One of the key forces making digital transformation possible is the advent of the cloud. Cloud is a game-changer for businesses as now cutting-edge technologies become available for any business at the right time, at the right place, and at the right expense. Adopting cloud, of course, must be instrumental towards the goals of the business, and understanding the benefits that cloud can bring is a crucial step towards realizing them. It is, thus, critical that businesses not just consider the cloud as an important part of their strategy but also actively address a few considerations to assure the success of the relevant technology and business initiatives. Cloud enables businesses to run their organizations more efficiently, better serve their customers, and their overall profit margins.

Cost savings: Savings accumulate majorly because cloud services are usage-based thus saving costs related to idle resources or over-capacity. At the same time, shared infrastructure means overall economies of scale, benefits of the same become available to cloud consumers.

Security, availability, and maintainability: Being continuously monitored and maintained, issues such as electric or network outages, human errors, hardware catastrophes, etc. are addressed better as specialized cloud service providers bring together scale, skills, and investments. Reputable cloud providers invest significantly in compliance with security standards, operational best practices, infrastructure redundancies, and people preparedness. And with the cloud, the time taken to set up services is reduced, making applications available readily. Cloud can also absolve businesses of intensive efforts required to keep the systems updated, keeping up with security patches, and upgrading to the newer versions.

Flexibility & mobility:. Modern businesses need 24×7 access to their applications and data regardless of location or device. Growing consumerization and democratization of technology, make a case for leveraging the cloud as cloud applications are likely available for a variety of systems and hardware. Of course, the on-demand nature of cloud services means that businesses can scale services as needed.

Insights: There are zillions of bits of actionable data hidden in your organization’s repository. With the inherent accessibility and connectedness that the cloud provides, better insights can be driven through them.

Innovation and collaboration: Easier and faster deployment, inherent flexibility, and mostly consumerized provisioning mean that various parts of your organization can experiment quickly and scale rapidly. Cloud computing also makes collaboration an effortless process. Technical or business aspects are freed from constraints of locations or departmental or business unit boundaries.

Sustainability: Moving your system to the cloud means that you will not need your own data center and can reduce your own carbon footprint significantly. However, there are more sustainability benefits than simply offloading your carbon footprint to your provider. Once migrated to the cloud, you can make sure that economies of scale mean that your provider can use energy in much more efficiently and that on-site energy consumption is reduced. Cloud computing creates a sustainable way to manage resources and reduces the overall impact on the environment.

A smart cloud deployment decision would enable these benefits to a business, though there are important considerations to be aware of.

Think architecture: Moving to the cloud does not absolve enterprise architects from making informed choices about the services, their architecture, and their capabilities. The cloud is not just an alternative for hosting, but it also enables access to various capabilities and data that is not provided or hosted within your IT. This is where an architect needs to think beyond the boundaries.

Think costs: The choice of various cloud paradigms can alter the cost in either way. So, considering the cost implication of various cloud models can help in meeting the budgetary needs. Considering diverse options available, and modeling their usage and costs carefully are critical to keeping the costs to the desired level.

Think future: The factors to consider while thinking about the future usage of the solution are scalability, extensibility, new capabilities, and endpoints. With these considerations, the solution design may need to incorporate future migration or adoption of various kinds of cloud architectures.

Think lifecycle and readiness: Organizations would adopt cloud and applications that cloud enables in different ways. There can be several policies, compliance, and cultural aspects to consider. Also, it is necessary to understand other lifecycle elements like testing, deployment process, user acceptance, and training, while designing/architecting a solution.

It is apparent that cloud adoption can take many forms. While cloud applications might not fit your business needs, cloud hosting with dedicated deployment may still be the right choice. Variants of cloud services infrastructure, platform, or application can bestow a valuable choice, and this highlights the fact that cloud does not preclude the need for IT and architectural expertise. As such, with the right expertise and adoption assistance, businesses have quite a lot to gain from the cloud.

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