The Power Of The Cloud And Predictive Analytics For Your Organization

Predictive analytics has become the main focus for cloud computing due to the cloud’s increased computing power. Companies and organizations of all sizes and industries are looking to the data they are collecting to see if they can use it to make predictions that will help them be more efficient, effective, customer-focused, and ultimately more profitable. The rise of Big Data or data in different formats and in huge quantities has sharpened this focus on predictive analytics. New varieties of data create new analytic opportunities, while the increases in volume and velocity create new challenges.

Businesses and organizations need to know and understand how to use predictive analytics and the cloud in combination. Enterprises want to know what opportunities are available with predictive analytics in the cloud, what trends exist, and what impact Big Data has on the choices they make.

Predictive Analytics in the Cloud

Predictive Analytics is a form of shorthand to develop mathematical models and algorithms capable of making predictions by applying various mathematical techniques to historical data. The models created can demonstrate patterns of association, such as clustering in the data to assess the probability that something is true or statistically significant.

Predictive analytic models are developed and used to predict four basic elements: risk, fraud, opportunity, and demand:

  • What is the risk level of this deal?
  • What is the likelihood that this claim is fraudulent?
  • How can we maximize customer profitability?
  • What will the future demand look like for this product or service?

Many different techniques can be applied to a wide range of data. The data can belong to an organization or come from external sources. There are increasing structured and unstructured data that are currently available for analysis. The goal of data analysis is to gain actionable insights for a business or organization. The ability to use predictive analytics to generate new insights to improve decision-making quality creates great value for companies and organizations in every industry, regardless of their size.

Enterprises cite customer engagement as the most dominant use for predictive analytics. When asked which areas had been most positively impacted by predictive analytics, most areas related to customers. The most positive outcomes were identified as customer satisfaction, profitability, retention, and management. This focus on customers was also specifically around improved customer satisfaction rather than around marketing or selling to customers. While the use of predictive analytics in marketing and cross-sell/up-sell is very important, the clear message is that customer management and engagement can be improved using predictive analytics too.

There was a very wide range of specific areas cited for using predictive analytics to improve business results.

In digital marketing, use cases for predictive analytics include:

  • Predicting which advertising will be most effective
  • Predicting which marketing campaigns, channels, touches, behaviors, and demographics are delivering positive business outcomes
  • Predicting how customers will respond to specific segments, tests, or personalization

Predicting the probability that a user will click on an ad, download a whitepaper, respond to an email, or respond to an offer

  • Predict which leads are the most likely to convert
  • Predict which customers are the most likely to buy one or more products for a cross-sell or upsell.
  • Predict the number of purchases or revenue that will occur in the future from a specific customer or customer
  • Identify and predict which customers will provide a high/medium/low lifetime value.
  • Predict which customers are the most likely to stop purchasing products or services (attrition rates)

Other business activities that utilize predictive analytics include:

  • Health plan resource utilization
  • Fraud detection
  • Customer buying patterns
  • Collections strategies
  • Planning and scheduling optimization
  • Reducing Operational Risk
  • Optimization of care
  • Propensity to buy across product categories
  • Predicting and understanding the customer journey
  • Allocating budgets effectively

Experts in the predictive analytics arena remind us that algorithms search for patterns among values and not the values themselves. Furthermore, they do not believe insufficient data will hold back the expansion of predictive analytics.

More and more user-friendly SaaS platforms are emerging. For most businesses, the ability to create models and predictions from historical data still requires dedicated employees to navigate often complex software solutions or outsourcing that work to a third-party vendor. Even so, the benefits of predictive analytics make those investments in staff or a third-party vendor worthwhile.

For companies postponing predictive analytics projects, it is important to continue filling your data lake so that when you are ready to implement big data analytics, you have enough data to get started.

