The cloud has evolved from a place where developers and other IT professionals go to experiment and play to one where enterprises must make investments in order to stay relevant and offer the experience customers demand. Cloud transformation is no longer a perk for companies, but a necessary step to remain competitive.
Enterprises recognize the need to apply quick action to business decisions, and cloud transformation allows for more agility and innovation to support improvements or new features. In general, cloud transformation tends to follow a predictable progression each time an enterprise embraces cloud technology as a strategy:
Software: In some cases, enterprises choose cloud for the first time when an existing software solution offers a cloud version and may even decide to stop offering its legacy edition. These software-as-a-service (SaaS) options offer a variety of benefits:
- Subscription payment models
- Maintenance and support are handled by the provider, freeing up IT for other tasks
- Upgrades occur without interruption
- Scalable for all sizes of enterprise
Typically, the shift to cloud software comes in one of three forms. Enterprises must decide between a lift-and-shift, partial refactoring (generally placing the front end of the solution in the cloud) and refactoring, which is a complete rewriting of code to create a cloud application.
Network: Following a cloud transformation that shifts software to the cloud, the enterprise begins to notice the complexity it adds to the network. Much of the traffic is best handled with a direct link to the cloud, rather than backhauling to the network. The hub-and-spoke model of the traditional network begins to lose its applicability in a cloud software setting.
Enterprises find that virtualizing the network through software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) helps address the added volume networks handle through cloud solutions, including cloud-based communications solutions. These applications have a high bandwidth demand and low tolerance for latency or dropped packets. Changing to a cloud networking solution allows enterprises to prioritize and segment network traffic while improving visibility into network performance.
Security: One challenge that comes with cloud transformation is determining a way to protect what is a disappearing perimeter around the enterprise network. As a result, enterprises are adopting Zero-Trust networking, which operates on a default-deny posture for all traffic and data interactions. They are also moving from a traditional, legacy security solution to one that’s dynamic, with continuous threat mitigation and adaptive trust.
In a Zero-Trust environment, the application is never exposed to the Internet. Using access and authentication access privilege, the application verifies whether the user can be connected to the application.
Pursuing cloud transformation is a strategy for enterprises that want to remain relevant and provide the best possible experience for customers. If a transformation is in your near future, contact us at Diversified Technology.