How to Achieve Cloud Agility & Transform Your Cloud Environment
For some business practices, endurance and consistency are the name of the game. However, there comes a time when organizations need to examine what they’ve been doing and find opportunities to move faster to maintain a competitive edge. Cloud agility can help businesses that are looking for greater flexibility, scalability, and development efficiency, among other things. In this article, we’ll discuss cloud agility – what it is, why it’s important, and how to build agility in your organization.
Cloud agility allows businesses to create, launch, and test their applications quickly in a cloud-based environment. When an organization is agile, it’s able to respond rapidly and effectively to new business challenges or changing technological environments. Agility is a key component of cloud computing and enables organizations to respond appropriately to user demands.
Companies that remain stagnant run the risk of losing business over time to competitors that are offering products and services that customers have grown to want. Cloud agility is important for business because of what’s provided in a cloud environment.
Organizations are able to iterate and progress more quickly in a cloud environment, improving the chances of relevancy and profitability, than in a traditional on-premises environment.
Achieving cloud agility comes with several business-friendly benefits, including speeding up the time to market, allowing for more flexibility, and adding value to the organization.
The iterative nature of cloud computing gives businesses the chance to develop and launch an application and bring it to market, improving it over time. This cuts down on the delay between development and launch that may be present in an on-premises environment, where bringing something to market can require more lift from a business. Instead of taking weeks to procure and provision IT infrastructure, for example, cloud servers can accomplish this in minutes.
Automating routine tasks in a cloud environment can free up time on IT teams for other, more important tasks. Through automation, businesses are also able to reduce the number of errors from manual entry and oftentimes reduce the cost of labor associated with mundane, repetitive tasks, such as provisioning, scaling, and managing of resources.
Whether it’s automated or not, businesses can easily scale their IT resources up or down to respond appropriately to demands. The flexibility of paying for what you use is not possible in an on-premises environment.
Cloud platforms offer elasticity, which means resources can be automatically adjusted to match demand. Businesses can put rules in place to trigger an increase or decrease that react to changes in demands on the system.
For example, if a website has an unexpected surge in traffic, the cloud infrastructure can automatically allocate more resources to handle the increased load to prevent the site from crashing.
Cloud services offer access to various tools and technologies, like machine learning, big data analytics, and IoT platforms.This allows for innovation by letting organizations experiment with new technologies without substantial costs initially; it also accelerates their time-to-market and helps product improvements to be launched more quickly.
Cloud services operate according to an OpEx model rather than CapEx. This pay-as-you-go or pay-per-use model, enables organizations to pay solely for the resources they utilize. This cost-efficient approach eliminates the necessity for substantial upfront investments in hardware and software, which gives IT leaders the opportunity to invest their former CapEx budget into other areas.
Cloud agility includes the ability to establish resilient disaster recovery and backup solutions that safeguard critical data and operations. Through the cloud’s infrastructure, data can be efficiently replicated across multiple geographical regions and availability zones. This strategic redundancy ensures the continuity of essential business functions even in the face of unexpected failures, disasters, or disruptions. Cloud computing’s flexibility empowers organizations to customize disaster recovery plans, fine-tuning them to meet specific recovery time and recovery point objectives, thus enhancing overall business resilience.
What Are the Challenges with Cloud Agility?
When organizations are new to cloud computing, one of the main challenges can result from the culture and process shift to a new type of environment. Enhancing agility in the cloud also calls for an increased need for businesses to be agile in turn.
Depending on your in-house skills, you may also need to upskill current staff or bring in new cloud experts to fill cloud skills gaps, manage the cloud environment, and advance new and innovative capabilities, as well as make the most of cloud agility. Businesses also have to address new security and compliance challenges that can arise from moving to cloud.
You can incorporate cloud agility into your environment by utilizing the following:
Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
Embrace IaC techniques for automating infrastructure provisioning and management through code. Utilize tools like Terraform and AWS CloudFormation to streamline and simplify resource creation and modification as per your requirements.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
Set up CI/CD pipelines to automate the software development, testing, and deployment processes. This accelerates the release cycle and guarantees quick, dependable deployment of changes pushed to the production environment.
Prevent vendor lock-in and enhance flexibility by embracing a multi-cloud approach. This strategy involves leveraging various cloud providers or services to avoid reliance on a single vendor and to capitalize on diverse features and pricing structures.
Cloud Cost Optimization
Ensure ongoing monitoring and cost-efficiency in the cloud through resource optimization, identifying idle resources, and the utilization of cloud cost management tools.
Cloud Native Architecture
Create cloud native applications and services from the ground up. This involves harnessing cloud services and embracing a microservices architecture to develop systems that are:
- Exceptionally available
Opt for serverless computing platforms like AWS Lambda or Azure Functions to execute code without the need for server provisioning or management. This approach enables automatic scaling and further cost optimization.
Employ containerization technologies like Docker and container orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes to package applications and services into portable, isolated units. This ensures uniform deployment across cloud environments.
Security and Compliance Automation
Integrate automated security protocols and compliance assessments. Tools like AWS Security Hub and Azure Security Center prove invaluable for pinpointing and remedying security vulnerabilities while ensuring adherence to compliance standards.
Transform Your Environment and Achieve Cloud Agility with TierPoint
Cloud agility presents an opportunity to organizations, enabling greater innovation, a faster time-to-market, unparalleled scalability, and better cloud ROI. If you’re looking to achieve cloud agility, but want to make sure you don’t miss anything along your digital transformation journey, TierPoint is here for you. Our cloud experts can help you with migration, agility, cost optimization, and more.
Need help during your journey in the cloud? Download our eBook to learn how you can minimize the risk of cloud adoption and maxmize the benefits.
Cloud agility is a self-service, elastic environment that allows organizations to rapidly deploy their applications while optimizing for costs, prioritizing security, and increasing transparency into the cloud environment.
Some of the key components of cloud agility include resource pooling, scalability, automated provisioning, rapid deployment, and continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD), often within a self-service portal.
DevOps teams combine software development and IT operations into one department to shorten the application development lifecycle. Often, these teams can employ CI/CD to automate the creation, testing, and deployment of code on an interactive basis. Rapid deployment and departmental efficiencies both greatly contribute to cloud agility.
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