Starting your cloud journey the right way – and without pitfalls!

Many organizations start their cloud journey by migrating legacy infrastructures to the cloud. It is easy to find value, the work involved is not too difficult and it can be accomplished fairly quickly.
 
But we have seen customers rushing to the cloud without having a solid foundation and not involving experts. And, unfortunately this is where they lose out and do not get the start or the values they were planning for.
 
Let’s talk about spend first. For example, AWS offers pay-as-you-use services along with easy scalability, which is a great for obvious reasons. You only pay for what you use, so on the surface it can be assumed that costs are optimized.
 
But here’s the catch. Without technical experts on board, choosing the right service is difficult (AWS has hundreds of services). And, choosing the most cost-effective service is even more difficult. You may end up paying for unneeded options and forego ones that would actually be beneficial.
 
There are many buttons and levers that can be pushed to optimize value, for example
AWS reserved instances & the spot market are effective tools to slash costs for most workloads.
 
Sometimes, cloud-service invoices may also give surprises (I am looking at you data transfer costs!), where it is difficult for non-experts to get a full picture of what’s driving the spikes and dips in costs.
 
Another example is dev and test environments. Being in the cloud, many businesses end up
experimenting more, which is great. However, non-production environments do not need to run 24/7 and should only be active when needed, plus they need to be handled differently from production workloads. If managed properly, there is money to be saved.
 
Right sizing is hard! While a key advantage of moving to cloud is that you have unlimited capacity, we see that customers often buy more capacity than they need. Most organizations are used to on-premise workloads where it is common practice to over provision where you have a good buffer for those cold winter months (or spiky applications!).
 
The cloud works differently compared to on premise data centers, services are scalable by default and when you include containerized solutions like Docker or Kubernetes you take even more steps away from the need to over provision. Not to mention higher uptimes & service levels, less management time & cost and built in scalability and disaster recovery.
 
All of this sounds easy on paper but when you start getting your hands dirty and implementing these changes, it can get complicated. You can have all the tools and processes in place, but if you don’t have a core, skilled team driving the move, it can very quickly turn into a veritable battleground.
 
A lesson learnt in our group’s three decades of experience is that the all the technology in the world will not replace experts that can recommend multiple solutions, guide towards the right path and manage & execute projects.
 
QloudX, spearheaded by three former CIOs of multi-national companies with decades of combined experience, we understand business strategy, we speak the language of the business and are passionate about driving digital transformation initiatives. Our goal is to help businesses of all sizes to achieve their true digital potential – using cloud technologies and strategic IT as main drivers.
 
 

Niklas Palmqvist is a partner at QloudX and a former CIO.

He has spearheaded digital transformation initiatives for businesses around the globe and across industries.

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