It’s no surprise that cloud adoption continues to be on the rise with some studies showing that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020 and that 94% of enterprises already use some type of cloud service. Moreover, since the cloud offers numerous benefits including reducing IT costs, providing quick access to business applications and forms, and supporting work groups with on-demand and easy access to important data, it’s no wonder that numerous industries, from retail, to finance, to banking and even healthcare are all taking the cloud by storm. In fact, many enterprises not only house their everyday communications tools in the cloud, but even their highly sensitive customer data is now “floating” in the cloud, giving work teams a more convenient way to access information, from anywhere, via computer or even on a mobile device.
However, major concerns still exist with the cloud including challenges with security and privacy which is why organizations have to be extremely careful with the type of solution they deploy as data breaches can be very risky and costly. That’s why it’s extremely important for organizations to have security features in their cloud like perimeter and internal firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption to ensure they are operating under maximum security.
Organizations also need to consider some technological and cloud insights found in the Accelerate State of DevOps 2019 report which is touted to be the largest research projects of its kind, presenting 6 years of research comprising data from 31000+ professionals across the globe. The report talks about various aspects from culture to cloud adoption and showcases a glaring finding that only 29% of the respondents using cloud infrastructures agreed or strongly agreed that they met all five of the below essential characteristics of cloud computing.
Let’s see how important these characteristics are for enterprises to consider for cloud efficiency.
It is definitely one of the most prominent reasons why the cloud on-demand model has gained so much popularity. While maybe not essential, having an on-demand self-serving portal to access the cloud’s accounts, tap into subscribed cloud services, and access tools to provision and de-provision services unilaterally as needed – can all significantly improve the user experience for work teams locally or across the globe. This clearly empowers business agility. On the other hand, it’s a good idea for a reliable IT rep to manage control over on-demand resources as it reduces administrative burden, but it should be controlled with a corporate channel as well to avoid risks like Shadow IT. Most of the enterprises that depend a lot on the cloud, encourage their IT departments to have cloud inventory management and perform periodic cloud audits to prevent hiccups and ensure efficiencies.
Broad Network Access
Global business research giants predicted, “over 65% of businesses across the globe will depend on the cloud by the end of 2022”. The cloud’s capability of enabling ubiquitous network access and scaling it at any given point for growing enterprises could lead to such dependency. Public clouds are great for organizations to be globally present and be serviceable to their staff and customers. Cloud services are meant to be accessible from any computing device supported by any network. Broad network access can be seen both as a trait of the cloud and as an enabler.
It certainly is an important characteristic of the cloud, but practitioners say Broad Network Access can be achieved without the cloud too, since a Public cloud may not be a reliable option for companies that deal with sensitive information like financial institutions or hospitals do. Enterprises with loads of private data, opt for private and hybrid cloud environments behind a secured firewall and special authentication to prevent outside entities from accessing the critical data and information that they possess.
It is a fundamental feature in the premise of scalability in the cloud. Resource pooling is older than the cloud and is a very useful tactic to serve the consumer’s demand by dynamically assigning and reassigning different physical and virtual resources in a multi-tenant model. Since it is not an economic option to avail a single-tenant cloud, companies who would like a sense of independence will opt for pooling resources such as storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth to improve the organizational abilities. When the servers are pooled, we spend less time supporting and maintaining those resources, which can be important to reducing IT costs.
Elastic computing is an important trait in IT supply that controls costs and time to market (TTM). Before making any purchase decision for a new IT solution, every IT decision-maker has one question to ask – ‘Is it scalable?’ After all that’s one quality that determines the cost, efficiency, and performance of the delivery. Looking at the IT supply chain, major parts of the cost is associated with deployments. However, that can be fought through rapid elasticity and enable faster deliveries and revenue generation.
You can’t better what you can’t measure, they say. Most of the cloud systems automatically control, optimize and report the pooled resource usage by leveraging a metering capability appropriate to that service. Every component like storage, processing, memory utilization, network bandwidth, and active user accounts is measurable in terms of their cost and performance. It is an important aspect that helps business leaders to evaluate the delivered business value, calculate the business expenditure and enable transparency for both the user and provider.
The measured resources can be optimized, and advanced Artificial Intelligence practices can fuel them. The cloud can gauge any problems in database performances, analyze the code, improve the bandwidth of IOPS and optimize all the aforementioned resources as user-traffic increases.
Well, it’s obvious that understanding the essentials of cloud computing, deployment and service models can help organizational leaders make more informed decisions. As the 2019 State of DevOps report clearly shows, it is important for IT organizations to choose a cloud solution that delivers a full suite of functional capabilities, like the 5 critical components highlighted in the study, so that everyone can realize the maximum benefits for today, as well as over the long haul.
About the Author
RAMACHANDRA ANNADI is a Technical Architect with Qentelli who has 14 years of experience in IT Operations, Cloud architecture, and DevOps Engineering. Qentelli brings the best practices from Software Development and Quality Assurance to ensure higher quality applications at the velocity their client’s business demands. Artificial Intelligence, Quality Intelligence, Quality Engineering and DevOps for Continuous Delivery is at the heart of all of the services they deliver.