing apps that your customers depend on. Cloud development methods – DevOps and agile – also guide cloud projects forward at a fast pace and resolve bottlenecks in a short time.
2. Easy Management
Serverless platforms like Azure function & AWS Lambda take the hassle out of managing infrastructure so that you don’t worry about configuring the networks, allocating storage, or provisioning cloud instances, etc. as an example.
3. Cost Savings
Standardization of infrastructure & tooling across many cloud platforms helps reduce costs for organizations by containerizing the applications independent of the platform. An example of such is the open-source Kubernetes platform which is standard for managing resources on the cloud.
4. System Reliability
By using approaches like Microservices & Kubernetes you can build applications that are fault-tolerant with self-healing built-in. These approaches prevent an entire application from being affected or taken down when a technical failure hits thus allowing you to isolate and work on the impacted area alone.
Who doesn’t want the business to grow? With a growing business comes a growing scale of application use. Cloud-native development allows you to be worry-free of the growing scalability by optimizing the applications scale automatically with you paying only for the services used.
Are you looking for some consultation on how you can achieve the above benefits? Email your queries or get in touch with one of our representatives & we’d love to get back to you.
About Inovar Consulting
Inovar delivers state-of-the-art smart solutions through its Consulting evangelists who help businesses identify and integrate emerging technologies and software initiatives that create a trusted customer experience and camaraderie.
SaaS or Software as a Service is making a buzz in almost every industry, and logistics is no exception. Businesses across the globe prefer SaaS-based logistics software instead of investing in developing on-premises software that might take several months or even a year to build. To understand why this shift is happening- let’s first understand what are the problems the logistics industry is facing? And how SaaS-based applications can be a perfect solution for them.
SaaS is a mechanism of transferring software to everyone (individual or business) over the internet. In this nature of software licensing and release model, the license of the software can be availed periodically. The software is centrally introduced in the cloud, and the individual, availing SaaS access through any compatible browser.
Present industry challenges:
Transportation and logistics industries are constantly struggling with challenges- like complex competition, changing customer expectations, and leveraging digitization to succeed. Lack of ‘digital culture and training is thus the biggest challenge for these companies. Attracting the right skills is one issue, but developing the right strategy is even more crucial.
Besides, an increasingly competitive environment is another dominant factor in the mix. Some of the sector’s customers are springing logistics services of their own, and different competitors to the business are shaping out more profitable aspects of the value chain by exploiting digital technology or brand-new ‘sharing’ business models. They don’t have asset-heavy balance sheets or cumbersome existing arrangements weighing them down.
There is no other industry where so many experts ascribe vast influence on data and analytics in the next five years than transportation and logistics. There are vast possibilities to enhance performance and serve customers better, and LSPs who are part of a digitally integrated value chain can benefit from significantly increased forecasting to scale up capacity or down and plan routes. Adding machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to data analytics can deliver truly dynamic routing.
One of the most promising ways for transportation companies to improve their workflows and find new ideas for business growth is using a custom SaaS system. These systems guarantee more agile data processing and greater automation of operations than out-of-the-box solutions. They also allow companies to build only the features they need.
From streamlining processes to increasing visibility in the supply chain, their pertinence has grown in quality. According to Statista, 87% of logistics and supply chain firms are tapping into cloud-based solutions to facilitate transportation management and gain an edge in an ever-changing marketplace.
Businesses can optimize SaaS solutions to automate the logistics workflow and free employees from performing routine tasks connected with paperwork.
Logistics is a sphere of multitasking and multiprocessing. Robust SaaS solutions are essential for tracking details and conducting analysis, which helps businesses detect issues and optimize their work. They are designed to simplify and manage complicated logistics problems by taking an integrated, end-to-end approach. The functionality enables optimal route planning, reductions in fuel costs, and significant improvements in asset utilization
Logistics companies gain real-time visibility from SaaS solutions into logistics processes and data, assisting businesses to keep their operations under command. SaaS logistics solutions support companies to reach a more predictable supply chain, while companies can associate in the cloud to cooperate efficiently.
SaaS solutions empower operators to access high-level route planning abilities on demand, encouraging them to avoid the high capital cost investment and the in-house IT staffing required for superior systems integration. We can directly scale them up or down according to business needs without infrastructure changes as they are delivered as a service.
Inovar optimized SaaS solution for logistics
Inovar joined hands with fleet operators to manage their logistics operations and apply technology for making their workflow automated. With an AI-powered SaaS solution, we gave fleet operators ways to predict demand, optimize vehicle usage, and give them real-time tracking of their vehicles from both fleet operators and consumers.
Our first aim was to bring all stakeholders Markets, Warehouses, Traders, Ports, and Truckers under a single virtual platform and allow them to trade on-demand within an open marketplace.
Inovar brought Microsoft Azure IoT and machine learning services within a customized application that could build a connected platform for fleet operators. The solution could not only gather data efficiently but generate intelligence as it was used. Another remarkable feature was analytics and event hubs that captured data used in a Databricks platform to generate insights. Using these insights, system booking, scheduling, predictive maintenance cycles became 70% easier than before.
Finally, the system went live with 1000+ vehicles, and the logistics client started to reap ROI from multiple avenues. Within 3 months, the efficiency of their operations improved by 30% with better security, high scalability, and faster availability from the end-user.
Summing up, we can say that cloud logistics automation is beneficial to all participants in the supply chain. It allows you to easily solve complex problems, so its popularity will only grow every year. As a logistics software development partner, we solve many standard and custom needs of the transportation industry from Business as well as Technology perspectives. After many years spent in the logistics domain, our dedicated development team learned specific details and gained experience that can be used to effectively help you with any of your logistics software that you need to develop.
InovarTech is ready to improve your automation experience. With our brilliant forms and streamlined workflows, you will be fit to tackle process technologies and know-how to adapt them to your institution. Reach out to us today to get started. You can take comfort because we know process automation and how to implement them effectively. Let us deliver high-volume processes to your doorstep.
The pandemic has changed how people around the world live, work, and engage with each other. In late 2019 when covid-19 struck the world, affecting millions of people all over the planet — the healthcare industry was hit the most. The pressing need for resources, information, cost optimization, and supply chain inefficiencies in the sector calls for a major technology overhaul. Therefore, embracing new-age digital technologies is key for healthcare providers in addressing the immediate concerns and driving long-term goals.
