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 far, we have covered what your main drivers as a business are by asking, where is the business going, what are you trying to achieve, and what are your objectives? If you have answers to some of these, and haven't reviewed the Cloud characteristics and the business benefits, you may have come to the conclusion that you'd like to migrate something to the Cloud. With this in mind, I want to cover some of the most common Cloud adoption use cases.
These use cases may differ in priority, depending on the size and structure of your organization. For that sake of this discussion, I shall break organizations down into three distinct categories.
Small to medium businesses, with small generally considered to have 100 employees or less and medium between 100 to 999.
Enterprise organizations are much larger and have 1,000 plus employees and have taken many years to develop and grow.
And then we have start-ups. These are typically very fast-paced and very agile in their approach to their new business venture, where focus on growth is key.
When splitting organizations out into these categories, it can become easy to understand why they may adopt different use cases. Firstly, let's look at what small to medium businesses may consider when using the cloud and why.
One of the biggest areas where SMBs struggle is available funding to develop and grow at a desired rate. While utilizing the cloud, they can in essence, change how they operate as an organization, becoming more agile and open their services to a wider audience. In essence, allowing SMBs to start to adopt characteristics of a global enterprise organization.
Being able to migrate specific services to the cloud that are fundamental to their customer base, allows them to scour their solution out to potentially other customers across the globe, harnessing the use of the public cloud provider's global architecture to reach customers in countries that may have not been previously viable or possible.
Another important aspect for SMBs, or for any organization is security. However, within an SMB, there may not be the correct skillset to implement the level of security that's offered by the cloud. Implementing external and internal security controls within a facility can be costly to implement when entering into specific governance controls that may be required by customers. As a part of this security, resiliency of customer data can require a large footprint within your facility, or ideally a second facility, which would demand a huge budget. Most SMBs are simply not in a position to provide twin core operations at a data center level. Allowing the cloud to provide certain levels of resiliency often by default, due to the way their public cloud provider manages their services, is a win-win for many SMBs.
When looking at the business advantages of the cloud that are offered to the enterprise customers, they may be a little different to SMBs. This is largely due to the fact that they are likely to have a capital expenditure to plow into the different business areas, specifically the IT infrastructure. Also, they will be operating a multi-site distribution of their services, and therefore aiding with resiliency. However, there are some areas where many large enterprises are looking to utilize the cloud. One of these is likely to be that of their testing and development environments.
Having to maintain the network administration of these environments on site, coupled with the space and power costs, it makes great sense to move this element of the business to the cloud. By doing so, they can utilize varied specification of resources, such as service, storage, and even network and hardware, or a combination of all three at levels that may not have been possible on premise. Utilizing the resources as and when you need them would also bring instant reduction of capital and operational cost for your business. Many organizations struggle to keep their test and dev environments operating at levels that reflect the ever changing production architecture. Cloud solutions make this all possible at a fraction of the cost.
Another aspect of the Cloud where enterprise customers may feel the benefit would be to utilize the content delivery network available. For any organization to set up, configure and maintain their own CDN, is very costly and could be logistically difficult to manage and operate. By utilizing the Cloud provider's CDN services that operate on a truly global scale takes a lot of this burden and administration away from the business. This significantly simplifies the implementation and maintenance of delivering content worldwide, whilst at the same time reducing latency for your existing and new customer base.
Many enterprises will lightly operate hugely resource intensive business applications at a massive scale. Migrating services that require such high resource power to the cloud, could take a strain off of the internal infrastructure, as well as reduce operating costs. In addition to this, having the ability to scale these business applications out as well as up, depending on utilization, will have a huge business impact on their customers. They could see a reduction in latency and requests during peak periods that may have taken longer to process on premise. Taking the operating pressure of the business applications from the enterprise and handing it over to the power of the Cloud, makes great business sense to a lot of organizations.
Now looking at the other end of the scale, start-up companies are focused on quick growth, again more likely they have a different set of priorities and demands for the Cloud. Here, capital expenditure is going to be very thin on the ground and they'll be looking to maximize the best use of their money to the best benefit against growth.
Start-ups do not have any existing architecture that they'll need to worry about migrating or legacy applications that they may have to re-architect. As a result, it's likely that it will look to host most, if not all of their infrastructure, business application, data and customer data within the cloud. The cloud allows them to grow, without requiring any capital, a perfect situation for start-up companies. By doing so, they can focus on the scalability, flexibility, management and cost savings that the Cloud can offer, giving them greater time and opportunity on focusing on their product to bring to market.
Making use of the quick start-up growth potential, global reach, security features, and cost effectiveness, many start-ups see the Cloud as the perfect and only solution in getting their business off the ground. They can push a lot of the hard work and management of the services and heavy lifting of maintenance to the Cloud providers, whilst at the same time, harnessing the power of their worldwide infrastructure to push their products into every corner of the globe, should they want to. From web hosting, storage and backup solutions, enhanced security, and much more, the usage and cloud solution open to start-ups is extensive at the very least.
After what I've just covered, it's important to know that the examples I gave are purely that, examples. And of the three business types I mentioned, each could use the examples I gave from the others. It really does depend on what you require as a business and what your objectives stipulate as to what services and functionality you implement within the cloud.
That brings us to the end of this lecture. In the next lecture, we're just gonna go over some final thoughts on what we've learnt from the course.
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.