Cloud Computing Defined
Cloud Use Cases
How Data Center architecture is reflected in the Cloud
Internal Business Effects of the Cloud
Should Your Business Move to the Cloud
The course is part of this learning path
This course is specifically designed to provide executive teams with a baseline understanding of the operational and cultural aspects of adopting cloud computing and services.
If you have any feedback relating to this course, please contact us at email@example.com.
- Understand what defines Cloud Computing
- Review common Cloud Computing use cases
- Understand how data center architecture is translated in the Cloud
- Understand the internal business effects of the Cloud
- Review the business benefits and constraints when migrating to the Cloud
- Business Executives
- Non-technical Staff
No specific prerequisites. The content is designed to help non-technical teams increase awareness and knowledge from a business perspective.
Hello and welcome to this lecture. When introducing any change within an organization this will, of course, create ripples internally throughout the business. The effect this can have is all very dependent on the size and impact of these changes.
Some changes may only affect a small group of people within a department, others can affect a number of teams or even the whole organization and can be classed as game changing. When migrating services to the cloud which is fundamentally a change of business strategy affecting the range of internal departments. The affects this can have on the business can be huge. This course will focus on those internal effects.
New sales approach. Depending on which elements of your business you are moving to the cloud, it can now be your organization to blend, mold, and adopt to ever changing market conditions and trends far easier as if you were hosting your services locally all thanks to scalability and flexibility.
Your sales team and lead generators would soon be up to call upon a greater breath of offerings that they could entice new and existing customers with. Largely this is due to the fact the cloud allows your organization to spend more time focusing on increasing innovation and development instead of managing specific services which will now be handled by a public cloud provider.
Being able to adopt to a fluctuating market and invoke a change of direction, business demands and needs are far easier to implement when architecting on top of cloud services. Your sales team can become increasingly diverse in this strategy to attract and gain additional sales. Harnessing the power cloud, no longer will there be an underlying issue resource to scale to meet new big deals as there would've been with a on premise solution.
The team can start approaching customers that may have been out of reach before due to restrictions of your current IT infrastructure capacity. This potentially opens up a whole new world of customers adding diversity to your portfolio.
Advance business analytics. Depending on your business type and industry you may have a need to implement business analytics where by you collect and analyze vast amounts of data which can in turn drive certain decisions within the organization.
Resources to implement such analytical processing can be huge and costly from both a hardware and software perspective alone. The market leaders in public cloud have very specific services relating to business analytics which you can take full advantage of at an incredible scale and with low price points. This allows the business to be incredibly agile and dynamic when it comes to data driven decisions. The amount of resources that can be quickly put behind specific analytics would fire it up by the resources you would have on premise from a cross point alone.
Being able to explore large scale data sets can offer significant advantages when it comes to business improvements and strategy. With more possibilities to perform deep analyzes of your data, for example, sales patterns, product feedback, customer requirements, or even performance statistics of your infrastructure. With information like this available your business can still develop and focus its efforts into improving very targeted areas increasing the overall efficiency of development.
Responsibility. By using cloud services, you have essentially handed over some responsibility of the management of your infrastructure to a third party. With this an element of control is also loss from your organization. From this point onwards, the public cloud vendor is responsible for everything up to the host where your instances are installed. They are responsible for security, maintenance, power, and calling of the host hardware within that data center.
You will no longer have to source, install, cable, and provide power and calling for your services. They have migrated to the cloud. This will reduce your required footprint within your data center and takes pressure off of the data center team. In fact, all future deployments into the cloud infrastructure, you will no longer have to liaise with the data center team as those services will be hosted by a cloud provider within their data center.
The data center manager will no longer have visibility of all architecture within your business. Instead, this will likely have to be managed between different teams, leveraging greater internal department to a collaboration. Depending on the size of your migration, you may need to establish a new account manager who will be responsible for managing communications between your organization and your chosen cloud vendor or vendors.
This may be new for a lot of organizations who have not had a manager vendor with such responsibility over your own IT services. This management may involved analyzing performance metrics, service level expectations, risk, and communications and support.
Process and procedures. Cloud migration is a whole new way of architects in your business IT infrastructure. This will initially bring a lot of administrative changes to your internal process and procedures for many departments. Controlling and managing this transition can be a test in time for all involved if rushed so allow plenty of time to get these implemented.
As this is likely to be the first time your business have migrated services to the cloud, it's all going to have to be done from a blank canvas.
A good place to start would be to identify which areas of the business will be affected by the specific services being migrated. If a team has involvement with that service, then it's likely the will require a change of process.
Some of these teams and departments may include service delivery, finance, support, development and testing, storage and backup, networks, sales, risk, operations, and even human resources. As you can see, this can be a wide scope of teams and can vary depending on how much infrastructure your migrating to the cloud and for what purpose.
Having this new documentation available in the beginning stages will save you a lot of time and effort retrospectively, updating your other business systems, processes, and tools. It's essential all involved in the process of utilizing cloud services have a clear understanding of how they work load will change following the migration.
Some processes may become redundant. Almost certainly there will be new ones created. Communications of the delivery of these processes are essential as during the first few weeks, their likely to change a lot and if someone is working from an outdated version of your procedures, then this will obviously cause problems.
