Defining Direction in the Cloud

Cloud is here to stay, and it’s vital to scalability, growth, and business momentum. For it to be leveraged correctly there must be a data strategy that can be acted on. Otherwise, cloud becomes a cliché and is essentially just another approach to IT.

We know that cliché sayings often add confusion to a discussion. “Time heals all wounds,” is not factual, but part of it refers to psychological distress or to the rest that’s required for injuries to heal or mend properly. If we look at an example like grief, time combined with a process becomes a powerful combination.

The same goes for cloud. Whether private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud, cloud without a plan or process is just another IT tool. Yet the concept of cloud combined with a data strategy is a game changer.

Cloud without a plan or process is just another IT tool. Yet the concept of cloud combined with a data strategy is a game changer.

What is data strategy and how do you create a data strategy framework?

A data strategy can be defined by asking the “right” questions. Is the right data, at the right place, at the right time? Put differently, what is the business trying to accomplish, where do those decisions have to be made, and what are the functions of cost, compliance, and timing that can affect how the data can be used where that data should reside? 

The main hurdle is that there are a lot of ways to solve these problems. Determining the right path or direction for your organization is challenging. Working with a consultant or trusted advisor (like Candoris digital pathfinders) can provide clarity. These experts have seen many scenarios and are focused on transformation while you are and should be focused on your business. They understand a vast variety of tools, which, coupled with your unique business expertise, create effective solutions. The outcome is a data management strategy that elevates your key business differentiator.   

Gartner is estimating that by 2021, 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud or hybrid IT strategy. Whether you are revisiting your existing data strategy framework or starting a new one, here are three considerations.

Consider more than just the technical aspects or requirements

What are the business needs and benefits for where data resides? VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger sums it up: “The ability to move things to the Cloud and from the Cloud, I call it the three laws. The laws of physics, the laws of economics, and the laws of the land.” If you need decisions made in milliseconds – that’s a question of physics. Bandwidth ingress and egress have costs – they are questions of economics. Governance issues are subject to the laws of the land.

Look for platforms that are cloud agnostic

Building new things with a cloud native architecture can sometimes seem easy, but what happens when you determine that something really shouldn’t be in the public cloud? The ability to move to the right place at the right time is difficult and expensive. There are platforms that provide the same administrator experience across a hybrid or even multi-cloud environment, making agility possible and comfortable. Though it might not be a requirement for your organization today, you can design your strategy and infrastructure to support it in the future.   This is important not only to your scale and growth but also necessary for speed to market and an enhanced end-user experience.

Stay focused on security

Who is responsible for your data? You are! As you evaluate choices for extending and integrating cloud capabilities, consider interruptions. In 2019 we watched Salesforce grapple with service disruption, Microsoft Cloud Services saw DNS outages, and Google Cloud services, G suite and YouTube failed for several hours…and the list goes on. The cloud continues to mature and has a larger user base – thus more exposure to these types of events. Failure is part of physics and electronics; items wear out and in IT the unexpected happens.

Preparing for the unexpected is an essential part of a good data strategy, and cloud capabilities are no exception. This includes considering risk and data loss. We recommend that you incorporate the NIST cybersecurity framework process into your data strategy plan.

Embarking on a successful journey starts with a destination and a plan. Having the right data, at the right place, at the right time is vital for organizational success. Our digital pathfinders can help you delineate the right direction in the cloud.

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Learn more about the technical aspects of building out a cloud native infrastructure in our most recent Tuesday Tech Talk Series: Agility in a Cloud Native World.

About the author

VP, Data Center Solutions

As VP of Data Center Solutions, Dave has been involved in the growth Candoris has experienced by leveraging success in business development, leadership, and finance management. He strives to exemplify Candoris core values as he strategically guides the data center sales team towards implementation of being digital pathfinders and furthering customer success.