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How to maximize the full value of the cloud

Posted January 12, 2023
Vault in the shape of a cloud meant to symbolize unlocking the full value of the cloud

Cloud computing has its origins in the 1950s, with the development of mainframe computers. These large, centralized machines were shared by multiple users who accessed them remotely using terminals. This allowed users to access computing resources without having to maintain and manage their own physical infrastructure.

In the decades that followed, the rise of personal computers and the internet led to the development of new technologies and architectures that would eventually form the basis of modern cloud computing. These developments included virtualization, which allows multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical host, and the emergence of web-based services, which enable users to access remote resources over the internet.

The term "cloud computing" itself was coined in the late 1990s as a way to describe the growing trend of using the internet to access remote computing resources. In the early 2000s, companies like Amazon and Google began to offer cloud-based services to businesses, giving companies the ability to access storage, processing power and software over the internet.

Today, cloud migration — the process of moving data from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, or from a private cloud to a public cloud environment (and vice-versa) — is a cornerstone of the modern business world, with many companies relying on cloud-based services to support their operations. DigitalOcean found that approximately 44% of small businesses, 66% of small tech companies and 74% of enterprises use cloud infrastructure or hosting services. The same report also found that the public cloud will host 63% of small to medium businesses' workloads, and 62% of their data within the next year.

The cloud continues to evolve and expand, with new technologies and services providing companies with even more powerful and flexible ways to access and manage computing resources.

Read on for a closer look at how organizations are deriving value from the cloud, the challenges standing in the way of optimization, as well as the key drivers leading organizations to seek expertise from cloud outsourcing partners.

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Challenges impeding cloud optimization

Cloud migration offers tremendous value for businesses, including cost savings, increased flexibility and improved scalability. But in order to realize the full value of the cloud, organizations may need to overcome some common cloud migration challenges.

1. Lack of visibility

Without complete visibility into resource allocation and performance, it can be tough to determine whether you are overprovisioning or underutilizing resources. This can lead to inefficiencies and higher costs.

2. Privacy and region-specific compliance requirements

If an organization has strict privacy regulations in place, it may be more difficult for them to optimize their use of cloud services. Optimization techniques, such as data mining and analysis, may not be an option for companies operating in highly regulatory environments like healthcare, financial institutions or government agencies. It's important for organizations to carefully balance the need for privacy and security with their desire to optimize their use of cloud services.

3. Environmental considerations

Reducing the amount of energy used by servers and other hardware, and mitigating the potential for electronic waste when equipment reaches the end of its use can all be challenging tasks. Many organizations are turning to green cloud computing initiatives, which aim to minimize the environmental impact of their cloud computing operations to prioritize sustainability. This can include using renewable energy sources to power data centers, implementing energy-efficient technologies and practices and properly disposing of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner.

4. Lack of expertise

Limited internal technical resource expertise is another issue standing in the way of organizations deriving the true value from the cloud. "Cloud computing skills remain highly sought-after skills for most organizations who employ cloud strategies," says Dennis Ludbrook, strategic alliance manager at TELUS International. "Many of the skills required to benefit from cloud services are very different from those of a traditional IT professional."

Maximizing cloud efficiency

Organizations can ensure they are getting the most out of their cloud deployments by leveraging a number of key strategies, including:

Attracting and retaining top IT talent

Organizations can take a number of steps to attract and retain IT professionals with cloud skills. In addition to offering competitive salaries and benefits, this could include opportunities for professional development and fostering a positive and inclusive work culture. Additionally, organizations can work to integrate cloud technologies in a way that complements and enhances existing workflows, rather than replacing them outright. By taking a proactive and thoughtful approach to cloud implementation and talent management, organizations can help ensure that they retain their top IT professionals and continue to thrive in the digital age.

Prioritizing cloud sovereignty

Cloud sovereignty is the idea that organizations should have control over their data and applications when using cloud computing services. It involves ensuring that data is stored, processed and managed in compliance with the relevant legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the organization's own policies and standards. By prioritizing cloud sovereignty, organizations can gain a number of benefits, including improved security, better compliance and greater flexibility and control over their cloud deployments.

Partnering with a managed cloud services provider

A managed cloud services provider can offer expertise and support in designing, implementing and managing cloud-based systems and applications. Organizations can benefit from a partner's skilled talent and experience in cloud migration, as well as gain access to a range of specialized tools and services for better security and compliance.

"Regulatory compliance is increasingly becoming a decision point of most organization's executives," Ludbrook adds. "Most managed service providers themselves have the same compliance requirements and should be able to demonstrate how they manage their customers' IT environments from a compliance perspective and proactively address potential issues."

Other key benefits of working with a managed cloud services provider include:

  • Access to experienced and knowledgeable professionals who can help design and implement a cloud strategy that aligns with your organization's goals and objectives.
  • Support in managing and maintaining your cloud deployment, including monitoring and troubleshooting, as well as regular updates and upgrades.
  • The ability to scale your cloud deployment as needed, without having to invest in additional hardware or infrastructure.
  • Reduced IT costs, as managed cloud service providers can help you optimize your cloud usage and avoid overspending on unnecessary resources.

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The right managed cloud services partner can help alleviate your cloud optimization challenges and guide your transformation journey. Speak with one of our cloud experts to learn how TELUS international can help drive success for your organization.

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