Automation makes a revolutionary process change in most of the industries, that has the same or even more potential for the healthcare sector. Introduction of Business Process automation can streamline the healthcare system for simplicity, increase service quality, and manage pen and paper-based manual tasks, saving time and cost without the slightest glitch.
Challenges in Healthcare
Application Disparity: Modern healthcare is a complex environment where many disparate applications work. The complexities also grow with the business. With mergers and acquisitions, modern technologies are adopted to meet new challenges. In this situation managing all technology becomes quite difficult for the healthcare IT departments and business users.
For example, in most healthcare sectors, patient data transfer is still carried out manually in the form of files and documents from one department to another. As the volumes of data are generally high, compiling them in one single process is a tedious and lengthy process. Not to forget, since they are done manually, there is always scope for multiple human errors and miscalculations. The greater the rate of error, the more the cost will be for rectification.
Lack of efficiency in patient service is another challenge that can be a barrier to your organization’s growth and reputation. In most scenarios, customer care executives are busy with paper works and other files and documents compilation that they lack prompt and timely delivery of services to the customers.
I hope you can relate to the problems I discussed above. So now I am going to share how automation becomes an integral part to solve some of healthcare challenges.
The business automation software works on all programs whether, new applications, legacy programs, cloud-based solutions, or on-prem.
BPA makes human-oriented processes much smoother with greater results like increased speed, productivity, and efficiency. Suppose for a patient, scheduling an appointment with a doctor usually happens online in a matter of minutes, but what happens behind the scenes is a bit more complicated. Healthcare institutions have to collect personal information, diagnosis, insurance details, and confirm the doctor’s availability. If the right information cannot be accessed during the registration process, or if the doctor is not available, it is up to the staff to inform the patient beforehand.
Implementing automation can resolve some of the bottlenecks related to scheduling patient appointments. Bots can automate patient data collection and processing, so patients can be optimally scheduled according to diagnosis, location, doctor availability, and other criteria. By simplifying appointment scheduling, healthcare institutions can focus their efforts on providing exceptional service and other tasks that cannot be automated. Automation tools also enable customer care executives to take the assistance of such tools with automated call and email options.
Inovar proposed Automation Solutions with better ROI
Something similar also happened with one of our US healthcare clients. They were also facing customer support challenges during the pandemic. They were primarily using a pen and paper-based system for information collection and symptom analysis. After the outbreak of the virus, a lot of patients started asking for support in their chatbot regarding diagnosis, vaccination, and other medical support.
With a lot of restrictions, it becomes necessary to give patients the capability to run the assessments on their own from the comfort of their homes. Remote work capability also became especially important, and they needed an infrastructure through which they can achieve that.
To manage the entire scenario, they required VPN, which was not designed for such large-scale use resulting in low bandwidth and frequent outages. Additionally, a lot of the content and manual workflows required the physical presence of the employees on the hospital premises that was quite impossible at that moment.
In this critical situation, the first hurdle to cross was to get them to a cloud-based solution to ride care facilities across all their nation-level operations and provide the best health support to patients. This would make remote work possible for the hospital staff in case they were showing symptoms and had to quarantine at home.
In this situation, Inovar helped a leading US healthcare organization to automate their Covid-19 Helpdesk and Registration process from a pen and paper-based manual system to a cloud-based automated solution.
SharePoint Online became the choice of the platform along with Power Platform as their primary productivity technologies allowed them to create a technology framework with a built-in rapid growth mechanism and assist hospital staff to manage the entire remote work process.
With the implementation of the initial solution, the healthcare organization was also facing challenges to roll out the solution in all other locations of the US that becomes much fair with SharePoint and the power platform.
A simple but practical experience gained a high adoption rate within the healthcare organization. The organization’s IT team also considered it as the best rollout experience with almost a zero-touch provisioning and deployment strategy. Ultimately, with all these solutions 90% of their remote and quarantined caregivers were able to serve the patients over remote calls and Online consultation.
The digitization of call centers was a major bonus as it consisted of Automated Diagnosis for Covid, automatic decision-making capabilities, and other similar tools that ensured self-help services that were non-existent before. This resulted in a reduction of 70% in phone calls.
Businesses transitioning from manual processes to comprehensive workload automation tend to go through several phases on their automation journey. If you are also facing the same difficulties within your organization, then Inovar is the best partner to collaborate with and make your automation journey smoother. Feel free to reach out to us we would love to collaborate!
With the fast pace of cloud changes, cloud lock-in remains a popular refrain. But do you know what does it mean? How can you make sure that you’re boosting your cloud investment at the same time maintaining portability in mind?
In this article, we are going to talk about how business owners and analysts will strategize the best cloud approach to maximize their ROI and gain ten times better solutions with the proper cloud architecture.
Cloud bursting! Hybrid cloud! On & Off-premises! Multi-cloud! Cloud strategists, analysts, and architects are aware of these phrases over the past ten years. Each of them makes logical sense, but in recent times, it’s the last – multi-cloud – that I’ve seen in actual practice the most.
If you are not clear about what multi-cloud is — let me explain!
What is multi-cloud?
Multi-cloud is the utilization of two or more public and/or private cloud providers to assist the IT services and infrastructure of an organization. A multi-cloud strategy typically consists of a mix of primary public cloud providers particularly, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft (Azure), IBM, and Alibaba.
Businesses that embrace a multi-cloud architecture may leverage various public clouds in combination with private cloud deployments and traditional on-premises infrastructure.
Organizations prefer the best services from each cloud provider based on values, technical specifications, geographic availability, and other factors. Each day, every organization practices multiple types of data and diverse applications. Most of the cloud vendors specialize in a particular area, so being able to use different clouds encourages companies with the agility they need. This may mean that a company uses Google Cloud for development/test while using AWS for disaster restoration and Microsoft Azure to concoct business analytics data.
What is a multi-cloud strategy?
A multi-cloud environment can combine SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS deployments from more than one public or private cloud service provider to meet an organization’s technical and business needs.
For example, many businesses initially jump into the cloud tepidly, at least one small service or application at a time. Shortly, this converts unwieldy, and you have to clean up your cloud sprawl. Hence, you need a strategy.