How teams interoperate with each other will also likely change largely due to procedural changes. If you currently have a very siloed department structure then you may need to reevaluate this and loosen any barriers between the teams to allow your workforce to become increasingly dynamic, agile, and flexible much like the cloud infrastructure your business will be running its services on. Use the transition of your migration to define processes that flow effectively between teams.
Cloud management will likely involve new roles, departments and responsibilities and its important that your internal processes and procedures, in particular change management, do not become a bottleneck that slows down the fast growth deployment and scale that the cloud offers. Your internal business operation processes need to rapidly respond adjacently with cloud development through internal collaboration.
Deployment and operations. Some of the biggest changes within your business will be experienced by your development and operations teams but other ones on the ground deploy new resources and infrastructure and getting them operational. New deployments will be significantly different to your existing on premise solutions.
Harnessing the on demand element of cloud computing, no longer will your business have to wait months, weeks, or days for new resources, applications, or whole environments become available. The time saved here helps to bring customer products to market far quicker and more efficiently.
With so many different cloud deployment tools available, there is a huge capacity for your technical team to call upon automation, serverless computing, and self-healing architecture all resulting in a more refined software defined data center.
Through the use of the different cloud services offered, managing deployments, version control, and rollback options are greatly enhanced and optimized giving you increased reliability and delivery of service of your solutions and applications.
If your organization doesn't already have a testing development environment, then it may be a good idea to architect one in the cloud to exactly replicate your production. This will allow you test all new releases, updates, and configuration changes prior to production release.
This can be achieved for a fraction of the cost it would have cost you on premise. With this capability, it could reduce the amount of bugs and negative experiences received by our customers and this element of the deployment would pay for itself in no time.
Services and applications when deployed on the cloud are designed differently to those on premise to help with scalability and flexibility. As a result, a review of how your applications and services are compiled mainly to be factored into your business deployment processes.
Typically you'll need to adopt a deep coupled architecture approach. Your operational support teams will also be impacted as the previous tools and monitoring that they may have used to manage on premise architecture may become redundant for some infrastructure. Instead they could be using the built in monitoring plus any third party cloud monitoring tools available.
As a result, your operational teams may have to interpret and manage additionally monitoring tools. Those who manage the existing on premise architecture and those who manage the new cloud services. Your operational teams will have to understand how to monitor managers in the new environment as it'll be very different from other trouble shooting methods they would already be used to.
Access to latest software. Typically, cloud providers offer you the latest operating systems along with related software. This is something that you may not have had access to before. As a result, you may need to adjust your own services, applications, or systems you'll be deploying to ensure it's compatibility.
This links closely with your new deployment options that you'll be utilizing because as a part of your deployment, you'll be able to select which version of software you'll be utilizing. Having the latest versions of operation systems and databases et cetera at your fingertips ensures that your services and applications are being offered the latest technology within that software such as new features and functions and additional security controls.
This could allow your development team to take advantage of this to create even greater applications and versions, utilizing any new features offered by the underlying system. This helps to make way for greater innovation, however this also means that your development team may need to work harder to keep up with service features.
If you are an established organization, then trying to instill a new wave of technology that is so different from the current well known infrastructure can be hard to define as a great new initiative for all employees to back.
Some employees may not see it as a positive strategy which could be due to a lack of understanding which would also invoke fear about the job retention. Therefore not only is education as to what cloud computing is and the benefits it offers important but it requires a new mindset from all within the company so as to not impose worry or concern on your employees.
This transitional period can unbalance many organizations and affect moral and the whole business dynamic within the work force can come under strain. Communication is key for employees at this time.
If they feel they are being kept in the dark then you could lose some of the most valuable and essential employees. If you address how the cloud migration will affect them personally whilst offering reassurance that their jobs are safe, this will be of huge benefit to your business. Use a variety of methods when communicating these changes and share information to your employees often and as soon as you have it.
Provide avenues for your employees to asks questions, provide feedback, and offer their own ideas which will all help them engage and feel a part of the changes being suggested. It takes a change of mindset for most, if not all employees as in one way or another, everyone can be affected by a cloud migration. How you manage and educate your current staff could mean the difference between success and failure.
Resource recycling and allocation.
Following the migrational services to the cloud from one premise, you are likely going to have an abundance of redundant hardware with your data center. This opens up an opportunity to refresh some of the infrastructure that you will be keeping on premise. It will be a good idea to engage with your asset and life cycle teams along with operational support to determine the best course of action to do this. Where feasible and where it makes logical sense, upgrade the hardware on your on premise infrastructure from your newly redundant hosts.
Use this as an opportunity to bring your existing hardware up to speed along side your new infrastructure that will be hosted in the cloud. In addition to this and possibly a preferred instance in some cases, you could also add additional resiliency to your on premise services by duplicating the service and load balancing between them. Although this is a one time trade off from cloud migration, it's one that you should invest time and effort into as it could save your investing in additional hardware in the coming months for your outdated systems.
This was the last point within this lecture. Next, I shall be discussing how cloud implementations can affect your employees.
Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.
To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.
Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.
He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.
In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.
Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.