Every business eventually needs to deal with the challenge of legacy IT. Outdated systems can’t be updated to meet the new demands of the business and customers, doesn’t receive sufficient support from vendors, and is hard for internal IT staff to maintain.
Replacing this obsolete technology provides businesses with the opportunity to modernize and revitalize their IT infrastructure, which in turn enables the business to use technology in new ways. Cloud offers an easy way to access new kinds of technology, but modernizing IT through cloud isn’t as easy as simply lifting and shifting existing workloads to the cloud.
Know Your Modernization Goal
The first challenge is modernizing through cloud is to understand what you really hope to achieve through modernization. There are multiple possible objectives:
• Newer and more agile infrastructure. By infrastructure here we mean hardware, both servers and storage. The cloud and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) give you the opportunity to use newer technology than you had in-house. Because the cloud is agile, you can easily adapt and modify your cloud infrastructure as business needs change.
• Newer and more agile applications. Hardware by itself doesn’t do anything; it’s the software it runs that provides the business functionality. Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides access to tools, libraries, frameworks, and APIs that enable developers to incorporate the latest technology into your internal business applications. Containers and DevOps processes provide an agile release workflow that supports frequent, rapid release of new functionality.
• Smarter use of data. Cloud’s infinite storage combined with its software tools make it the ideal environment for big data and data analytics projects. Non-relational databases in the cloud allow you to store and manipulate data in whatever form it requires. Even conventional data can be used more effectively in the cloud, since data can be shared and easily accessed by applications.
• Smarter spending strategies. Cloud allows you to convert capex into opex, meaning fewer large upfront technology costs. With less cash required for hardware purchases, you have more choices about how you manage your IT spending.
Choose the Right Cloud Strategy
The most important cloud decision isn’t public, private, or hybrid; that’s simply about where you place your cloud resources. More important is the decision between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS). This choice determines how your cloud behaves, as well as the level of support and service your cloud provider gives you and how much technology work you still have to do for yourself.
If you build an IaaS environment that largely mirrors your on premises environment, you can likely get started with cloud sooner, potentially reaping more savings in cost and support. PaaS gives your technology team access to a wide set of development tools which take time to master but allow them to start building applications that fully leverage cloud capabilities and new technologies.
Get help modernizing your IT infrastructure with support from VAST IT Services. Whichever cloud strategy you choose, our team can help you design, implement, and support the environment. Contact us to learn more about achieving modern IT built on cloud.