A multi-cloud approach empowers organizations to advance the efficiency of their IT spending and business operations by preferring an appropriate service and provider for each use case. The main concern of every organization is to reflect their needs are and align their needs with the best cloud providers applying a multi-cloud strategy. The forester industry analysts conducted an in-depth analysis of over 600 cloud strategy professionals to determine the leading use cases for multi-cloud architecture.
Below we have discussed the modern use cases for a greater understanding—
- Selectively deploying application workloads over multiple public and private clouds depends on the application and business needs.
- Combining on-premises infrastructure and services from multiple public clouds in a hybrid cloud environment.
- Evolving API-consistent cloud architecture across both public and private clouds.
- Developing data-center abilities and extending disaster recovery capabilities.
- Governing access to cloud-based data, applications, and services within a specific control portal.
- Advancing applications with components deployed to various cloud platforms.
You can have highly available apps existing in one ideal cloud solution and actually sensitive data that you don’t need to access often in a different cloud solution applying the best multi-cloud approach. This one might be slower but more secure—and that’s OK!
The continuous IT investment will optimize multi-cloud architecture and deployments to recognize actual strategic advantages and aspirations. Are you interested in a closer look at seven of the most influential drivers for multi-cloud investment?
Reasons Organizations Choose a Multi-Cloud Strategy
Recent Forrester research found that almost 80% of enterprises describe their strategy as a hybrid/multi-cloud one. Multi-cloud is quickly establishing itself to be the prospect of business across every sector. To prevent vendor lock-in, drive down costs, and ensure agility, many organizations are now looking to multiple clouds for their operational needs.
According to the same research, only 42% of organizations regularly optimize their cloud spending, and only 41% maintain an approved service catalog. So, it is always important to remember that without a strong understanding of what is being used and where organizations risk circumventing the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy and settling themselves with high budgets and security risks.
Avoiding Vendor Lock-In
Vendor lock-in occurs when an organization faces too much complexity to transfer its business apart from one cloud service provider to another provider or even bring its data back on-premises.
Organizations that rely on a single cloud service provider normally develop applications that depend profoundly on the unique potentials of that vendor. As those organizations broaden their investment in that single cloud, switching providers becomes more expensive, complex, also takes an enormous time.
In contrast, organizations that already have devoted themselves to a multi-cloud strategy purposely plan for agility and flexibility between multiple cloud providers. With the adaptability to move applications between multiple public cloud vendors, organizations are poised to take recognition of new technologies from all providers and adopt the well-functioning or most cost-effective services for specific application workloads.
Choosing a multi-cloud strategy can help your business avoid vendor lock-in, take support of new and better technologies from other providers, and adopt the most cost-effective and performance-enhanced compute or storage resources for each workload.
Overcoming Data Gravity
Data performs a significant role in daily operations for thousands of businesses. Organizations have traditionally kept their data in on-premises data centers where it could be spelled out by legacy applications, but in the cloud computing era, more are preferring to regulate data in the cloud and analyze them with cloud-based applications.
The term “Data Gravity” refers to the concept that large data sets are troublesome and expensive to move or migrate. If your organization keeps a large volume of data with a single cloud service provider, data gravity could push you to deploy related apps and services with the same provider—even when there are more cost-effective options accessible in another cloud.
Overcoming data gravity is as manageable as utilizing a cloud-attached storage solution that combines multiple clouds simultaneously. The best solutions minimize latency by hosting your data close to cloud data centers.
Better workload optimization
Whenever you approach any public cloud service provider, they offer their blend of physical infrastructure components and application services with versatile functionality, usage characteristics, terms & conditions, and pricing. They also release new features regularly to make their services more efficient, cost-effective, and attractive to customers.
Henceforth single cloud provider can’t claim to provide cost-optimized services that cover every potential business need or use case. But when you switch to a multi-cloud strategy, you can choose the most suitable cloud service provider for each application or workload, leading to enhanced application performance and improved cost-efficiency.
Elevating application performance
When cloud-based application services are released from servers at separate locations, data must travel across several network nodes before entering the user. In this pathway, slow data transfers may degrade application performance and negatively affect the user experience because of high network latency.
The market leaders of public cloud service providers (AWS, Azure, & Google Cloud) operate multiple data stations in geographically different regions, establishing a network of availability hotspots that deliver high-speed service to worldwide customers and users. By affirming a multi-cloud strategy and leveraging cloud services from the above one vendor, organizations can enter new geographies and implement better application and data performance for their users, wherever they are located.
Curbing Shadow IT
When autonomous business units within an organization select any technological solutions without the supervision of the IT department, shadow IT happens. Shadow IT leads to security concerns, notably whenever staff members use unsecured platforms outside of the organizational firewall to transact sensitive data. Based on the Gartner prediction in 2020, 30% or more successful cyberattacks will target Shadow IT resources within enterprise organizations.
Organizations that are now adopting a multi-cloud approach can speed up their adoption of cloud services that drive employee productivity and collaboration, reducing the inducement for employees to execute new technologies without going through the channels.
Enhance disaster recovery capabilities!
A good number of public cloud service providers offer 99.5% uptime as part of their service level agreements — yet unplanned brownouts happen, and they can be extremely costly. According to a 2019 IT survey, it has been observed that organizations experienced an average of 830 minutes of unplanned downtime during the year, with an average cost of $5.6 million.
Organizations can respond to unplanned service outages by failing over their workloads from one public cloud to another with the help of a multi-cloud strategy. We provide our clients a customized solution on their failover models based upon application-specific needs, taking advantage of trade-offs between cost and performance to achieve a fully optimized disaster recovery strategy.
Meeting regulatory compliance and requirements
More organizations than ever now desire to meet regulatory compliance provisions referred to as data localization or data residency. Data localization laws may prohibit organizations from exporting data about a nation’s residents to other countries, requiring that the data be processed and locked away in the same region where it was collected.
Organizations can observe data localization or residency laws through a multi-cloud strategy by taking the assistant of cloud service providers with regional accessibility zones and data storage infrastructure.
Why should you choose Inovar to run your strategy?
Multi-cloud strategies are inherently complex. Legacy systems, disparate data sources, and different applications may start creating a unified plan for a momentous task. That’s why, to have multi-cloud perfect, more and more companies are searching for partners to help. The bespoke partners known as managed services providers help organizations embrace the cloud with speed, accuracy, and security.
