Cloud Strategy and Implementation to Avoid Over Spending
In simple terms, cloud computing is the on-demand availability of services that provides the computing and processing power over the internet. The core idea behind this technology is to help the companies avoid the cost and complexity of maintaining and owning their high power IT infrastructure. The key driving element is that it offers the flexibility to pay for what is being used also known as the “pay-as-you-go” model. The services are available in different dimensions like “Infrastructure as a service”, “Platform as a service” and “Software as a service” etc. Each of this vertical targets a specific requirement and has its pros and cons. The cloud computing services offer huge power and have the potential to offer exponential scalability options at much lower costs as compared to the traditional models. These benefits of the cloud services are not just limited to the IT teams but are extended to the Development, Finance, and all other engineering teams (operations, infrastructure, etc.). While cloud computing at the beginning might look at a one-stop solution for all the business problems, but it all depends on how all the departments work together with clarity about costs and expectations from the technology.
Cloud Service Usage for Migration
One of the common scenarios while working with cloud services is the migration of existing applications over to the new technology. The decision of adopting cloud technology should be done based on existing projects and future innovations. While the cost of utilizing the cloud services would surely be less but the cost to optimize and migrate complex projects might be significantly more.
- Cloud services are more effective for applications for which usage peaks are measured within a range. The services would have an adverse effect on the overall budget when the majority of servers are sitting idle for long periods.
- Ineffective utilization of cloud services can lead to a messy web of IT replicas in each team. Everyone thinks they can manage the IT aspect of their projects by using cloud services tools. In the end, this makes the system more complex and quick fixes badly hit the costs involved.
- Not all developers are proficient enough to understand and handle cloud-based challenges. The services would not be fully utilized if one is not skilled enough to use them.
Limitation of Cloud Services
Cloud services are not a magic wand that will solve all the business and IT related problems. There are restrictions on the usage of cloud services. The planning, strategy, migration, implementation, and mitigation models must be made considering these limitations. If these are ignored, it can imbalance the costing business model.
- The control is solely moved to cloud services. The in-house IT staff or engineering teams rely on the functionality of cloud applications with no or fewer flexibility options.
- Not all features are available in the first go of the cloud service. Different vendors have different offerings. It is of utmost importance that all features are evaluated for service before investing in them.
- Do not plan to go server-less from the beginning. Keep a back-up of few dedicated services too. The downtime of cloud servers and its fixing can, in turn, cause huge losses to the company.
Functions as Service (Serverless Architecture)
This newer technology of serverless computing is disrupting the IT industry. This has provided a new dimension to cloud computing services. Since it is new and fancy to everyone, the organization might want to win the race to be the first one to implement it. The FaaS targets at the architectural level of the applications and thus, it demands higher expertise in designing, running, and managing such applications. Although, it is said that the FaaS service takes off all of this burden, but the ground reality is that there are several challenges attached to it.
- Since it is implemented through a third party, the challenges of multi-tenancy, vendor lock-in, and other security concerns need to be handled. The costs involved for API upgrades or functionality changes can add to the existing budget.
- The control of debugging and monitoring is shifted to the vendors. Moreover, the debugging in distributed systems is always difficult and requires a longer time to resolve.
- The integration and architectural complexities can make things more cumbersome.
While cloud computing is a blessing for many, its effective utilization would determine the life of it in an organization. Clarity of cloud services and the expectations from each one would help to determine the real-time budget and planning for the implementation. The technology is growing and getting mature with each passing day, and the organizations which understand the benefits of cloud computing and investing more time on research and impressive utilization of its services and platforms. The teams should collaborate and support each other to identify the benefits and pitfalls related to each cloud service and its related cost.