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Sep 14 21
Christina Zumwalt

With the Labor Day holiday coming up, we will all spend it differently. Whether you are planning time with friends and family, having some you time, or even working this holiday, here are some fun facts to take with you:

1.   Labor Day was originally celebrated on a Tuesday. The Central Labor Union planned the first celebration holiday in New York City on Tuesday, September 5 1882. This was a parade to show support for all the unions.

2.   There are a lot of people that often wonder why there is no white after labor day. Though it is not as much of a Fashion faus pax anymore to wear white after the holiday, in the 19th century it was. The driving thought behind it is that wearing white is for relaxing during the summer time, not to be worn when returning to school.

3.   It marks the end of hot Dog Season. Peak Hot Dog Season is considered between Memorial day and Labor Day. During this time it is estimated that Americans will eat 7 billion of them!

4.   The largest union today is the National Education association. Including inactive and lifetime members, they have roughly 3 Million members.

5.   In 1887, Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day as a legal holiday.

6.   The decision to make Labor Day the first Monday of September was approved on June 28, 1894.

7.   Americans worked 12-hour days seven days a week during the 19th century. Thankfully, The Adamson Act was passed on September 3, 1916 to establish an eight-hour work day.

8.   In 1894, President Grover Cleveland and the US Congress make it a national holiday.

9.   Labor Day is celebrated on a different day in most countries. Many choose May Day, which is on May 1, as their day to honor working people.

10.   There is controversy about who actually proposed Labor Day as a holiday. Some say it was Peter J. McGuire, the cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Others believe that it was Matthew Maguire, a member of International Association of Machinists.

Alto9 helps companies create great web applications, adopt DevOps processes, and maximize cost savings in the cloud. With practiced cost saving techniques and dedicated expert management, we help businesses scale effectively and control costs on any cloud platform.

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Sep 3 21
Christina Zumwalt

When you shop for a car or a home, you wouldn’t just ask for a car or a house. You would have a list of things you want from your car or your home. You will describe the functionalities you need from the car or the house you want to buy. The same is true when you have discussions with cloud providers. You can’t start the conversation asking for a cloud. You need to ask the right questions and choose your cloud vendor wisely.

To have a productive conversation with a cloud vendor, you will need to provide a lot of information in order to get what you need. Clouds are different, so you have to have questions that will narrow down your options to what fits your enterprise best. You can think of cloud vendors like car dealers with lots of different models. Some are bare-bones, and other models have all the bells and whistles.

The most important question you should be prepared to answer when you start your search for a cloud provider is what do you want to do with the cloud?” Your cloud provider is likely to phrase this question differently. They will often ask what your use case is or something as simple as your goal for cloud computing? It is important to be able to identify the functions you want to move to the cloud and the business goals you hope to achieve by moving to the cloud. These questions will also help you prepare your enterprise to migrate to the cloud. Saving money alone is a very vague answer. To get a good, solid quote on an appropriate cloud solution for your use case, you need to be able to articulate what you want to do with the cloud clearly. Here are some examples of things your enterprise may be looking to do by moving to the cloud:

  • DevOps-developing custom applications
  • Interact with consumers
  • Use open-source and off the shelf applications
  • Move your infrastructure to the cloud
  • Data storage
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • A virtual cloud-based call center
  • Internal employee services for HR or finance

There are many specific use cases, and the better you are at defining your requirements and needs from the cloud, the greater the likelihood that you will end up with the right cloud vendor and the right-sized solution because different clouds are appropriate for different types of tasks and audiences. Provide the specific requirements and functionality you will need to use your applications and who needs to access the applications.

Another important area to understand and be able to articulate to your cloud vendor is precisely how much you want to manage and how much you want your provider to manage. The fact is even if you migrate to the cloud, there are things you will still need to manage. Moving to the cloud does not eliminate maintenance, security patches, access, or the blue screen of death. The difference is who you want to handle maintenance issues-your IT staff or your cloud provider? The answer to this question involves cost, so it is important to understand what you can afford and what the cloud provider can actually provide in terms of cloud management.

