Posted by Rachel Ho Jun 15, 2022 10:00:00 AM

A few years ago, the "cloud" was merely a buzzword in the tech industry, but it has already become a hot topic. In fact, the clouds have begun to take over the enterprise data centres across the globe and are expected to continue their expansion in the future.

Cloud computing is transforming how businesses operate by providing digitalised IT services that can be accessed anywhere. Gartner reports that the massive shift to the cloud will affect $1.3 trillion of enterprise IT spending.

Since the cloud is more prevalent than ever, it's essential to be cloud smart in today's time. Here's an overview of what cloud smartness is.

What Does it Mean to be Cloud Smart?

Being cloud smart means understanding the benefits of cloud computing and how your business can effectively use it by staying ahead with the cloud. In addition, it means recognising the most appropriate cloud services for your needs, from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Software as a Service (SaaS), and knowing how to manage and secure those services properly.

At its core, being cloud smart is about leveraging the benefits of the cloud to improve efficiency, agility, and scalability in your business. In addition, it's about understanding how to make the most of new technologies like machine learning and automation to streamline digital workflows and boost productivity.

If you want to stay competitive in today's rapidly changing business environment, it's essential to have a cloud smart strategy.

The Benefits of Being Cloud Smart

There are many benefits to being cloud smart, including:

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  • Improved Efficiency: Cloud computing can help businesses become more efficient by automating tasks and processes. For example, you can use the cloud to automatically update your software applications or schedule backups of your data, or even share your weekly workplan templates to manage your project pipeline and project objectives.
  • Increased Agility: The cloud makes it easier for businesses to scale up or down as needed. Thus, companies can quickly adapt to changes in the market and respond to new opportunities or challenges with greater agility.
  • Enhanced Scalability: The cloud also enables businesses to easily add or remove resources as needed to maximise their resource levelling game, helping them stay ahead of changing demands and maintain profitability.

There are many other benefits of being cloud smart, from cost savings to improved integrated project management. If you want to stay ahead in today's fast-paced business landscape, cloud smartness should top the list of things you want to include in your company culture.

Cloud Smart Strategy

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Gartner reported that total end-user spending on cloud services worldwide would increase to $332.2 billion in 2021. Meanwhile, LogicMonitor forecasted that 30% of the enterprise workload will be in the private cloud by 2025, while 28% will reside in the public cloud.

Due to the increased cloud adoption, businesses must have a cloud smart strategy. Here are some best practices to incorporate cloud smartness into your company.

Bridge the Gap Between Reality and Cloud Expectations

Unfortunately, many businesses don't correctly assess the costs and challenges of moving to the cloud. It can lead to unrealistic expectations about what cloud technology can offer.

To ensure that your company's cloud smart strategy is on track, it's essential to identify gaps between the reality of your current IT environment and your goals for migrating to the cloud.

One way to do this is by conducting a cloud readiness assessment.

It will help you understand the dependencies, risks, and limitations of your current on-premises IT infrastructure. Furthermore, it'll give you insights into which tools and processes need to be in place before moving to the cloud.

Practice Automated Governance

Cloud services provide many more configuration options compared to their on-premise counterparts. Therefore, it's essential to have automated controls for keeping your cloud environment stable and secure.

Companies should implement a CCOE (cloud center of excellence) with automated processes for everyday management tasks, such as policy changes and patching. Automating these tasks can help minimise errors that could lead to downtime or security incidents.

Plus, it's imperative to establish standardised cloud service catalogues and service-level agreements (SLAs). It will encourage greater consistency across your cloud environments and improve visibility into your IT operations. The three critical pillars of CCOE include:

  • Governance pertains to policies, roles, and responsibilities implemented in the organisation concerning cloud usage. Making governance, a priority ensures optimal financial and risk management.
  • Community: With resources like a source-code repository, knowledge base, and forums, the community pillar allows for collaboration among users.
  • Brokerage: The goal of this pillar is to make it easier for users to find and compare cloud services that fit their needs. It facilitates users in choosing cloud solutions and cloud providers.

Adopt a Cloud-Native Approach

To fully take advantage of the benefits of the cloud, you need to adopt a cloud-native approach, which involves working with SaaS and PaaS tools.

Companies can achieve this through DevOps practices such as continuous integration and delivery, cloud-agnostic microservices architecture, and open-source tools for infrastructure automation (e.g., Ansible or Puppet).

You can do this in steps. For instance, you focus on cost-efficient workloads and migrate them to the cloud in the first step. Then, in the second step, you can focus on migrating applications. And finally, in the third step, you can move all of your workloads to the cloud and adopt an authentic cloud-native approach.

Keep it Simple

Simplicity is imperative when it comes to your cloud smart strategy. Rather than doing too many things at once, focus on the core functionalities you need to drive value for your business.

It will help you develop a solid cloud strategy that can be implemented gradually and successfully over time. The KISS approach is instrumental in this regard.

KISS (keep it simple, stupid) is a principle often used in software development. It means that you should avoid unnecessary complexity when designing software. The same principle can be applied to your cloud strategy.

Account for Local Differences

It's important to note that while the cloud is great for most use cases, it's not a fitting solution for every workload. Plus, the cloud exhibits many local and regional differences, such as regulatory requirements and network latencies.

Moreover, the preferences and priorities in your enterprise might differ from another. Therefore, cloud initiatives shouldn't only be in your company's context and the cloud realities of your locality. It would help to account for these differences when you're formulating your strategy. Choosing the right cloud strategy is essential, with many differences such as Multi-Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud or On-Premise VS Cloud.

Conclusion

Considering the importance of being cloud smart, organisations should implement relevant strategies promptly to keep up with their competitors. Besides these practices, it's also vital to opt for an automation solution that complements your strategy.

Tessaract is an ideal cloud-native and low-code workflow automation solution for small, to enterprise organisations that want to improve collaboration, enhance work productivity and performance, and increase oversight. Tessaract enables you to nurture a high performance culture in your company to achieve your OKR and KPI goals with an agile workflow. Get started by scheduling a demo or watching videos of Tessaract's functionalities like digital signing or client onboarding.

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Rachel Ho

Written by Rachel Ho