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Cloud control: 4 steps to find your company’s IT balance

By Paul Lyons - Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

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Despite the fact that cloud computing is now at the centre of attention within IT departments, almost every business will need to adopt a hybrid model on its migration journey. After all, moving legacy systems to the cloud is a difficult task, which requires the right balance between cost, conditions, security, and regulation.

 

1. Cost

 

According to a survey by 451 Research in 2016, 61 per cent of organisations anticipated spending less on hardware because they are shifting from traditional IT to on-premises clouds. Areas where savings can be made include servers, storage, and networking.

 

When it comes to comparing private and public cloud, there are a number of online tools that can determine total cost of ownership (TCO) such as AWS TCO calculator, the Google Cloud Platform TCO Pricing Calculator, and the VMware TCO Comparison Calculator.

 

2. Conditions

 

Businesses that need to respond quickly to changing conditions must carefully consider which configuration would be the best – a traditional IT set-up, on-premises private cloud, or a public cloud model. In almost every one of the 16 workloads studied by 451 Research, the top reason for deploying the cloud was to “respond faster to business needs.”

 

Even so, respondents also cited the desire to respond more quickly to shifting business circumstances as a reason for deploying workloads to non-cloud environments. Therefore, your own approach will be largely dependent on your industry and how stable it is.

 

3. Security

 

Seeing as the public cloud has suffered from frequent, damaging intrusions over the past decade, security is clearly an issue. Thankfully, the number of security specialists employed at the major providers combined with their exposure to and experience of cybercrime does provide some much-needed reassurance.

 

However, it is still a good idea to keep workloads involving highly sensitive data within on-premises environments. Just remember to separate “important” from “sensitive.”

 

4. Regulation

 

For companies in highly regulated industries, the public cloud may not be answer. For example, you could be presented with a huge financial penalty if the access and integrity of personal information has been insufficiently protected.

 

Business facing this kind of problem tend to use non-cloud environments for their most sensitive workloads. Sectors including finance, government, education, and healthcare should always proceed with caution when it comes to using the cloud.

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