Business & the Cloud
Cloud Use Cases
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If you have an understanding of what Cloud Computing is and are now wondering if this technology could benefit you and your business, then this course will help you determine if a cloud migration is right for your organization.
We will look at Cloud Computing from the business perspective and understand what it can bring to your organization. We will cover a number of different topics to try and answer the question, "Should your business move to the Cloud?" By understanding where your business is going, what you trying to achieve, and your objectives, you will be able to establish an effective Cloud business strategy.
By looking at what the Cloud can bring to a business you will be able to define the reasons or reasons not to migrate to the Cloud. We shall cover the benefits that the Cloud can bring with a business mindset rather than a technical approach by looking at examples of how these can enhance your processes, progress, and development.
It is also important to understand where constraints of the Cloud exist to allow you to weigh the positives against the negatives. We also look at potential ways of alleviating these constraints to reduce their impact.
Depending on the size of your organization, this course looks at the different use cases each may adopt. Not all businesses are looking for the same solutions, and these could be very different depending on if you are a Small-to-Medium business (SMB), a large Enterprise, or a new Start-Up.
- Knowledge to discuss confidently as to why or why not you should migrate services to the Cloud.
- Steer stakeholders in the right direction for a Cloud business strategy.
- Understand some of the different benefits and constraints the Cloud can have on a business
- Business Managers
- Business decision-makers
- IT strategy stakeholders
- Basic understanding of Cloud Computing – If you wish to get an overview of Cloud Computing, please see our existing course ‘What is Cloud Computing?’
- Knowledge and understanding of Capex and Opex
Hello, and welcome to this lecture. So we've covered some of the characteristics that the Cloud offers and reflected on how these can help you as an organization, should you decide to migrate. As you can see, there are some very compelling reasons to do so, so besides these positive points, you may ask yourself, okay, so the Cloud can offer advantages against my on-premise architecture, but my on-premise solution is working okay, so what else can the Cloud bring me as a business? Well the answer to that, other than the main financial aspect, is quite a lot. Let's take a look at a few of those advantages.
The Cloud brings a new wave of life to your business and its architecture. You are presented with a whole new way of working, new ways of deployment, tools and services to help with automation, and self-healing of your infrastructure. It can be a little overwhelming when looking at how differently infrastructure operates within the Cloud. However, it's very important to know how it operates, and how the Cloud, as a technology, is constantly evolving and developing.
When a technology like this exists, it's potential and development can grow at an exponential rate. New services are being released that offer new ways of architecting your infrastructure all the time. This offers a massive potential within your business to innovate and take advantage of these changes. Your own on-premise solutions, likely remain the same month to month and year to year, with regards to technologies and deployment options. As a result, trying to innovate on top of this outdated infrastructure, would be hard and sometimes laborious to complete. It would take additional time, resulting in slow releases, which ultimately end in slower benefits offered to your customers. This whole process can be a drain on your budget.
The Cloud offers you the chance to work with some of the latest architecture and services, which wouldn't always be as easy to acquire on-premise. Making use of new technologies, such as serverless computing, can be a game changer for many organizations. Imagine not having to configure, setup and manage any servers for your developed applications to run on. Imagine the only focus you needed for deploying your applications was the code, and that was it. Once you'd written your code, you can send it out to a service, and that service would provision all your infrastructure required to run that code for you. Deployment options such as this, especially for start ups, just wouldn't be feasible.
You can be brave and experiment with new ideas and products at a fraction of the cost it would be, compared to an on-premise solution.
If you are operating within a business where you are bringing new products and applications or services to market, then the Cloud offers a great advantage in helping you to complete this over a standard, on-premise solution. You're able to utilize all the resources you require in getting your products released. Having the desired resource you need when you need it, to scale up and speed the process up, can help you bring launch dates from months to weeks and to days. The Cloud is especially effective during your development and testing phase. Being able to do this and bring your product quicker to your customer, allows your organization to develop the next range of new products and releases even faster.
A fine example of bringing products to market quickly and effectively, is that of Netflix. Netflix is an online content provider of TV and films. Using the benefits of the Cloud, they're are able to quickly deploy tens of thousands of servers, with terabytes of storage, within minutes, which serve over 1,000,000,000 hours worth of content per month. For more information on this case study, please use the following link.
