Cloud computing was popularized over a decade ago, but years later, it hasn't stopped feeling like the next new thing.
Cloud brings with it a perpetual sense of innovation - lightning fast updates, incredible vision over your data, and advancements like Machine Learning driving futuristic features. Over half of CIOs surveyed by Gartner last year reported they view cloud as an option or as part of a "cloud-first approach."
That's all very exciting, and holds a lot of potential for businesses to fundamentally improve how they work. And while potential is key for the future, businesses need results today. Cloud is shrouded in confusion and uncertainty by decision-makers who recognize its value, but are less clear on how they can exploit it in a way that helps them immediately while preparing for the future.
Enter the bimodal model. Bimodal simplifies your Cloud strategy into two approaches: one focused on stability and predictability, and one on innovation and exploration. Think of them as the yin and yang of Cloud computing - mode 1 ensures your daily business operations are running smoothly, your data is safe and secure, and addresses existing workloads and processes. Mode 2 is then able to focus entirely on the future, looking for innovation potential to increase speed, glean better insights from data, or take advantage of any other advancements.
A bimodal model can simplify your approach, but it's easy to feel like it's pulling your business in two directions. How do you compromise handling a legacy system versus investing in Cloud? When is the right time to migrate your on-premise data?
Below are 4 considerations to help frame your approach to a Cloud strategy.
1. How and where are you using Cloud services?
This helps to determine some general parameters for your Cloud computing use-cases. Consider things like the sensitivity of your data, the level of control you need over your system, different integration points between applications, and how these fit with available Cloud options.
2. Will you implement a private Cloud environment?
You should decide whether a private cloud environment will be required for your needs. Assess the level of control you will need at the management and infrastructure levels, and whether or not your environment has challenges that are unique enough to require your own implementation.
3. How will you manage hybrid and multi-Cloud solutions?
As an organization matures its Cloud environment, its Cloud model is likely to grow to include multiple Clouds, with data spread across on premise and virtual environments. Identifying best practices for management, governance and security early on can help avoid major IT maintenance later on, as architectures spanning multiple environments can quickly become complex.
4. How are you aligning application and architecture strategies with the Cloud?
Cloud still is the next new thing, and businesses can capitalize on that by intentionally aligning their applications with Cloud computing. Thinking bimodally, that means migrating your existing platforms and apps into the Cloud, while looking forward towards initiatives like cloud-optimization and cloud-native development.
Optimizing your IT costs is synonymous with having a robust and forward-looking Cloud strategy. And the sooner a strategy is taken from idea to implementation, the more prepared an organization is for the next big thing in Cloud.
Our practice leaders will be at Oracle OpenWorld 2018 - if you're attending, come talk Cloud strategy with us!