For numerous businesses considering a move to cloud, the thought of reducing cost and shortening time-to-market is of great appeal. The cloud comes with benefits and risks around performance, security, compliance, workload segmentation, and how to integrate the cloud into an existing environment. The shape of one’s global cloud footprint and the cloud services, support and security available globally is an important consideration and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Here are my top ten considerations to examine before you start leveraging cloud services for business on a global scale:
Organizations want the right to choose where their apps are delivered and where the data is stored. Whether it’s about performance, latency issues, data privacy or data sharing, as more and more of the IT footprint is moved into the cloud, they will want a provider who provides the flexibility to decide where IT workloads live. These are decisions that should be based on the business, not dictated by service providers.
Data Sovereignty, Privacy Laws and Local Regulations
These can put a halt to businesses in many regions if not properly adhered to. Choosing a cloud provider with a strong global footprint as well as a proactive and proven approach to managing cloud compliance not only fosters the ability to comply with local regulations in the countries where business is conducted, but also allows businesses to manage their cloud footprint from a global level, which is more efficient and cost effective.
Standard Global SLA
Getting a standard, global Service Level Agreement (SLA) allows businesses to offer that same SLA to end users. No two cloud providers ever seem to offer the same SLAs, so being able to easily define that across the regions business is conducted can help improve the service and management of SLAs.
Single Global Contract
For many multi-national businesses, completing contract negotiations in each country they do business in can be a daunting task, which can bring projects to a standstill. Look for a cloud provider that can deliver an overarching global contract so this process only needs to be done once. A global contract is also very helpful for rolling out customer facing products and applications that need to present simple chargeback or pricing options.
‘Single Pane of Glass’ Management Interface
Having a standardized management interface greatly simplifies IT operations and deployment methodologies. Consider security alerting, IT service catalogs, billing, reporting and analytics, support and how those feed back into the IT department. The ability to have insight into all of those metrics globally from one management console is invaluable.
Standardized IT Service Catalog
With the right cloud provider, businesses should have the ability to build out a standard IT service catalog, group application templates together, and roll out IT services globally in a standardized and consistent way.
Facilitate the Path Towards a Global Cloud Strategy
Numerous global companies are still endeavoring to formulate a global cloud strategy. Evaluating and selecting a global cloud provider can greatly facilitate this process and provide a framework for global IT organizations to streamline and standardize operations.
Standardized Onboarding and Support
Look for standardized onboarding processes that can be duplicated globally to ease cloud adoption and support levels that incorporate industry standards such as ITIL that complement the IT environment.
Support Anywhere You Need It
As modern enterprises increasingly rely on innovation to drive new market demand, their IT departments must be at the ready to support these activities wherever they occur. The cloud takes away the need for large, upfront investments in hardware and provides companies the ability to spin up “start-up-like” environments whenever and wherever. Think of it as a global laboratory, which can be moved or replicated at any time, giving optimal flexibility to the innovative projects in the business.
Compliance Can’t Be Ignored
Compliance is another key imperative that if not properly handled can delay or stall key business initiatives. Having a cloud service provider that addresses global compliance risks from both an operational and technical perspective is very important. Security of the cloud infrastructure is essential – but the compliance reporting, services and audit support that is provided is also crucial to consider for long-term cloud compliance.
Keep in mind when adopting more cloud use cases, a provider with a global footprint and a global approach to services, support and security can set your business up for success and protect your investments over the long term. Low-cost resources are not enough when leading a successful migration to the cloud; it takes a cloud service provider that can help streamline, standardize and secure IT processes in all of the regions you do business. When it comes to cloud it pays to think global, not just local.