There are many service providers out there. How do you understand which one is most competent for your organization?
According to the latest Forrester Wave: Multi-cloud Managed Services Providers report, enterprises should consider managed services providers that meet three criteria:
First, the provider should be able to uphold the organization during its entire cloud journey, from initial planning to migration, execution, and monitoring. At Inovar, we provide end-to-end services. We always try to know our pain points, requirements and suggest to you the best-suited solution. We offer you the supervision that you need to select the right capabilities to accomplish your business objectives- from cloud services to deployment, operation, and management.
Secondly, providers must have the strength to invest in capability expansion and continually be improving their efficiencies. Cloud is one of the broadest platforms where technology is emerging constantly. Considering this fact, we always keep an eye on what is coming and suggest the best design strategy for resilience and success for years to come.
We maintain an atmosphere where you can promptly innovate, develop, obtain the ideal data at the right time, transfer workloads around as required, and draw full advantage of the latest progressions in AI, automation, analytics, and more so you can constantly iterate and enhance everything from applications to business processes. Starting from setting up your strategy to apply the best-automated approach, we try to ensure real-time optimization and help you build the skill sets you need to become more cloud-native.
Third, providers must have explained qualifications and associations with primary cloud suppliers. Our vendor-agnostic strategy lets you connect with the best services from well-known providers: Inovar multi-cloud platform is accredited by partners including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure for superb delivery and compliance to industry standards. Here you can find multiple options on the combination of vendors and get what you need.
Since most organizations are in business to generate money, we can safely say a multi-cloud strategy contributes to cash flow by taking care of money. Usually, challenges and solutions become more complicated when people address them sound more complex. But having the most suitable plan and the best people will ensure that your strategy lives for a very long time. If you are also looking for the same please reach out to us, we would love to collaborate.
Change management is probably one of the critical parts of the business, but nowadays, it plays the role of champion for every workplace by establishing an end goal, improving profitability, and decreasing risk factors. Experts also explain change management as one of the ITIL processes responsible for controlling the life cycle of IT Infrastructure. According to Gartner, 95% of organizations successfully achieve change management objectives with an effective change management strategy.
The main objective of this process is to enable changes to be made while ensuring a minimum disruption in IT services. While delivering IT services, support teams follow the ITIL change management process to manage changes. But nowadays, the process has changed with the advent of Cloud services.
Now the question is how one organization should manage the change management process in the cloud–
Now cloud technologies are firmly established as the norm of the organization. Not only that but also organizations are tying digital transformation strategies to explore a more cloud-first approach. Organizations become more focused on the cloud-first approach not because of cost savings but speed up the delivery of new product and services, in line with the ever-changing customer needs and market dynamics.
An organization needs to adopt fresh thinking and take a break from the traditional norms of Change management for managing these changes. Moving to the cloud does not mean we are immune from the incidents that stem from changes. This means practices that support cloud changes we should apply appropriately to enjoy the cloud benefits.
Let’s take a look at considerations of managing change in the cloud.
1. Cloud-first environment facilitate the fast change process
Agility is the first term when you think about Cloud environments that facilitating speed when it comes to change. You can spin up an environment with the requisite capacity and software you need for your solution without any delay. This means that changes can be performed using a few clicks and operations, taking minutes rather than days.
It required adequate planning for capacity upgrades for the IT-savvy environment. It is not true of cloud environments, where auto-scaling ensures capacity can be upgraded automatically, on-demand.
Organizations can use a variety of automation, integration, and deployment tools in Cloud environments that allow the organization to make small, frequent changes. It results in low business risk and introduces business value at an increased rate. These include solutions such as:
To understand and prepare infrastructure for required changes, the cloud-native approach reduces the necessary change management effort. Also, the automation featuring cloud change and high velocity means routing change through a centralized repository—for logging all changes for categorization, prioritization, and approval – it takes a back seat due to the constraint it could turn on.
2. Apply best tools and strategy to control change management in the cloud:
Tools and automation are not enough for performing change management in the cloud. Without any control, businesses can face several challenges like validation of change and approval process which reduces the ability of enterprises to scale Cloud computing services quickly based on business demand. Apart from that, identifying the right balance for standard approvals and managing the extra expenses of cloud-based subscriptions become a burden for many organizations.
Before implementing any changes always, ask yourself: “What could go wrong? What will the impact be on related systems?” This step reinforces caution and may even cause you to rethink the change and attempt another safer avenue if the risk level is too high. This is not the end; you must set few standards for verification of success and formulate a backout plan to reverse the change(s) if something goes awry. Change management leaders can also test the overall change process in a structured environment starting from development to production system. The whole environment comprises a set of layers so that adverse change effects can be recognized and resolved before they go prime time.
Here are some of the best change management practices that a Change Management Lead can carry out during the transition and control the overall process-
- Align change management with SDLC – We can customize The SDLC process in the cloud environment depending on release time and the number of tasks. The change activities need to be aligned rightly and integrated with the SDLC stages to ensure a successful transition.
- Detect company drivers for cloud computing – The change management lead can review the company’s business case comprising drivers for moving to the cloud platform. It helps to define value, assessment, and even focus change management activities on vital performance indicators.
- A clear understanding of the new governance structure – A change management lead is responsible to ensure that the IT organization is on the same page regarding the new governance structure and maintain a continuation within the whole continually follow the new processes without creating any shadow practices.
- Structure correct expectations with the cloud user community – A change management lead needs to structure and manage correct expectations with the cloud user community to sidestep any later dissatisfaction due to unmet expectations.
3. New solution development through enablement approach:
Agile and DevOps are now the mainstream of solution development in the cloud where change management needs to move from a control perspective to one of enablement. These new approaches are self-managed in nature. For example, they repel any attempts to impose bureaucratic control—a hallmark of change management. Bespoke approaches rely on the iterative and regular deployment of new features and modifications, which can be delivered through continuous integration, delivery, and deployment processes.
Cloud technologies can reduce much complexity in the planning and execution of changes due to automation and visibility provided by these technologies.
