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Poor planning around the cloud can cause long-term problems

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Cloud solutions can deliver major benefits but poor planning has left companies struggling with long-term challenges.

In the recent rush to adopt cloud solutions the lack of sound planning has seen companies face unexpected costs, concerns over data storage and backup and how compliance and regulation will impact their business strategy.

“Many organisations have felt the pressure to move towards the cloud and it was only four years ago that Gartner suggested a ‘cloud-first’ strategy was the foundation for staying relevant in today’s world,” said Adrian Moir, senior product management consultant & technology strategist at Quest Software . “There is no denying the substantial benefits on offer but there is a difference between taking a considered and strategic approach, and ‘forcing’ cloud migration simply due to fear of being left behind.”

It seemed like the cloud came at a perfect time for industry. As such, some companies took this as an opportunity to upgrade all their infrastructure and move to a pure cloud-based structure. However, today many organisations struggle with a number of data challenges, so perhaps it was case of running before they could walk.

“It is true that cloud has been and continues to be a clear enabler of business success,” Moir continues. “When looking at the rush towards the cloud, cost reduction is top of the wish list for many CIOs. Improved business agility and reliable scalability during peak time periods also prove enriching. However, while the initial rollout of the cloud was regarded as a cheaper option to on-premises, this is not the case for every organisation and today there are many businesses facing cost overruns, complexity and backup challenges.”

One of the main drawbacks of the cloud is that poor planning can quickly accumulate to wasted time, money and resources. With a consumption model it’s important to look at how quickly costs could rack up, where the data is stored and how backup and compliance/regulation will impact the business strategy. These challenges are causing many organisations to rethink their cloud strategy, with some organisations going as far as pulling data back on-premises.

“Many of these obstacles are not a reflection on cloud computing itself but of poor planning and a lack of strategy,” Moir suggests. “Carefully choosing exactly where data should live is critical. Understanding what you have and how it behaves is of paramount importance, before you begin moving workloads to new environments.

“While over-provisioned resources should be recovered first it is essential that the workload behaviour is understood and how that can be analysed to prevent cost over-run or a drop in performance during peak requirement. Aligning a reduction in over-provisioned resources, knowing behaviour along with the cost analysis of both current and future planned deployment locations will enable businesses to be well on the way to understanding if cloud adoption is right – and for which workloads.

“New technologies and services will always emerge in today’s digital world so we should use this as an opportunity to learn how poor planning can cause significant longer-term repercussions.”

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