Finally, it would help if you also questioned your provider. The best question to open the conversation is, “What do you do better than any other cloud vendor?” Keep in mind that no one can do everything equally well. They may be good at one or two things, and those are the areas you want them to describe in detail. After all, if a cloud provider doesn’t do at least one thing better than everybody else, why would you want to do business with them.

The goal of asking and answering these questions is to ensure you find the provider that aligns most closely with your IT needs. If what they do best is high on your list of priorities, you may want to investigate their offerings more thoroughly.

Any productive conversation will include what you want, why you want it, how you plan to use the cloud and your expectations of the provider. If you have all of these areas covered, you have all the basic elements for a successful discussion.

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Aug 31 21
Christina Zumwalt

Companies continue to move data into the cloud. Research indicates a there will be a continued increase in cloud storage and use in the coming years. Companies are migrating data storage to the cloud because it’s cheaper to rent applications and storage than it is to build or buy infrastructure. Software designed for the cloud allows employees to get access to data anywhere, at any time on just about any device.

This move to the cloud creates a complex hybrid world in which some corporate data is in the cloud, and some data remains on-premises. The new challenge is to find efficient ways to manage security in both places.

Cloud providers have certain security advantages. Cloud providers are more likely to be more conscientious than an underfunded information technology (IT) group about basic security protocols, including keeping software patches up to date, malware scanning with the latest signatures, and enforcing physical security. Nonetheless, moving data to the cloud doesn’t mean you will no longer have data access governance and data security problems. It may surprise you to learn that data access controls, data usage auditing, and security analytics capabilities in much of the cloud are just as limited as with on-premises data stores. 

You might assume there would be some built-in protections for data, but data in the cloud is still vulnerable when basic security principles aren’t followed. Cloud providers do not update your passwords for you, and they do not decide who gets access to the data you store with them. These same issues apply to all other cloud providers as well as Amazon. 

The reality of the situation is that you can’t outsource your data security to a cloud provider. You still need to apply the same data access governance and security practices to your cloud data as if it was in your own infrastructure.

Hybrid Security

“Cloud-access security brokers,” or CASB, is an area of emerging technology to assist organizations in managing their security needs across the multi-cloud. CASB provides cloud-centric products that usually operate between users and cloud services and/or make use of cloud service APIs.

CASB allows you to extend your cloud security, but there is still a bigger issue you have to deal with, and that is how you are going to unify the two different security environments. Even if you utilize, a cloud access security broker, cloud data security reporting and monitoring only covers the cloud and not the enterprise.

If you have no on-premises controls, you may accidentally expose sensitive corporate data to the entire internet. It can also be more challenging to spot security issues without adequate data and behavioral context across both environments.

What is needed is an alternative security technology that covers both on-premises and cloud data stores. A technology that provides a data-centric platform approach to security. Fortunately, there are several hybrid cloud security solutions on the market.

Organizations will continue to move into the cloud to take advantage of cloud economics, performance, and reliability. 

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Aug 30 21
Christina Zumwalt

Get ready to witness a major generational shift in the world of cloud computing. A new generation of CIOs and CEOs are in charge, and this generation has grown up using cloud-based tools, which will lead to faster and greater cloud adoption for enterprise organizations. How will this affect the way the cloud looks, acts, and feels? 

Modular Software

The ability to scale will also impact hardware and software. With the huge stores of hardware available in the cloud, individual software applications will continue to grow and expand to leverage the availability of hardware at scale. As a result, software development processes will focus on modular software that offers components that allow for modifications without shutting down the program.

You can expect to see a shift in the way people look at software development. Not only will the software be based in the cloud, but it will also integrate with multiple clouds and on-site applications. Different parts of applications will float around in abstract space in and out of service providers to simplify the concept.

Software Becomes Social

Software will start to look and act like some of our current social media applications. Program needs will likely begin developing automatic, fleeting associations with different bits of hardware and software. For example, a cloud-based infrastructure might be engineered so that a database might “like” or be “attracted to” a server or storage array. Another way of thinking about social software is that the infrastructure and software will adapt and mold around a task rather than the task adapting to the infrastructure or software requirements and demands. The need for provisioning will disappear because it will happen automatically.