Within our current climate, governments globally are putting additional pressure on organizations to reduce their carbon footprint and become more green. In this fast paced world that we live in, businesses are struggling to meet these thresholds set out for climate change. And one of the largest culprits of carbon emissions is that of the power and energy used within our large data centers. Utilizing the Cloud to migrate some of your services can help offset some of this burden and lead to your organization becoming more green, which is a huge plus point for your business as a differentiator in leading change for the better.
Now you may be thinking, what's the difference between having the infrastructure at my data center or in a Cloud provider's data center? Well for one, all infrastructure is virtualized, as we know, and so it's greatly optimized, whereas within your data center, this may not be the case. Also their power and cooling that's providing, will likely be using far more energy effective mechanisms than that of the systems many of us utilize today. Cloud vendors will have huge data centers that would have had huge amounts of investment put into them. The latest efficiency and cooling technology would have been implemented, and probably in many instances, free air cooling may have been used, whereby outside air is brought into the data center through various means and filters to cool the infrastructure. It's this kind of technology and implementations within their data centers, that help reduce the carbon footprint for everyone else using their infrastructure. Many of us are likely using outdated and older technologies when it comes to the mechanical and electrical infrastructure within our data centers, making it hard to compete with the efficiencies and greeness of the new, modern data centers used by the Cloud vendors today.
If architected correctly on the Cloud, your business infrastructure can be accessed from anywhere. This opens opportunity to you as a business, as it allows for a change of process when it comes to support and management of that infrastructure. Your entire Cloud management could be outsourced to another provider, which, depending on your current structure, may significantly reduce your IT operational costs from a salary perspective alone. Alternatively, it opens the door to increase the scope and sourcing talent for your organization. You can source your skilled IT engineers from almost anywhere, if all systems are available via the internet. For example, I live and work in the UK, however, Cloud Academy do not have any offices here. I can access all my work related services via the internet, over Cloud-based systems. As you can see, remote working becomes far more feasible for your employees, which in turn, could result in acquiring smaller offices and facilities, reducing costs even further.
Utilizing the Cloud allows you to reduce many of your business risks. One of your biggest risks is that of data durability, the loss or corruption of your own, or even your customer's, data. We have already spoken about high availability, and the resiliency that it offers, and this will help with reducing that risk. However, you could even take this one step further, and utilize multiple Cloud vendors. Perhaps both AWS and Azure to hold customer data as an even greater risk mitigation strategy.
Product risks often come when moving from test and development to production. Much of this is down to the fact that it's not always easy to replicate your test environment to reflect that of your production when on-premise. Largely, this is normally down to not having enough available resources. As a result, tests are often not completed to full requirements of a new product or service. With Cloud deployments, there are services that allow you to have the ability to copy your architecture exactly as it is in production, which can then deploy for testing where it's built exactly the same. You can have this purely for the period only required for testing, and then remove the infrastructure so you stop paying for it. So now, you're able to fully test, from end to end, as if it were in a production environment for a small cost, mitigating a lot of the existing risks you would have had otherwise, resulting in a more reliable release for your customers.
Time is something all businesses wish they had more of, deliverables and deadlines are always rushed, and as a result, processes and procedures are always challenged. Cloud adoption changes the way your business will operate. It will become significantly more dynamic, it's approach to change will often become swift and smooth. In a well designed environment, your organization will end up spending far less time focusing on your IT solutions, and the management of those underlying solutions, as much of the maintenance and operational aspects would be automated and managed by the Cloud vendor. It's then this time, that would have otherwise been spent on these tasks, and allows you to use it focusing more on the delivery of the core functions of the business, your products and your services.
Having your infrastructure within the Cloud makes it more feasible to have real-time collaborations between your business and other third parties that you utilize to drive forward and sell your services. Opening up access to certain data and services for authorized third party vendors to interrogate and analyze on your behalf, can be of significant benefit. There are many approved partners that have been sanctioned by public Cloud providers that can provide some incredible monitoring and analysis of your data, which can ultimately lead to a change of business strategy, making your organization stronger within the market.
That brings us to the end of this lecture, coming up next, we look at the constraints of Cloud computing and where you may experience restrictions in your migrations.
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.