A powerful cloud environment is the catalyst for digital transformation. With most business operating hybrid and flexible working models post pandemic, the need to have an effective cloud strategy has increased.
As you may be aware, flexible working arrangements in recent times have led to many employees getting the opportunity to work from various remote locations. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), earlier this year, about 84% of workers who worked from home during the COVID 19 pandemic, had plans of operating a hybrid working model. To promote seamless and more efficient workflows, IT leaders and administrators ought to invest in migrating from cumbersome on-premises setups to cloud services.
What is Cloud computing?
Cloud computing involves the delivery of computing services such as storage, servers, databases, analytics and intelligence over the internet (“The Cloud”). It provides the opportunity to reduce or eliminate the expense of on-premises infrastructure, lower operating costs and run more efficiently, whilst also allowing businesses to scale faster, particularly in a hybrid world.
Hybrid work and the power of the cloud
Since 2020, the norm of flexible working has rapidly increased. The shift to remote working has caused employers to migrate on-premises facilities to cloud systems to accommodate to the varying needs of staff. Supporting remote work through cloud infrastructure is key in setting a business up for continued success.
Here are a few ways IT cloud applications can enhance a hybrid workforce:
Bridging the gap between physical and digital work environments
Forward thinking businesses with the aim of having a competitive edge in their respective industries would have to invest in the relevant digital software to promote productivity at the workplace. With the office space no longer limited to physical spaces, IT decision makers need to research into the appropriate digital and cloud platform tools needed to bridge the gap between both. This will further promote team collaboration and organisational culture.
Employee empowerment and social capital building
Home working has made it difficult for some teams to function effectively. In some instances, feelings of isolations may set in for employees working remotely. Progressive cloud software such as Microsoft Azure play a major role in solidifying the output of teams operating a hybrid model. Azure cloud computing is an integrated system of infrastructure and application services designed for analytics, storage and networking. Expanding the cloud network capacity of your business will create a positive space for enhanced team building and project management.
According to a report, about 70% of workers would prefer to work flexibly. The post pandemic increase in hybrid and remote working has led a surge in cyber security attacks. For convenience, teams collaborating and working together remotely store data across the cloud. Therefore, IT administrators should carefully assess cloud applications before migrating organisational data. Cloud security measures should be implemented to curb online attacks such as malware, phishing and password compromises.
Rubrics of an effective cloud system
There are several cloud services in the fast-growing technology landscape. Post pandemic, the increase in hybrid work has been an indicator for organisations to implement strategies to facilitate secure remote working and BYOD. Effective cloud strategies are crucial in enhancing the work environments of employees around the world. For modern and fast-paced businesses, the cloud plays a key role in ensuring security, flexibility, speed and team collaboration.
What makes a great cloud strategy?
An efficient cloud strategy includes systems that caters to the needs of the employees in an organisation. Implementing the right approach has a lot of benefits including cost reduction and resource optimisation.
Additionally, it defines the pivotal role the cloud has in shaping the future of modern and evolving businesses. It should also have security directives that will serve as a guide for IT administrators managing cloud services on behalf of the entire company. This will ensure the protection of files, data and documents stored on the cloud.
Here some steps to maintain a successful migration:
The process of migrating to the cloud should be made simple but effective, as it is a contributing factor to the continued survival of flexible and functional work environments.
Design a Data Migration plan
Planning is crucial when migrating an organisation’s data from on-premises structures to the cloud. Moving to a modern cloud platform represents a shift from legacy working practices and requires changes to data structures. Migration does not mean just having the same data somewhere else. It is the mandate of IT leaders to put in place the necessary strategies to ensure the efficient management of operational activities during this period. Additionally, planning promotes the overall security of online files and systems.
Know and understand your Data
Prior to the migration of any form of data, there should be an assessment of files and resources to ensure full understanding of the project. This is because rushing into data migration, would result in problems with usability, particularly if data structures remain unchanged. Furthermore, it would lead to performance issues, as well as the creation of cumbersome and long-winded processes within the chosen cloud environment.
Comprehensively understanding data can be considered as the prelude to a successful cloud migration campaign. Through this, IT administrators can tailor streamlined solutions for all employees within their respective organisations.
Choose the Level of Cloud integration
There should be no restrictions on examining the cloud migration needs of your business when moving from on-prem to the cloud. It is key that you explore the various types of cloud migration methods prior to selecting one. The two most common processes include shallow and deep data integration-
Shallow integration: Also known as ‘lift-and-shift’, shallow integration involves making little to no changes to servers when moving on-prem infrastructure to cloud platforms. The data is simply lifted in its original state and moved to the cloud (shifted). Cloud-unique services are not required in this instance, hence allowing applications to run smoothly in new cloud environments.
Deep integration: This cloud migration solution is the reverse of the above. IT leaders are required to make necessary adjustments to data including applications, workloads and IT resources prior to migration. This is to ensure the optimisation of your organisation’s resources, thereby preventing any loss of data or cost increase.
Prioritise migration components
IT leaders would have to make decisions on the components or applications from their respective IT estates required to be moved onto the cloud environment. Connections between services and applications should be identified to facilitate a seamless and efficient migration. It is also useful to incorporate application performance monitoring tools to aid with the generation of dependency diagrams. By so doing, key components such as important databases and digital assets will be migrated as needed to promote convenience, collaboration and efficiency.
Staff training for cloud transformation
The introduction of cloud services in any organisation would require your workforce to be trained on the new systems that have been implemented. Skills training is key in equipping employees to adapt and understand the changes associated with cloud applications. According to a report, in the next couple of years, more than two-thirds of IT infrastructure will become cloud-based. IT leaders should therefore provide cloud training and resources to ensure upgrading, development and a smooth transition across board. Some of the other advantages of training include flexibility, simplicity and enhanced collaboration.
In summary, cloud services are strategically aimed at improving the modern work facilities of remote staff. Intelligent software such as Microsoft Azure integrate data services and advanced analytics to enhance the productivity of employees. Implementing a comprehensive strategy is at the core of a successful cloud migration.
Are you interested in enhancing your current cloud systems? Get in touch with our experienced consultants today.