Low-power processors and cheaper clouds

Lower power ARM chips with 64-bit capability will start flowing into the market in about 12 months. This will drive greater workload efficiencies and lower the cost of cloud computing. Cloud providers like AWS will benefit from lower electric bills, and those savings may get passed on to customers as the market continues to become more and more competitive. 

Super Interconnects

The increasing number of high-end processors and the growth of massively distributed applications will bring about a new generation of super-fast interconnects into the data center estimated to run in the low hundreds of gigabits.

Interconnect technology will be central to allow information to be passed between data centers at faster rates and lower costs. It will enable developers to build more complex, larger, automated applications at lower costs.

Data Center Ecosystems

Cloud data centers will look and behave like living organisms. Abstract software and commodified hardware will combine to make them function much more like an ecosystem. The data center will transform into a biological system capable of automating many tasks like patching and updating equipment.

Quantum Computing

Many consider quantum computing the holy grail for the biggest players in the computing world. Some believe quantum computing could be just around the corner. IBM is already offering quantum computing as a service to select customers who are willing to test the system, so large-scale production is likely to be closer than many analysts have predicted.

The Stratification of the Cloud

2020 saw the development of specialized clouds in addition to the basic cloud types of infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and software-as-a-service. It is likely we will see middle virtualization tools and dynamic BPO services. Infrastructure capabilities will determine cloud differentiation. The differences in capability will define the categorization of the specialized clouds such as utility clouds and medical clouds.

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Aug 27 21
Christina Zumwalt

Over the last few years, a huge question being asked is “Why Cloud Computing”? Cloud computing has undoubtedly become the hottest trend in the tech world in recent years, and cloud computing is here to stay. With all-new technologies developed, there are generally three categories that organizations fall into, ones that move quickly, ones that are reluctant to move, and the ones that question everything. Here are several reasons why cloud computing is always the best choice.

Streamlining Content

The years 2020 and 2021 showed as to be real reasons as to why having streamlined content is a huge necessity. Many companies found themselves unable to have employees working inside the office due to a global pandemic. Using the cloud for streamlining allowed those companies to have several employees and partners collaborating on documents in real-time, without sending the files as an attachment and waiting to get a response. Having this type of visibility helps to improve your bottom line, as less time is used when not using antiquated methods of email attachments.

Security

In the news, we often hear about computers being stolen or data breaches, which is a significant concern of every company regardless of size and industry. With using cloud computing, documents are no longer stored on a computer, helping eliminate the risk of data breaches from computers being hacked or stolen. Several security features are offered for the cloud, such as access control, authentication, and encryption. With these added features, most organizations can use their own security measures and the added features to bolster their cloud data protection as well as tightening access to the sensitive information that is stored in the cloud.

Data Loss Prevention

Imagine working on a huge project for work, and your hard drive crashes and cannot be repaired. You have now lost all your hard work. With cloud computing, everything is stored in the cloud, and it will always be available from any device. Despite all efforts made when using on-premises approaches, computers and servers can malfunction for various reasons. Anything such as failures, or viruses, and malware can deteriorate the data, as well as simple user errors.

Cloud computing is definitely a benefit to all companies who use the cloud. It gives the security, availability, and reliability for all data housed inside it. There are many benefits to cloud computing not listed here that are equally as important. If you find yourself wondering why cloud computing is, here are some of the best reasons to use cloud computing.

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Aug 25 21
Christina Zumwalt

What will emerging cloud technology prove to be the next big thing? Although it is always difficult to predict with accuracy, we can look at trends that are gaining traction. When looking at larger organizations and enterprises, you can get a pretty good idea about what the next significant technological developments will be. One of those new trends emerging within large enterprises is a practice referred to as DataOps. But before we look at this new trend, let’s look at the definition of DevOps.

