Companies of all sizes are turning to cloud computing services as they seek great efficiencies and flexibility for their business. Since Evolve IP started delivering “cloud services” in 2008 before the term cloud was even used (it was originally considered remotely hosted software and servers), we have a unique perspective on the industry. We also have the experience gained from 1000’s of cloud implementations for companies of all sizes in virtually all industries. What we have learned is that cloud computing services work best when companies view the cloud as a strategy for achieving business objectives over time. This approach leads to flexible cloud deployments that consider both short and longer-term needs and which leverage existing investments in time, people and technology infrastructure.
While it’s impossible to encapsulate the whole of Evolve IP’s experience into a few words, we’ve summarized here six succinct evaluation considerations that share parts of this experience as well as the sentiments of many of our customers who have been through the cloud computing services evaluation and adoption process themselves. The first three are in this entry, and the remaining will appear in Part 2.
Consideration 1 – Focus less on the cloud than on achieving your business goals.
The focus of any cloud project should be ensuring that your business objectives are met. Cloud computing services are certainly a game changer in terms of cost, management time, performance and a variety of other key factors. However, it should not, in most cases, fundamentally change your business. Your business, and the ability for it to operate smoothly, is central to any use of the cloud. There may be tradeoffs to consider along the way in exchange for greater benefits, but you should not be making business sacrifices to accommodate your cloud services provider. That is true whether you are deploying cloud computing services (such as virtual servers, disaster recovery, or desktop as a service solutions) or cloud communication capabilities (such unified communications platforms, hosted phone systems or call centers).
Consideration 2 – Simplicity is critical.
Deploying one service in the cloud can be simple with a savvy IT staff and the help of an experienced provider. But deploying multiple servers and services in multiple clouds introduces complexities and management headaches that can (and should) be avoided. Those who “win” and create value for their companies typically begin with a clear strategy and a long-term vision for consolidation and simplification of their cloud computing services. A strategy based on a single cloud, a single networking investment, a single management console, and a single business relationship can provide more freedom and agility to your business.
If you were deploying a new service or refreshing your existing systems and hardware, you would select the cream of the crop when it comes to hardware and software technology. You should expect nothing less when you select a cloud provider. Using top-tier technology, however, is only the starting point for a cloud services provider and should be looked at as the basic ante that’s required just to play the game. The true differentiation in a cloud computing services provider is the ability to manage and leverage that infrastructure. How is it managed across geographically redundant locations? Are there customized solutions on top of that infrastructure that adjust to your specific needs? Are customers satisfied and loyal? Again, the objective of any meaningful cloud computing services solution should be to support or extend the capabilities and objectives of the business. Only an organization capable of customized solutions and sound deployment strategy can leverage the cloud appropriately.
- Consideration 4 – Take the first step with visibility down the road.
- Consideration 5 – Compliance and security go hand-in-hand.
- Consideration 6 – Follow the crowd. Avoid the learning curve.
Regardless of where you are in your cloud experience, ask about how Evolve IP can help. There’s a good chance we can help you grow. Whether you are about to make your first foray into the cloud, or you have completed multiple cloud-based deployments, Evolve IP can help you experience the difference of “Cloud-as-a-Strategy”. We offer the industry’s broadest and deepest selection of cloud computing services and cloud communication services, based on OneCloud— our unified, compliance-driven infrastructure the serves as the foundation for our suite of widely-awarded communications and computing solutions. Serving virtually every industry — from healthcare and financial services, to manufacturing, technology and beyond — we’re proud of our 98% customer retention rate and the fact that nearly 1,500 companies trust Evolve IP as their cloud strategy partner.