Adoption of the cloud means that change management should now be geared towards exploiting these capabilities, therefore focusing on the development of appropriate change models. Cloud-focused change models would consider:
- Technical aspects
- Compliance requirements (data privacy and information security controls)
- Product ownership
- Additional concerns
These models facilitate faster planning, approval, and automated execution of changes within the cloud environment. Change management also dependable on the risk factor of these models. Like-
- Low and medium risk models would be fully automated, including appropriate checks.
- Whereas high-risk/cost changes would be routed automatically to the relevant authority for review and approval.
4. Change authorities need to adjust
There is a couple of change authority which dependable on the type of changes. For example, if your change significant to high cost and risk, you need to go all the way to the board for approval, while a low-level change might just require the data center manager.
Change Advisory Board (CAB), a well-known authority in IT changes, became the de facto target for bureaucracy in change management where their decision-making process was not organized to support speed in delivery of business value through change.
Product and infrastructure teams must have greater autonomy in prioritizing what changes should be executed to facilitate speed in a cloud environment. The exercise of control is only applicable when the risk and expense go beyond the set threshold. If the team is within the limit and based on agreed models, freedom to make changes will be granted. Sometimes organizations prefer the authority of internal peer reviews on decision making for changes to code or environments rather than having a centralized external CAB. The giant MNCs like Google also prioritize the internal self-managed capability instead of reliance on external authority.
So, in a cloud environment, the visibility of change becomes the focus for higher-level change authorities, who are outside the product or infrastructure teams. Here are the few suggestions to authorize change management by tracking cloud monitoring dashboards:
- What changed
- Whether compliance requirements are met
- Metrics, especially those indicative of the velocity of changes such as the percentage of fully automated changes
Whenever a change causes an influential incident, the higher-level change authority comes to the central play. In this situation, automated change workflows help in root cause analysis and suggest appropriate corrective action as per the result. This macro-level change authority will also coordinate and integrate the teams who manage cloud environments, and the product development teams.
Change management process in the cloud:
Change management can be more complex in the cloud than on-premises but is not a lost cause. An organization can institute appropriate planning for the change management process to automate their services and incorporate iterative deployment models with the technologies like infrastructure as code. Apart from the technical aspects, organizations need to think about the coordination and communication of their staff to ensure everyone is on the same page. 38%* of employees who have experienced workplace transformation say that their employer communicated effectively about the changes. Some key steps will modify the existing change process with new methodologies.
a. Configure items in the cloud:
In a traditional IT environment where application updates and operating system patches are installed or deployed on a server, if an application suffers a fault, an engineer may be tasked to investigate the root cause, apply a fix, or deploy a new server. In the AWS cloud, one can use Auto Scaling groups to automate the whole process. It detects the failures automatically using pre-defined health checks and automatically replaced servers with the same configuration.
The cloud-based tools can undertake configuration changes and track the management approval process. The tools can be adapted to approve or decline the additional configuration or subscription changes. Chef is a configuration management tool for information technology (IT) professionals, like you. Chef enables web IT easily by providing first-class support for managing cloud infrastructure.
Some organizations prefer the open-source system management tool Puppet, where the team can build up a blueprint of infrastructure that’s already there, define the desired changes and results and finally create the means to achieve this result.
On the other hand, using GitLab’s OCM methodology change management lead develops an agile change plan, assesses the risk and impact against every change. This configuration process helps change management leads to prepare a risk assessment plan and implement action in case of any emergency.
b. Initiate the change process:
After configuring all the required changes, it is time to implement changes in the cloud-hosted platform. Retain flexibility is one of the vital aspects of change management practice. For example, in a cloud computing scenario (like auto-scaling, DNS update) first, you should follow the pre-approved change tasks to reduce the delay in the approval process while retaining flexibility in the change process. Organizations must maintain communication across the affected groups to succeed with cloud change management so that employees understand the expectations, benefits, and effects of releases. A controlled CI/CD pipeline standardizes points of communication between teams at the time of code creation, delivery, and deployment. The cloud team documents the right way to execute all changes to cloud-hosted applications by building a CI/CD pipeline with parameters around each step.
With AWS CloudFormation, organizations can apply DevOps and GitOps best practices using widely adopted processes such as starting with a git repository and deploying through a CI/CD pipeline.
Now, organizations can quickly deliver results to their customers by using Azure App Service with a CI/CD pipeline to push each of their changes automatically to Azure App Service. Azure DevOps tools give you the best way to balance speed and security and quickly deliver code at scale.
c. Automate the deployment:
Another important consideration is understanding the business risk when deploying any changes in the cloud platform. Standards change requests which are within predefined rules, parameters, and cost limits can be automated easily. This step makes the change services more elastic, scalable and helps to retain customer benefit. Now you may be confused about which tool will be the best choice for you. To make it easier, here are a few options for you.
Jenkins is one of the fastest-growing open-source automation servers, provides hundreds of plugins to support building, deploying, and automating any changes in projects. The Jira Cloud plugin for Jenkins will automate your change management processes applying deployment tracking and deployment gating, which can be used separately or in combination within a single Jenkins pipeline. Using this tool, you can create, update, or transition change requests, perform risk assessments and trigger the approvals based on risk, impact, or affected service.
The combination of GitHub actions and Pulumi is now the most recommended choice for change management leads. The combination gives teams a hassle-free, automated solution for deployment of cloud applications and infrastructure to any cloud infrastructure, only using code and Git.
Puppet is impressive to developers for its ability to automate the remote management of many systems to ensure reproducibility. Puppet has been used by 42%** of businesses that use DevOps methodologies, followed closely by Chef with 37%. The tool gains popularity that other DevOps programs, as it does more than automate system administration. It changes the human workflow and enables developers and system administrators to work together. Programmers can write, test, and launch applications without waiting on Ops staff to deliver the resources needed. Puppet also ensures that each of those systems does not divert from a source of truth. An organization can be confident that all their systems have the same setup, and if other people try to modify them, Puppet will set them straight.
Chef system integration framework allows people to configure change items and automate the whole deployment process. Let us explain a scenario, suppose you have shifted your office into a different environment, and you wanted your system administrator to install, update and deploy software on hundreds of systems overnight. If your system engineer does this task manually, then there are chances of human errors, and maybe some software does not work accurately. At this stage, Chef- a powerful automated will help you transfer infrastructure into code. The tool automated the application configuration, deployment, and management throughout the network, even if we are operating it on cloud or hybrid. Chef also helps to speed the application deployment. Developers consider it as a great tool for accelerating software delivery, speed up software development and refer to how quickly the software can change in response to new requirements or conditions.
d. Track and record all changes.