Why Data Matters

A significant shift in focus for IT is how to manage and deploy data-intensive applications. Where DevOps has focused on lightweight applications, there is an entirely new list of considerations that need to be dealt with when we begin to work with data-intensive applications.

Data management practices are central to the entire application lifecycle. Developments in machine learning and data science applications require vast amounts of training data. Deployment raises other issues because data-intensive applications need to take into consideration the concept of locality. If you want to meet performance expectations processes, there would need to be a new deployment near where the data will generate. Because different groups use data within an organization, access to that data, IT needs to provide access control and governance.

DataOps For Data-Driven Applications

With new data applications, there is a need for a practice that can overcome the limitations of DevOps. DataOps is a methodology used for the development and deployment of data-intensive applications. DataOps is best described as a paradigm involving people and processes that deliver repeatability, productivity, and agility,

We are beginning to see shifts in the types of infrastructure, platforms, and tools used to support DataOps. Some of the devices like containers and virtualization that support DevOps are also central to DataOps, but additional needs are driving the use of newer technologies.

DataOps will require a data fabric capable of providing access to massive volumes of data. While at the same time, having the ability to manage different types of data, including legacy structured data as well as unstructured and streaming data. With the development of a global data fabric, IT will be able to manage data across multiple physical locations and process it with vast stores of computing engines, including containerized methods. Another feature you can expect as part of a dataOps platform is the ability to optimize for data locality. 

DevOps Defined

DevOps is an acknowledged IT practice designed to maximize automation and repeatability in the building and deployment of applications. The goals of DevOps include a faster time to market, continuous application delivery, and agility.

Trending Now

One trend impacting nearly all enterprises today is the increasing importance of using data to drive value. Data is the primary way a company can gain a competitive advantage regardless of the industry in which they operate. Information can be used to improve your customer experience, increase operational efficiencies, or generate new sources of revenue.

The Next Generation Of Market Winners

So, who will the winners be moving forward? It is probably safe to assume that the data center of the past decade will look quite different from data centers moving forward. As DataOps practices become more frequent and standardized, we will see a shift in the technology marketplace. Marketplace winners will be companies that deliver tools and platforms that cater to making the development and deployment of data-intensive applications easier and faster.

Aug 24 21
Christina Zumwalt
Fun facts about Cloud Computing

We read new articles about the cloud, data, and artificial intelligence all the time, but how much of that information really sticks with us? Here are a few fun and interesting facts about cloud computing, data, and artificial intelligence that might surprise or shock you.

The cloud is not a cloud at all. The cloud is a term that refers to using the internet to store data on remote servers instead of storing data locally on a hard disk.

For small and medium businesses using the cloud, energy use and carbon emissions were cut by 90% saving our environment and energy costs.

70% of the businesses that migrated to the cloud report that they have saved enough money on I.T. costs to reinvest funds back into their businesses.

If you stacked a pile of CD-ROMs one on top of the other until you’d reached the current digital information that is being stored globally, those CD ROM’s would stretch 80,000 km farther than the moon.

Did you know that 80% of the 247 billion email messages sent each day are spam?

More than 2% of all electricity used in the US is consumed by data centers.

For every 600 smartphones or 120 tablets that are put into use it requires the addition of a new cloud server.

One exabyte of data equals about 3000 times the entire content of the Library of Congress. Another way of picturing an Exabyte of data is to think of the data as being 10,000 miles short of reaching the moon.

When we think of all the data that man has created since the beginning of time, it may be mind-boggling to think that some experts believe that 90% of all that data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of human existence.

It may be hard to believe but 570 new websites come into existence every minute of every day.

I.T. departments are expected to be looking after 10x more servers, 50x more data, and 75x more files by the year 2020.

In a report by PWC, it estimates that A.I. will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by the year 2030. A.I. is already making products and services better, and it’s expected that those improvements will boost North America’s GDP by 14% by 2030.

