Evaluating Cloud for Business


March 4, 2015

Over the past few years, the cloud computing landscape has captivated consumer audiences with its flexibility and lean consumption ideology. The technology marketplace has reached critical mass in complexity with a myriad of application deployment options and no regulation in cloud adoption techniques or future state planning. Even with an experienced consultant applying the relevant business context to the many available cloud solutions, the general customer anxiety around cloud security, operational models, data sovereignty, and application performance has not been entirely alleviated. As a direct result, a position of adverseness is often taken which poses as great a threat to businesses as moving to the cloud too quickly.  This article takes a closer look at evaluating cloud for business.

Is there still a real need for cloud concern?

Absolutely. The inherent state of ignorance between a businesses desired outcome and a cloud provider’s capabilities makes for a difficult consulting engagement. Although it is not impossible to overcome these difficulties, I don’t believe anyone with experience in business technology transformations would argue the heightened level of experience, mutual participation and creativity required to implement cloud successfully. This is why it is important to choose a provider that looks at the cloud as a toolset in order to achieve business goals, rather than just tallying up the cost of the existing compute, storage, and bandwidth that is needed. This point of view can remove cloud constraints and place a company on the road to realizing major financial and operational benefits.


How to choose the right cloud provider:


Does the provider view a cloud engagement as a transformation or a transaction?

The questions a provider asks will give you an idea of the outcome you can expect.  For example, be leery if your initial discussion centers on cloud compute resources. Initially, questions should be goal-oriented and not technical. The provider cannot appropriately plan your project without this information. Your goals are first and foremost in determining your strategy.


Does the provider think in terms of your customers’ expectations?

A real consultant is designing solutions on your core business values and customer fulfillment, not highlighting their own obligations. What is important to the cloud provider to deliver a service is not necessarily a measure of your success. This needs to be an open dialogue with critical thinking.


Is the provider channel partner, white labeler, or reseller?

A partner that is channel-driven will give you the ideal blend of a world class data center footprint with the high touch experience of a customer-focused consulting organization. Vetting out cloud providers is an extensive task. There are providers that offer this as part of their service.


Is the partner enterprise class?

A true enterprise class cloud provider for production workloads will offer a design model similar to what you have on premise. These are no oversubscribed, commodity-driven providers, but providers that can deliver performance SLA’s in addition to high availability.


Does the partner have a hybrid offering?

The reality is, no one in mid-market or enterprise is ready to relinquish all of their technology assets. A blend of collocated or dedicated hardware with dependable and elastic cloud resources on-demand is a match made in heaven.


Does the partner aim to make the technology irrelevant and service-driven?

Sounds weird right? But, after all, the goal is to do business. The goal of the cloud is to remove technical complexity in order to focus on fiscal responsibility and innovation. In other words, something other than the infrastructure!

Here at Mindsight we ask the right questions to help companies build a comprehensive cloud computing strategy. If you have any questions on this topic, or would like a Solutions Architect to perform an initial consultation, please contact us today!

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About Mindsight

Mindsight, a Chicago IT consultancy and services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We’ve always prided ourselves in delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from design and implementation to support and management. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for a local business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.


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Charting Your Path to the Cloud with Mindsight

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