Cloud Computing: An Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Business Agility

By Flux7 Labs
November 8, 2014

As we approach the Super Bowl of Amazon Web Services, our thoughts quickly turn to the cloud advantages you need to keep your dev team focused on your business. And to those that meet customer demand with secure, scalable and compliant infrastructure using AWS automation tools. Superb goals, indeed.

AWS re:Invent 2014 is a celebration of cloud computing at its finest. It’s a great chance next week to share experiences and best practices learned since last year’s event. It’s a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas and explore cloud solutions for both startups and enterprises that are affordable and help reduce time to market.

As the Flux7 team takes up space with its partner Blacklight Solutions and travels the floor and attends many sessions and get-togethers at re:Invent, we want to remind you beforehand why developing a production-ready environment with cloud solutions is so instrumental to your crowning success.

So, we give you the ultimate cloud computing cheat sheet for getting to business agility to help you prepare for re:Invent, whether you make it there or not. And, by the way … if you are in Las Vegas, stop by The Venetian and visit us at booth #132. There you can enter to win our drawing for a Quadcopter. The winner will be announced at re:Invent.

Everyone’s Talking about the Cloud

Cloud computing is:

  • surrounded by a lot of hype.

  • becoming increasingly important during recent years for organizations.

  • leading to a rethinking of the Internet’s capability.

  • propped to completely delocalize computing power and technology for developers, and the way others use it.

The consensus is that cloud computing will become even more important in the future as it continues to gain traction. Take a recent annual survey, the Future of Cloud Computing, North Bridge, in collaboration with Gigaom Research. They came up with the following interesting stats:

  • 45% of respondents were already running their business on the cloud or were planning a cloud migration

  • 65% to 70% of businesses will adopt the cloud by 2015

  • 49% used Cloud for revenue generation and product development

  • 35% adopted Cloud for innovation and competitive advantage

It’s for Real … World

The cloud has surprised several industries with its treasure-trove of services. Here are some real-world examples of how the cloud has clearly influenced the way businesses operate:

  • Scenario 1: Using the cloud to analyze 6-billion records per day of stock market data to create contingency plans.

  • Scenario 2: Live streaming of events, telecasting live updates in 14 different languages across the world.

  • Scenario 3: On-demand, scalable computer cluster search using the cloud.

  • Scenario 4: The cloud in space. Efficient handling of complex large-scale ordered operations and workflows.

  • Scenario 5: Obama for America Campaign 2012 used the cloud to reach out to thousands.

Cloud Migration Mindset: A Cultural Change

Being like the guy, or business, next door can lead to more challenges that you are ready to deal with. So, in regard to the cloud, it’s important to note the need for cloud adoption and how it can change your current business processes.

It’s a cultural change for your IT and business processes. Keep this in mind as you plan a cloud migration. To make it easier, here’s how to drop the rules and start thinking cloud:

  1. View your servers as cattle, not pets: This means your servers are not to be treated with personal attention by giving personalized names, and taken care of when faulty. Instead you treat them as cattle, giving them numbers and replacing faulty servers.

  2. Automate, not documate: Eliminate the element of human error by automating tasks as much as possible.

  3. Rent, not buy: Avail the pay-per-use and “for rent” features of the cloud and its supporting third-party tools to avoid cost overheads, thereby being open to technology changes and avoiding vendor lock-ins.

What You Should Expect: Cloud Advantages

You know the phrase “cloud computing.” That means you also know of terms like “pay-per-use,” “elasticity,” and so many others that go along with it. Given that these are benefits of using the cloud, what do they really mean? Read on:

  • Pay-per-use: Have a control over your cloud expenses.

  • Elasticity: Scale when needed; turnoff servers when not in use.

  • Disaster Recovery: Prepare for the unforeseen.

  • Reduced Time-to-Market: Unleash your creativity without worrying about cost and time.

  • Global Presence: Allows your organization to leverage a best-in-class global infrastructure.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself

The cloud makes life easier. It supports automation. It opens up the possibilities of push-button deployments.

But, there’s another side to it. When it’s ignored, it can be fatal to you reaching business agility.

  • Taking security and compliance issues for granted.

  • Unused infrastructure could drain your business resources.

  • Not speaking the same language as AWS. 

So, how do you decide whether the cloud is right for your business or not? Just ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. How does cloud migration improve my business productivity?

  2. My business has only one focus: Customers. Will I make my customers happier?

  3. How do I stay a step ahead of my competitors?

  4. What exactly does the cloud promise beyond reduced costs and scalability?

  5. Does the cloud solve my business continuity challenges?

Time to Get Started

One thing left to consider. You need a good consulting partner. Too often, just a bit of planning and upfront work will save your organization time and resources as it executes a cloud migration.

Let’s start a conversation soon about how cloud advantages can drive your business agility.