The hype and foggy paradigms can lead to clouding of discussions or decisions involving cloud strategies. One must develop crystal clear cloud strategy to effectively participate in discussions with partners, vendors, and internal as well as external customers for a meaningful outcome. Following seven aspects of a cloud strategy would help you design a comprehensive cloud outlook that is free from the flab.
User engagement through SaaS
User experience is undoubtedly the most valuable dimension of user engagement but it is not associated with User Interface alone. One more parameter should not be overlooked in this regard and it is consistency. Your products need to exude consistency throughout its features otherwise it will result in bad user experience.
In order to improve consistency and user experience you need to focus on innovation cycles that can facilitate space for course correction. The consistency of solutions should extend from desktops to mobile devices by focusing on ease of usage by end user.
The SaaS offering need to accommodate collaboration instead of being a simple tool for information transfer. The solution should support collaboration across various solutions including on premise as well as on cloud.
If the solution is able to deliver analytics then these need to provide relevant information according to customer profile.
It is essential to practice co-innovation by getting your customers involved in the process of innovation.
Platform as a Service- boost good applications
The strategy needs to have good cloud storage platform, only if the application is good enough. The platform should never be a rough tool set of extensions and configurations. This can complicate things in a multi tenancy environment. Right platform leads to harmonization of solutions. It not only enables the existing products but also has the potential to develop new products. The platform should offer innovation in future technology including predictive analytics, graph store, and streaming. It should also boost development of apps in addition to analytics, integration, and mobile.
Integration to boost consistency
Care needs to be taken to ensure that customers are not made to suffer due to lack of integration between solutions from different vendors. In order to achieve integration, we can think of offering prepackaged integrations that should provide consistent array of diagnostics, error handling, reporting, and so forth.
Infrastructure as a Service- need for a firm infrastructure
There is a need to establish your cloud offering on a robust infrastructure by enabling the same to manage and sustain heterogeneous environments from different vendors. The IaaS solution should be able to offer seamless support to cloud enablement.
There should be a ready list of available tools that would be used for virtualization of existing landscape and a well defined process for transferring on premise solutions to the environment of private cloud. You need to have managed service in place for supporting the same.
There has to be an IaaS platform specifically designed for private cloud and it needs to differ from portfolio of the private cloud. In addition, your infrastructure should have a global appeal and should be available globally.
IaaS strategy and security
Security has always been a prime concern while discussing cloud and this is further aggravated in response to the recent security breaches that have been aimed at data privacy and security. In order to have a thorough assay of security parameters the following considerations assume great importance.
You should have a complete list of data security measures in relation with backup and recovery procedures, physical and networking security, data confidentiality, data integrity, and compliance standards.
In order to harden your systems, the security must be handled appropriately while creating design of the application. You should be able to provide list of certifications and details of internal risk framework to clients in addition to providing access to security and risk officers to know security implementation in private cloud offering.
Public cloud and multi tenancy related concerns
In a public cloud hosting offering, there is a sharing of resources in order to gain optimum cost efficiency. Users are offered access to these resources via internet medium. The resources are owned and operated by provider.
Use of multi tenant with identical schemas can compromise configuration options for every customer although it provides significant scalability to vendor. In this approach, the customers face restricted support for business processes.
Ideally the vendor should be implementing multi-tenant with custom schemas for a broad spectrum of configuration options to every client. However the vendor is forced to introduce complexities that are client specific, thereby influencing responsiveness, delivery cycles, and overall performance.