Cloud choices: How do you decide, when there’s so much on offer?


Tommy Kolega, CIO, Viadex: Global IT Infrastructure and Deployment Specialists


How risky is it to reduce risks?
Cloud has been around, some would say, since 1996. It’s no longer a novelty. It is, however, the platform for all things new: services, processes, development, applications, interactions, and great ways of reducing risk and costs. It frames how we view technology today. It defines how businesses serve their customers.

As a business model that’s about consumption of services, Cloud can now be consumed in so many ways, offering so many enabling options, that its very simplicity is now sometimes seen as complexity. Many C-level executives don’t know what to do with the opportunity, or how to use it for the benefit of their business. It’s an unfounded fear, but a rational basis for caution. If you don’t identify the right way in, you might end up advancing one aspect of the business, while another aspect lags.

Any time taken at the planning stage is never time wasted. It might be thought that deliberation can delay time to market but this time is more than adequality reclaimed once the agility of cloud development swings into play. My advice is never to try to rush cloud adoption. Build up a granularly detailed view of where in the business you believe cloud will most beneficially impact what you do. Be clear about business goals and why you seek to transform your capabilities. Assess what will need to change within your current mode of operation (CMO) and how you envisage your future mode of operation (FMO).  I’ll come back to that.


Don’t fail to plan; it’s just a cliché
When implementing any technology for your business, diligent research is essential; taking account of business requirements both immediate and longer term, risks that need to be addressed, compliance and regulation in each market you operate in, and where the workload is being run, processed and stored.

If you are considering public cloud services, you’ll find useful references at this Public Cloud Services Comparison site. It shows a high-level comparison of the major public cloud platforms and the different types of services they offer. The site also provides links directly to the providers’ websites that have more detailed specifications, sizing and pricing. The key to maximising the usage of these offerings is how robust and mature each one is – from the simplest data storage and DNS, through to complex applications like AI and IoT – and how ready and enabled you are as an organisation to integrate these services into your existing technology environment.

Another great resource to look at if you’re looking for something more generalised and one that provides a decent spread of Cloud and as-a-Service providers, ISVs, SIs, Distributors and Government Agencies is Cloud28+. Although it’s run by HPE, it is an open community.  It’s free to register to undertake your own in-depth research regarding specific needs that might not be suitable directly from a public cloud provider.


Don’t go it alone
Regarding the rational basis for caution, small wonder that some don’t know where to enter this apparently mysterious territory. From on-premise, hosted/co-located through hybrid to ‘aaS’ and public cloud, there are so many options to choose from. There are also effective ways of utilising many of the providers’ solutions in combination; but you have to know why and how, and whether or not it’s the right route for you to follow.

As much as providers love receiving enquiries about their services, the response they give can always be assumed to be inclined to what they’re providing. To gain a balanced view, you need an objective advisor; one who is not tied to any specific technology or vendor. Turn to organisations that can benchmark your approach and offer consultancy and professional services based on a complete and impartial market overview.


The four-step approach to business transformation
The acid test in deciding how to move forward is always to understand how the technology will serve the business. Viadex employ a four-stage approach to assist customers, from planning through to using the solution: Audit → Design → Deploy → Optimise.


  • For auditing, we make sure that technology choices will deliver immediate and sustainable business benefits. This involves assessing current capabilities against the extent to which they deliver on business goals. A clearly documented current mode of operation (CMO) identifies the gaps and informs and supports the design phase.
  • For the design step, we address all stakeholder objectives in a detailed future mode of operation (FMO), identifying best-in-class solutions. It looks closely at integration requirements, user expectations, business needs, and competitive From a detailed perspective it evaluates data sovereignty, security, bursting or workload movement based on agility of consumption of the service from your end users and consumers of your services.
  • For deployment we follow a rigorous time-proven delivery methodology; delivery on time, in budget, within scope.
  • Optimisation is based on our strong belief that business drivers can change rapidly, and IT must adapt. This is why we offers continued engagement with our customers after the initial deployment to optimise and fine-tune any solution to ensure the best return on investment and user experience. Optimisation is often neglected, but for Viadex it’s standard practice. It’s all part of planning to succeed.


Are you running into any dead-ends, cloud-wise? Nothing’s lost just by reaching out. If you are ready to move or just want a chat and some advice on what to do, drop me an email and we can take it from there.