A new workplace: do you choose the private cloud or public cloud?

Are you planning on making big or small steps toward a digital transformation? If so, you are likely to want to migrate to the cloud, or you are already migrated. A large number of organizations have already made the step partially (for example, taken applications to a SaaS model) or are actively making plans to go from their old (on-premises) ICT environment to the Cloud. Going to the Cloud also allows you to wave goodbye to old legacy systems that slow down your business process. But what road should you choose to get there, and for which type of Cloud should you choose?

Will you go for a pure ‘lift-and-shift’ data center relocation, or to a new data center of an ICT supplier? This is primarily relocating responsibilities, based on existing requirements. That can be a fine choice. Or will you skip this intermediate step and will you choose directly for optimizing with the help of the public cloud? An external data center or a public cloud both have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your situation and objectives, you will come to a decision. In this blog we share the 4 steps that can help you make a deliberate choice.

More than 70% of the IT managers we talk to, agrees: the public cloud is the most safe, flexible and cost-effective solution. The following steps will help you get started quickly:

1. LEARNING. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES, WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES?

In order to be able to make well-founded choices in the future, you need prior knowledge of the different types of cloud. We make a distinction between the Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Public Cloud. In short, we see the private cloud as just another data center and the Hybrid Cloud as an intermediate station in the direction of the final public cloud. We also make a distinction in the extent of flexibility, scalability and market introduction time. Especially the Public Cloud is still insufficiently known to most of our discussion partners. It is best known as 'just another datacenter', but even more invisible. But with the same VMs and infrastructure elements but with the same VM’s and infrastructure elements.

The big difference, however, lies in the added value of all building blocks, services and applications, ready for use, with which you can optimize, make cheaper, innovate and do new things that were never possible before.  You can have a large amount of invoices for a short period of time without having to buy in advance and above all, the security of Public Cloud is so high, there is so much invested in that many large multinationals are now convinced that they or IT suppliers can’t take care of security that well as, for example, Microsoft.

Make sure that you are familiar with the techniques you have in-house and why these have been chosen. What are the reasons that certain applications depend on old-fashioned technology? These 'legacy' applications can also be offered from the Cloud and eventually be rationalized.

2. Set UP REQUIREMENTS BASED ON YOUR objectives in the long term, INSTEAD OF BASED ON THE DEMANDS OF THIS MOMENT

An ICT architecture from the past offers no guarantees for the future. If you want to go forward, want to innovate and your employees always want to work with the latest technology, you will come to a different decision than when you look at your situation now and what you now know how the existing needs to be improved. Most likely there will be many new requirements in coming years.

It is easier said than done: provide a clear strategy to the optimal Cloud workplace. Your wishes of the future come from elements that you do not know yet, but also from your organizational goals or trends in the market. In the healthcare sector, for example, the patient will do more himself, he expects services to be digitally tuned and care for care will be supplemented more often by digital means. In manufacturing, you and your competitor will quickly take steps in the utilization of the amount of data and the possibilities of IoT. To mention just a few examples. These come from new techniques and possibilities such as Smart Manufacturing, Agile Manufacturing, Autopilot manufacturing, 3D innovation and Zero Emission Manufacturing. But especially also from your organizational goals and strategy.

It starts with an analysis of the business and its users; Who are they, what do they need at the moment and what does the future look like? Based on these data, the current state of ICT (assessment) and the available budget, you draw up a strategy. For short-term (the low-hanging fruit) and for the long term. This creates a roadmap that gives a clear view of the steps to be taken. Based on your current situation and legacy, based on your wishes and requirements now and on the basis of future requirements, which we do not yet know concretely.

3. ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT SITUATION AND THE IMPACT OF YOUR CHOICES

This is the time to examine your current situation in detail, describe your alternatives and map the technical pros and cons and dependencies. What is the impact of a move, renewal and change? What are the risks? Which elements must first be arranged before a certain step can be made?

Part of this is a Cloud readiness assessment. In this assessment, an inventory is made of the existing ICT environment. With this inventory, the application landscape and the critical components from your ICT environment are clearly mapped out. This data helps to shape the strategy / roadmap and in this phase you will also recognize the benefits of the public Cloud. It also helps in identifying the scope and indicates where the focus lies and where quick wins can be achieved.

Ultimately, you have an overview of the possible choices, at least 3 (at least 1 Private Cloud, 1 Hybrid Cloud and 1 Public Cloud) and all aspects of the migration there. From costs in the field of operations, migration and management, to the risks.

4. The BUSINESS CASE AND THE SUPPORT, THE INPUT FOR THE FINAL CHOICE AND APPROACH FOR MIGRATION

Based on the information gathered in the first 3 steps, the business case is drawn up, with a TCO and with 'soft' benefits. The business case provides an answer to whether the possible choices fit in with the business objectives, fit within the organizational strategy, have added value for the organization and users and take risks with them. The business case is also the basis for support, since it is based on the benefits for the user and the goals of the organization. It is not an ICT party. The broader the new solution is, the more chance of success you will have.

 

FROM CHOICE TO IMPLEMENTATION

Rapid Circle can help with taking these steps, making the assessment and the business case. We can do this on all forms of cloud, but you can also ask us to do a second opinion, for example only on the possible choice for Public Cloud. We often see that many aspects are not taken into account by traditional consultancies, for example, which does not give a complete picture.

It is no secret that we are a fan of progress. In many cases an intermediate step (Private cloud) is a good idea, for example when you have too many and too heavy legacy applications. But if they are overseen and you have already taken steps towards SaaS, chances are that you will end up on a hybrid cloud or Public Cloud. Especially if you are looking for a future full of opportunities, with the sights on progress, in small steps, with an ICT platform that supports you to respond faster than your competitor.

Would you like to know more? Please contact Erik-Jan Frieser at Erikjan.Frieser@RapidCircle.com