Why cloud integration should be a priority during restructuring
Business restructurings like mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures are the perfect moment to take on cloud integration projects. Forbes reported that organizations allocate more than 30% of their cloud spending budget to underused or unused assets. Beyond redundant cost-cutting, companies should evaluate applications, network performance, security protocols, and other mission-critical categories that lead to improved cloud agility. A streamlined cloud environment enhances productivity not only for developers but for non-IT employees as well. OnX Canada supplies expert cloud consulting support, allowing teams to make the most of newly united (or divested) technology stacks.
Several obstacles block cloud efficiency, including:
- Lack of visibility into redundant tools or systems.
- Aging legacy infrastructure, hardware, and applications.
- Limited automation resources and tracking tools.
Important factors of cloud integration
Cloud services have complicated pricing. Variables such as time, demand, and location can surge rates for similar services in different regions. Overspending can become a problem in an inefficient or misconfigured cloud environment. A typical workaround is deploying a multi-cloud solution that uses the lowest rates and services across multiple providers and vendors.
Unfortunately, there are two drawbacks to this plan of attack:
- Missing out on volume discounts from a single provider.
- Incurring additional fees by moving bulk data between cloud vendors.
Cloud vendors provide built-in tools that help monitor usage and cloud spend. However, they often stop short of working with you to optimize your expenses. OnX experts advise your organization on creating an effective and cost-efficient cloud strategy.
Efficient cloud operations face many challenges:
- Legacy architecture and applications.
- Non-interoperable systems and non-integrated tools.
- Lack of a patch management program.
- Shadow IT bogs down systems.
Moving away from legacy systems and on-prem architecture significantly increases productivity by embracing cloud-native development and continuous deployment. Streamlined, integrated, and secure applications maintain efficiencies, while patch management secures applications against vulnerabilities and applies the latest feature updates to keep users working productively.
Keeping a cloud environment in peak condition is complex. Many factors must be aligned and appropriately configured, including cloud architecture, network traffic, and the types of cloud services and automation utilized. Serverless computing often outperforms a traditional virtual machine (VM). Additionally, by updating the code base to operate in cloud-native environments, drastic improvements can be made to operating speeds. This process is often a complex undertaking requiring expert oversight over many months.
Uptime and reliability
Data loss is the Achilles heel of many IT departments. To address data loss, many cloud providers supply geo-locational redundant backups for enterprise data. However, implementing multiple workloads throughout a region can rapidly cause overspending.
By working with a backup expert like OnX, your organization can implement a robust backup system with an affordable Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution.
Managing security in cloud environments can be a double-edged sword. Cloud storage and networking are inherently more secure than on-premises systems. However, cloud computing has many more points of presence (PoPs) throughout a network’s edge that a cybercriminal could exploit. Maintaining a solid security posture protects your organization from system outages and other potential negative impacts of data breaches.
Learn more: The role of security in digital transformation
Cloud integration methodologies
1. Vendor solutions
The major cloud providers offer various tools to analyze usage and budgets. But even a close reading of your monthly bill can provide insight into redundancies and budget overages. By working with a vendor-agnostic, third-party cloud services provider like OnX, you can use objective analysis tools, analytics, and reporting that help you make informed decisions. Balance cost and performance with other cloud integration categories.
2. Cloud migration and application modernization
Legacy infrastructure, architecture, and applications lead to deep-seated inefficiencies. The best solution is to migrate mission-critical operations and processes to a cloud environment. However, determining the best approach—how much and when to migrate—is an urgent concern that must be weighed against the budget.
OnX has expertise in cloud migration and application modernization. No matter which modernization approach you choose—refactoring, lift and shift, microservices, or containers—OnX has the experience to guide your business skillfully through the process.
Right-sizing means that your cloud services should match the need and usage levels. Your IT team (often working with a technology provider like OnX) matches workloads with the proper service levels by thoroughly analyzing cloud services usage and spending. Right-sizing is critical to successful cloud integration because it focuses on performance and cost efficiency. However, it requires habitual monitoring to confirm that cloud utilization stays within the established baselines and matches real-time needs.
4. Spot instances
Cloud providers occasionally offer “spot instances”—expanded computing power offered at a discount over on-demand surge pricing. Spot instances are money-savers but are inconvenient because the provider can reallocate the resource if demand surges with little or zero notice.
However, spot instances work well for non-critical, interruptible workloads without significant consequences. Advanced automation tools can keep urgent workloads functioning across spot instances with minimal interruptions.
5. Reserved instances
Spot instances are like a clearance rack, while reserved instances are closer to bulk discounts. Offered as a long-term commitment, organizations choose a service for many months or years, resulting in savings of up to 75%. Reserved instances are ideal for routine workloads that remain relatively unchanged over time.
6. Getting rid of redundant services and unused assets
Gaining visibility into the unused and underused assets in your organization’s cloud is vital to keeping costs down and enhancing performance. Eliminating idle instances, unused storage, or expired system snapshots is all a part of this process.
Assessment and monitoring tools, as well as system audits, can help you identify unneeded workloads. Additionally, you can reallocate idle assets where they can be helpful by deploying auto-scaling and load-balancing automation tools.
7. Security investments
Keeping service accessible and available to end-users is crucial to an optimized cloud environment. Investing in next-generation security solutions is one way to achieve maximum uptime. Data breaches are severe threats to organizations of all sizes, easily costing a company millions in litigation, ransom, or non-compliance fines, not to mention reputational damage. An experienced security partner can strengthen your security fabric, help your organization mitigate the risks of a successful breach, and provide guidance for ever-changing compliance regulations.
Picking a dependable cloud partner for your organization
The easiest way to begin cloud integration is to work with a managed cloud services provider. OnX has been at the forefront of cloud computing since it first began. Before the Cloud, OnX was (and is) deeply involved in on-prem data centers. Our team has designed custom IT environments for enterprises for over 30 years.
During M&As, competing priorities make it easy to lose track of the big picture. Dedicated OnX project managers will guide you each step in your cloud optimization journey.