Personalization continues to gain strength. Many products you buy are being suggested to you by artificial intelligence. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, told investors that the company’s machine learning systems are being used to recommend products to customers on its e-commerce platform. A.I. is also helping to determine which deals to offer and at what point in time.

World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking predicted that A.I. would make a lot of jobs disappear. He was one of many deep thinkers who believe that A.I. systems will eliminate many jobs and not create enough to replace them. “The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.” There are many others who agree with his prediction. PwC says that 38% of U.S. jobs will be in danger of being lost to A.I. in the next 15 years.

Some researchers expect artificial intelligence systems to be only one-tenth as smart as a human by 2035. But you better watch out because things may change when we reach 2060. That is the period of time when many believe that AI could start doing all the tasks a human can do and do them better.

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Aug 20 21
Christina Zumwalt
The Nuts and Bolts of Cloud Computing

Although most people do not think about it, they probably use cloud computing every day. Anyone who uses an online service to send email, edit documents, play games, store pictures, watch movies and TV, or listen to music is utilizing the cloud. Companies from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits are embracing the technology for a variety of different reasons, including Creating new apps and services, storing, backing up, and recovering data, hosting websites and blogs, streaming audio and video, delivering software on demand and analyzing data for patterns and making predictions. Before making a move to the cloud, companies should understand the nuts and bolts of how cloud computing works, what benefits it can deliver, and the costs to run in the cloud.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing services all work a little differently, depending on who the provider is. Most provide a user-friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easy for IT professionals and developers to order resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud computing services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line Cloud computing services all work a little differently, depending on who the provider is. Most provide a user-friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easy for IT professionals and developers to order resources and manage their accounts. Simply put, cloud computing is an arrangement between a provider and a customer that allows a customer access to a server that remains under the provider’s control. Usually, there is a recurring or monthly fee for these services. The customer can use the server in various ways, including as hardware on which programs run, or to store data. Using a server in this way is often referred to as IaaS. Others use the server as a platform on which to develop their own software (PaaS), and others use the server as a portal that accesses a service such as a payment portal for a customer or to process the customer’s data (SaaS).

Benefits Of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can significantly reduce the investments an enterprise needs to make in hardware and software and eliminate the need for on-site data centers and IT staff to manage the infrastructure, which reduces utility, labor, and overhead costs.

Cloud computing eliminates the need for ongoing IT tasks such as “racking and stacking,” setting up hardware, and patching software. It makes your organization more productive and enables your IT personnel to focus on more important business goals.

Cloud computing provides an enterprise with elastic scalability to meet the ever-changing IT requirements of your enterprise. You will always have the right amount of IT resources available for storage, computing power, and bandwidth, whether your business is seasonal or steady.

The biggest cloud computing services run on a global network of secure data centers. In addition, they are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of the fastest and most efficient computing hardware. This means improved performance, reduced latency, and the benefit of economies of scale.

Cloud computing makes business continuity and disaster recovery easier, and less costly because data is mirrored

Cloud computing makes business continuity and disaster recovery more manageable and less costly because data is mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s global network.

Since cloud computing services are self-serve and on-demand, you can provision vast amounts of computing resources on the fly-in minutes. No more worries over capacity planning.


Cloud Types

Cloud computing services are defined by three categories: IaaS-The rental of IT infrastructure that includes servers, virtual machines, networks, operating systems, and data storage from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis.

PaaS– This includes cloud computing services that provide an on-demand environment that developers can utilize to develop, test, deliver and manage software applications.

SaaS– cloud computing that provides a way to deliver software applications over the internet on-demand. Normally these cloud services are on a subscription basis. The cloud provider hosts and manages the software application and the underlying infrastructure including maintenance, upgrades and software patches. Users connect to the application over the internet using a browser.

Cloud Computing Deployments

Cloud computing can be deployed in different ways, and it is crucial to understand how the different deployments work in order to choose the right type or combination of cloud deployments that best fit your organizational needs.