The final step is generating a tracking system that can track and record all changes made in Cloud including the ability to generate reports for tracking and reviewing trends for further action. Hence, you can maintain a track record and get updates using the below options.
For example, GitLab’s OCM methodology helps to analyze team members’ engagement and communicate the changes to track results.
Using Jenkins, one can notify stakeholders or end-users of changes in real-time, via email, Slack, or any other medium. The tool also updates a change request when implementation is complete, including whether it was successful. Change management lead can also monitor the entire system and track their desired result using the open-source system puppet.
Wrap up thoughts!
The best way to sum up how the cloud affects IT service delivery is that it changes everything—including, of course, how we manage change. Implementing Change Management in Cloud using processes and tools can reduce service interruptions especially those related to Configuration Management. May be organization can face some common difficulties in implementing change management in the cloud platform. But we hope the above process and tools will help them to confront challenges and ensure change management success.
If you are still not sure how to implement the change process in your cloud infrastructure feel reach out to us — we would love to collaborate!
* Smarp.com “Trust in the Workplace: Why It Is so Important Today and How to Build It” Retrieved from: https://blog.smarp.com/trust-in-the-workplace-why-it-is-so-important-today-and-how-to-build-it#:~:text=Employers%20should%20partner%20with%20their%20employees%20on%20change.&text=Still%2C%20only%2038%25%20of%20employees,changes%20their%20organization%20would%20face. On Jan 23, 2020,
** What is Puppet? And why should you consider it for your cloud and servers? Retrieved from:https://www.hpe.com/us/en/insights/articles/what-is-puppet-and-why-should-you-consider-it-for-your-cloud-and-servers-1711.html#:~:text=Puppet%20is%20used%20by%2042,multiple%20application%20servers%20at%20once. On May 10, 2020
Cloud migration typically refers to the process of moving digital assets- like Data, workloads, IT resources, or application from on-premises to the cloud infrastructure. According to Gartner, Inc. forecast, the worldwide public cloud service market has grown 17% in 2020 to a total of $266.4* billion. But the problem is in migrating applications to the public cloud, IT teams are confronting two separate but related issues that add costs and complexity: refactoring and repatriation. Let us look at the reasons behind avoid refactoring and repatriation before we delve into the probable solutions for the cloud migration journey.
Why business avoid Refactoring
Refactoring applications frequently happen when you are looking at custom-built apps. With the approach of refactoring, you will have to rewrite the code and completely re-engineer your application from scratch to make the application more cloud ready. APIs and integrations with computing, storage, and network resources are also included under the refactoring process.
Refactoring turns legacy apps into cloud-native apps, makes it more feasible for developers to use modern tools such as containers and microservices, and saves money in the long run. Although this approach makes an application more scalable and responsive than on-premises counterparts, it takes a lot of additional time and resources, meaning your upfront costs are going to be much higher. The chances of risks are high because the IT team needs to be careful that they are not impacting the external behavior of the application while rewriting the code.
IT team can apply the lift and shift method for moving an application from the data center to the cloud and avoid the process of refactoring completely. This method simplifies the migration process, saves time and cost, and accelerates the shift to the cloud. They can also use pervasive automation to make the lift-and-shift migration as seamless as possible.
Apart from that, IT consultants can leverage a cloud platform that tightly integrates on-premises infrastructure with cloud management software. By using the Microsoft Azure platform as a migration path, IT can build a cloud strategy that delivers agility and cost optimization. This holistic approach will not only help you navigate the journey successfully but also ensure that your organization releases new benefits including, agility, scale, and efficiency, especially when your workloads are running in the cloud.
Why business avoid Repatriation
“Unclouding” or “repatriation” is the process of pushing back application workloads and data from the public cloud to local infrastructure environments within an on-premises data center. As mentioned by TechTarget, concerns about operating costs, availability, changing business needs, security and compliance, and cloud-based workload performance are the most common reasons for repatriation.
Repatriation is also too expensive and time consuming that businesses want to avoid. Initially, the organizations go through the expense of migrating an app to the cloud then they realize it is spending too much money in the cloud and bearing other issues. Finally, they decide to go through the expense of migrating that application back to the data center. The whole process ultimately creates a lot of difficulties and confusion for the business.
The cost of repatriation may vary as per the application, workload, and company infrastructure. According to a survey result, one company can save almost $75** million in infrastructure costs over two years by moving apps to the data center from the cloud. Moreover, it would reduce operational costs 66% by reducing downtime and increasing capacity by 25%**. Sometimes even IT experts face troubles understanding the complexities of the public cloud. AWS, Azure, and other public cloud vendors are even offering a gateway to the public cloud and back with solutions like AWS Outpost and Azure Stack. Businesses can consider using Azure Import/Export to securely import or export large amounts of data to Azure Blob storage and Azure files by shipping disk drives to an Azure data center.
Simplifying the cloud migration path The migration to the cloud does not have to be difficult if an organization executed proper planning. Choosing the right cloud platform can also increase speed and reduce risk. We hope the below three simple steps will help every enterprise in advanced migration.
Step 1: Assess your application inventory carefully
First, an organization needs to plan a proper assessment that will categorize the application portfolio into different groups (like modern apps, legacy apps, or everything else including, Java, .NET, web applications) and include an assessment of the dependencies or ecosystem around the application. In Inovar Consulting, we first communicate with our clients to understand the physical and virtual server configurations, security and compliance requirements, existing support, network topology, and data dependencies. It helps us to see where to begin for maximum results and create a proper strategy plan as per the present needs.
Step 2: Create a proper plan
The best way to avoid the costs and complexities of refactoring and repatriation is to do a thorough analysis of the applications. Before suggesting any migration path, we ask the below questions and encourage our customers to think beyond the applications.
- What are the business goals, and why are you considering the cloud?
- What is the architecture of the application? Does it follow the cloud-native principles for high availability?
- What are the interdependencies between each app and workload?
- What tools are being used to manage and enforce the security policies around the application?
- How much will the migration cost and, once it is completed, what will be the ongoing operational costs?
