What is the right cloud technology strategy for your firm?

Cloud technology architecture includes:

  • PasS (Platform as a Service) – allows a company to deploy applications without purchasing and configuring new hardware.  PaaS provides the full cycle application deployment, from design all the way through production deployment. 
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – allows a company to rapidly deploy computer architecture to their development and production environment. This includes virtual desktops, Operating systems, Databases, and storage.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service) – in contrast to IaaS, SaaS is software hosted over the internet.  Due to decreased cost in bandwidth, an increase in the number of the mobile workforce, and upgraded HTML and Java technologies, SaaS is currently a popular choice with companies  Examples of SaaS include CRMs and ERPs like Salesforce.com and NetSuite.

Is the Cloud the right strategy for my business? And how can Trillium help?

Whether you are a small business with only a few employees or a large business with a few hundred or thousand employees, you have to ask yourself is the cloud the right strategy for our business model? It all depends on many factors which include; the business requirements, the type of business, technology languages, SLA requirements, regulatory requirements, and geographical requirements. A good example is if you are a Brokerage firm your core business relies on the accuracy of your trades and uptime of your environment. A local option will give you better performance and control over your environment as a cloud environment potentially will not provide the high performance your traders require to generate business. But, on the other hand if you are a business that doesn’t require large infrastructure overhead or has limited capital and operational technology budgets the cloud potentially could be the right strategy for your business. 

In some instances, a business can partially utilize the cloud. A firm can adopt a SaaS strategy for their CRM and utilize their existing infrastructure for email, file servers, and proprietary applications. It doesn’t have to be everything in the cloud, a business can have an hybrid environment that meets the business core strategy and end user requirements.

Cloud adoption can be a big risk for a company, small or large. The uncertainly level can be high and stressful.  Information security, performance SLAs, scalability, integration, architecture, resource availability, and implementation requirements are just a few of the factors that go into making the cloud the right strategy for your business. As Cloud strategy is still a new concept, picking the right strategy(s), technology, private or public cloud environment, and service provider(s) can be extremely daunting.

Jumping into the cloud without proper planning, investigation, and testing is what many firms have done in the last few years. In a recent story by CIO magazine, an online financial firm that finds loans for people trying to finance cost of lawsuits they’re filing left their web hosting vendor because of a multiple cyber-attacks on their website. The site was down so frequently, the firm was losing leads and thousands of dollars every day, but more importantly confidence in the firm was diminishing at rapid rate. Bottom line is there was never an agreement in place that defined which party was responsible for security of the site. Proper planning and detailed SLA agreements would have prevented this issue from happening. This is just one example of many where proper planning was not executed by the client. Trillium focuses on proper planning, requirements gathering, business need focus, investigation, testing, and proper implementation procedures to make your firm succeed in picking the right strategy for your firm.

When should we move to the cloud?

According to research firm IDC, the SaaS market in 2009 reached $13.1 billion in revenue, the expected growth in 2014 is a predicted $40.5 billion annually, an annual growth rate of 25.3%.  Now, this is just a forecasted predication, and we are not saying by 2014 you need have all of your services in the cloud, but the predicted growth represents the importance cloud strategies will have on a business to maintain its’ competitive advantage.  This is just one predicted example of where cloud service growth is headed in the near future, but again there are many factors that will help determine when the proper time is to move a cloud strategy. Typically firms do their budgets at year end and determine their short and long term project roadmap, the majority of the projects are based on the business needs. For example, if a firm is looking to grow their mobile workforce and have flexible work from home schedules, a cloud strategy might be in their best interests, but once more it takes careful planning, investigation, and testing before adopting a cloud strategy to fit your firms overall business strategy.  You have to do your due diligence and educate not only the IT department, but the business on future cloud roadmaps. Moving to the cloud just for the sake of it is not the right answer. Before deciding when you should move to the cloud, a firm will need to do their internal business requirements, internal technology assessments and audits, resource requirements for future administration, and operational and capital budget assessments. Trillium’s primary focus is conducting all of these processes to help determine if and when your firm should move their internal services to the cloud.

 

 

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