Public Cloud

A cloud owned and operated by a third-party provider. Computing resources, including servers and storage, are delivered over the internet. All of the system components such as hardware, software, and any other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the third-party cloud provider.

Private Cloud

Cloud resources that a single business or organization uses exclusively. The cloud can be physically located on a company’s on-site data center or hosted by a third-party provider. The services and infrastructure would be maintained on a private network.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds. The clouds are bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared. A hybrid cloud typically involves a firewall to enhance data security and applications moving between the two clouds. This is the best choice for many businesses because the private cloud better protects sensitive data, and it offers greater flexibility and more deployment options.

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Aug 13 21
Christina Zumwalt

Choosing your cloud provider or cloud providers can be a daunting experience. It is easy to become distracted if you do not decide on a plan for how to approach your decision-making.


When it comes to enterprise IT, many departments approach their decision-making from a tactical perspective looking at what capabilities and functionality support the strategic vision and direction of the company currently and When it comes to enterprise IT, many departments approach their decision-making from a tactical perspective looking at what capabilities and functionality support the strategic vision and direction of the company currently and in the future. This may mean looking at cloud providers that have data centers located around the globe if disaster recovery and business continuity are a primary concern. In other cases, an enterprise may approach its decision-making based more on features. These features are things like what cloud provider excels in, such as machine-learning, because it supports an enterprise’s capabilities and aligns with their vision of what the enterprise believes will be valuable. Most IT architects think strategically and consider criteria such as data storage capacity, company viability, market share, and computing capability. In general, most enterprises should approach choosing cloud providers strategically and tactically because it isn’t just about features. It is about much, much more, and whatever provider or providers you decide to work with, your internal IT will need to change skill sets. Everything will need to adapt to a new platform. The one thing you need to avoid is falling in love with specific features. Features have a way of casting a spell on us and distracting us from looking at things strategically and tactically.

Service Levels

If your enterprise has sensitive or critical needs around availability, capacity, response time, and support, you need to understand what your cloud provider Service level agreements are. You will also want to draft a contract that establishes and defines the cloud provider and cloud service customer relationship you are entering into. The contract should be written with clear contractual language and include SLA’s for all vital enterprise needs, including data security.

Evaluation Criteria

A strategic and tactical approach to cloud migration includes focusing on several core areas and how they integrate with your existing business and existing legacy architecture.

Architecture

It is essential to consider how the cloud architecture will integrate and support your existing workflows presently and in the future. If your current infrastructure and workflows already depend on a lot of Google services, then Google may provide better, easier integration. Still, if your enterprise has invested in Microsoft Universe, for example, then Microsoft may be the better provider.

Security

When selecting cloud providers or multiple providers, you should carefully consider where the provider data centers are located. If your organization utilizes highly sensitive applications, you may want at least one data center close to where your users are from a user’s perspective. For resiliency and disaster recovery, you will want a provider that has geographically diverse data centers that are not run off of the same electrical grid. There is yet another security consideration, and that is that if your company is global, you also need to consider where your provider hosts data because there are rules and regulations around data that are specific to a country.

Management

Another important criterion in choosing a cloud provider understands what your organization will have to manage. Every service utilizes different orchestration tools and provides various integrations with other services. If there are certain services your organization requires or are vital to your operations, you need to ensure that your provider offers an easy way to integrate with those services. You will also want to take a close look at how much time, effort, and money it is going to take to manage the different aspects of the cloud infrastructure you select.

Compliance

Some industry sectors are highly regulated and require strict compliance with specific standards and regulations like medical and financial organizations. You must understand what you will need if your applications run on a public cloud infrastructure. It is essential to be aware of what responsibilities in terms of data security and compliance are the responsibilities of your organization and which obligations your cloud provider will fulfill to ensure your applications remain compliant once migrated to the cloud.


With a tactical and strategic approach to choosing your cloud provider coupled with sound business research about your cloud provider candidates and the services they provide. You should be able to make a sound decision that will serve your enterprise well into the future.

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Aug 6 21
Christina Zumwalt