- How much you aware of the underlying topology and performance characteristics?
You have to prioritize the migration based on the answers to this question. For example, you may decide that the application is better served by incorporating public cloud services in a hybrid cloud model that involves a lift-and-shift migration. Or if the analysis determines that refactoring is mandatory then, it is vital to choose the right migration path so you can avoid repatriation in the future.
Step 3: Migrate quickly to cover the cost
As per our past experiences, we have seen the most cost-effective path to the cloud often, that approach ends up costing more in the long run. The reason is during migration organizations are bearing two infrastructures, incurring costs on both sides. If organizations want to cover the cost and begin to realize savings, then speedy migration with mitigated risks is the best approach for them. The statistics show organizations can see 40 to 60%*** operational cost savings when moving enterprise applications to a managed private or public cloud service.
Taking the next step to the future
Refactoring and repatriation are complex issues for organizations. But in most cases, cloud migration suffers because enterprises do not have the experience, knowledge, or resources to undertake the analysis, set the specific requirements, and make the best decision for the long term.
Now, cloud migration has become most crucial for digital transformation and for embracing to future technology trends. Therefore, it is the best time to enlist the expertise of your trusted partners can have a dramatic impact on your success.
If you are still confronting with the questions Refactor? Repatriate? Lift-and-shift? Then, it’s time to reach us to find out how the combination of cloud-first strategy and Azure technology platform can simplify your cloud migrations.
*Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 17% in 2020 Retrieved from Gartner.com
**Malachy. J, (2019) Psst. Hey. Hey you. We have to whisper this in case the cool kidz hear, but… it’s OK to pull your data back from the cloud Retrieved from TheRegister.com
***Pierrefricke (2019) 3 Steps to Simplify Application Migration to the Cloud Retrieved from Rackspace.com
The public cloud is fast becoming the platform of choice for IT leaders and their line-of-business counterparts. While the pace of the move to on-demand IT continues to quicken, CIOs are faced with a bewildering option of providers and services. The absence of a common framework for assessing Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), combined with the fact that no two CSPs are the same, complicates the process of selecting one migration tool that is right for your organization. Majority rely on public cloud infrastructure due to a shared responsibility model such that the cloud service providers take care of the cloud itself while you focus on what’s in the cloud i.e. your data and applications. But how do you choose which public cloud provider will be helpful to your organization?
The field has a lot of competitors in it – mainly Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure dominate the cloud industry. AWS has been in the game the longest, capturing about 33%* of the market share with Microsoft in the 2nd position with 13% market shares. A superficial glance might lead you to believe that AWS has an unprecedented edge over Azure, but a deeper look will prove the decision isn’t that easy.
AWS has always had an unprecedented upper hand as it was first launched in 2002, whereas Microsoft did not step into the Cloud market till 2010. Azure was not very well received at first and there were many challenges as AWS had more capital, more infrastructure, and better, more scalable services than Azure did. Moreover, Amazon added more servers to its cloud infrastructure and made better use of economies of scale. This was a setback for Microsoft, but the tide soon changed. Microsoft revamped its cloud offering and added support to a variety of programming languages and operating systems. Thus, making their system more scalable and now Azure is one of the leading cloud providers in the world.
Both Azure and AWS technologies have, in their own way, contributed to the welfare of society. NASA used the AWS Platform to make its huge repository of pictures, videos, and audio files easily discoverable in one centralized location, giving people access to images of galaxies far away. The Azure IoT Suite was used to create the Weka Smart Fridge, – an implementation of the Internet of Things as a medical device to improve the storage and distribution of vaccines throughout the supply chain, in healthcare companies. This has helped non-profit medical agencies ensure that their vaccinations reach people who otherwise don’t have access to these facilities.
To determine the best cloud service provider, one needs to take multiple factors into consideration, such as cloud storage pricing, data transfer loss rate, and rates of data availability, among others. A few principal elements to consider for almost every organization while choosing the right tool to migrate are:
Security – Consider what security features are offered free out-of-the-box for each vendor you’re evaluating, which additional paid services are available from the providers themselves, and where you may need to supplement with third-party partners’ technology. Most tools make that process relatively simple by listing their security features, paid products, and partner integrations on the security section of their respective websites. Security is a top concern in the cloud, so it is critical to ask detailed and explicit questions that relate to your unique use cases, industry, regulatory requirements, and any other concerns you may have.
Compliance – Next make sure you choose a cloud architecture platform that can help you meet compliance standards that apply to your industry and organization. Whether you are beholden to GDPR, SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or any other frameworks, make sure you understand what it will take to achieve compliance once your applications and data are living in a public cloud infrastructure. Be sure you understand where your responsibilities lie, and which aspects of compliance the provider will help you check off.
Architecture – When choosing a cloud provider, think about how the architecture will be incorporated into your workflows now and in the future. if your organization has already invested heavily in the Microsoft universe, it might make sense to proceed with Azure, since Microsoft gives its customers licenses and often some free credits. If your organization relies more on Amazon, then it may be best to look to them for ease of integration and consolidation. Additionally, you may want to consider cloud storage architectures when making your decision. When it comes to storage, both AWS and Azure have similar architectures and offer multiple types of storage to fit different needs, but they have different types of archival storage.
There are many motivations for evolving from an entirely on-prem infrastructure to a multiple or hybrid cloud architecture. From the very beginning of the cloud adoption process, hybrid cloud architectures allow enterprises to benefit from cloud economics and scalability without compromising data sovereignty. A multi cloud storage deployment also brings many benefits to the enterprise cloud, from avoiding vendor lock-in to accommodating mergers and acquisitions and optimizing price/performance.
Service Levels – This consideration is essential when businesses have strict needs in terms of availability, response time, capacity, and support. Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are an important element to consider when choosing a provider. It’s vital to establish a clear contractual relationship between a cloud service customer and a cloud service provider.
Costs – While it should never be the single or most important factor, there’s no denying that cost will play a big role in deciding which cloud service provider you choose. It’s helpful to look at both sticker price and associated costs. For AWS, Amazon determines price by rounding up the number of hours used. The minimum use is one hour. Azure bills customers on-demand by hour, gigabyte, or millions of executions, depending on the specific product. Serverless computing is a new cloud computing execution model in which the cloud provider runs the server, and dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application, rather than on pre-purchased units of capacity.
While the criteria discussed above won’t give you all the information you need, it will help you build a solid analytical framework to use when you are determining which cloud service provider you will trust with your data and applications. You can add granularity by doing a thorough analysis of your organization’s requirements to discover additional factors that will help you make an informed decision. This will be key to determining which provider will be the one that can deliver the features and resources that will best support your ongoing business, operational, security, and compliance goals.
*How to choose your cloud provider: AWS, Google or Microsoft? Revived from : ThreatStack.com
CRM (customer relationship management) has become a real buzzword in the 21st Century business world. If you never used this term before then, you might have heard it echoing in every business domain. When your business looks at every transaction through the eyes of the customer, then you must believe in the simple philosophy of CRM, “put the consumer first,” to increase loyalty for your company.
Now, it does not matter if your company employs 10 people or more than 100 people- CRM software can establish a closer connection with customers, provide professional customer services, and grow business further. Now, 72%* of companies have started investing in modern technology, such as CRM, in demand for better ROI.
What is cloud CRM?
Traditional CRM systems were in-house applications, but today newer systems are cloud-based, which means the application and data both are held on the CRM providers’ servers in a datacenter and accessed via an internet browser. This cloud-based CRM or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CRM has lots of technical and financial advantages. According to The International Data Corporation (IDC) reports, IT Cloud services have seen an impressive lift-off in 2020, which stands for a 23%* growth compared to the previous five years.
In other words, things have changed a lot even the word ‘software’ has moved to the cloud from its old earth-bound domain because it is the exact place where businesses should look for the CRM solution.
10 benefits of cloud CRM:
1. Hassle-free installation
The fear comes first in the mind of the business decision-maker that CRM comes with a complicated installation process. But it is no longer valid. The modern cloud-based CRM is worry-free even, no business case is required for it.
There is no need for hardware and software maintenance or even a permanent IT person on site. You can complete the installation, migration, and system upgradation remotely.
2. No Upfront Cost
Anything cannot get easier than cloud CRM usage. After buying the software packages, all you need to do is log-in with access code, ensure uninterrupted fast internet connection from everywhere, and arrange a device to perform work.
Moreover, Cloud CRM operates on the pay-as-you-go subscription model, which requires a minimal upfront investment. There is no need for local servers to run the CRM system. So, there is no capital cost, no server software, and no maintenance. Monthly fee for a Cloud CRM package can be as low as €37*. By monthly or quarterly payment, you can reduce the financial risk and improve your company’s cash flow
3. Enterprise Grade Security
Security is a serious concern of every business using web-based information storage. According to Forrester Research, 51%* of businesses are wary of use cloud solutions known as SaaS due to security concerns. Web CRM data is always stored in redundant regional data centers, that would not cause downtime or data loss for problems at one data center. Governing data centers and the policies are certified with ISO-27001 as well as being certified by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), Cloud Computing Matrix (CCM).
These can be hosted on Government cloud (gov-cloud) as well if it’s a government or federal organization. Online CRM providers are much aware of all security issues and offer advanced automatized back-up policies that have clear data recovery plans if a breach happens.
4. CRM on the Move
Accessibility of the system is all-important for the salesperson so; they want some platform that could enable them to interact with the CRM tool in a seamless fashion. Round-the-clock accessibility is the immense benefit of Cloud-based CRM because this platform permits us to gain access from everywhere, in anytime with internet connectivity.
It is reliable to make some urgent, yet game-changing sales call, or send an amended sales proposal, or find a contact’s number or send an e-mail from any device when you are out of the office.
5. CRM, Power of collaboration
Within the cloud CRM framework, users can work jointly without any interference. It accredits unique login credentials to each team member that makes it possible to open multiple accounts all at once. Every cloud-based CRM is associated with thousands of partners that build a collaborative ecosystem. Dynamics CRM has office 365 and other partners that create strong networking in the whole ecosystem and bring the power of collaboration. This collaborative system improves customer interaction by availing customer data across teams for multi-channel interactions and retaining existing clients.
6. Advanced AI capabilities and Dynamic Dashboard
AI apps across customer service and sales are the latest online capability of cloud CRM software not available in OnPremise. Moreover, the organization insight dashboard will give you a visual representation of how your business is performing in the market. Users can analyze market trends, clear up the quantities, calculate the activities, and build their dashboard with easy instructions. It will help to inspect the performance of your team directly on the dashboard.
7. Effective to employee productivity
A cloud-based CRM program increases productivity in the workplace because it allows a team to operate more efficiently without being fastened to the office desk while tracking its customers. It also highlights the pace of team engagement with customers to derive feedback. With real-time data collection, it speeds up delivery of actionable leads and increases productivity levels across the board.
8. Reliable operation
Every business needs to maintain a lot of confidential customer information, and they require a system that allows periodic data back up and easy access in case of system break down. Incidents like data crash almost never happens with Cloud CRM as all parts of the cloud are backed up. In fact, a web-based CRM system maintains operational efficiency 99.99%* of the time with a robust data recovery process if any data breach occurs.
9. Endowed with agility
All virtual business components may affect software agility. But Agile cloud CRM software enables continual system access regardless of the device and makes users capable of certain changes as per the convenience.
10. Adaptable integration process
In a modern business environment, demand for flexible integration is on top. Cloud CRM can be integrated easily with other applications or software, such as Gmail and Office 365 products, including MS Office. That makes Cloud-based CRM an even more appropriate choice for your business.
Online CRM in workforce management during global pandemic
The novel-coronavirus pandemic is marked by uncertainty, and employees are adopting new ways of working to operate the business during the pandemic. A CRM can offer a 360-degree view of clients and stakeholders and take quick steps to address critical issues to establish best practices. The addon functionality of cloud CRM scales up marketing functionality with personalization capabilities and provides self-service rollout plans in response to COVID-19.
Furthermore, an automated CRM system makes employee remote work more collaborative with a customized database for interacting with potential target audiences. It is the time to empower your staff with result-driven software tools like cloud CRM and uphill your brand during this global crisis.
* Plaksij. Z, 8 REASONS TO CHOOSE CLOUD-BASED CRM FOR YOUR BUSINESS Retrieved from: https://www.superoffice.com/blog/cloud-based-crm-for-small-business/