The Three Stages Of Cloud Transformation: Application, Network, Security
July 13, 2020
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From mainframe, to client-server, to web, to cloud, IT architectures have evolved to support the way people demand to work. In a sense, everything old is new again: Modern cloud-computing technology shares user commonalities — specifically, the ability to connect remotely — with a mainframe architecture, except the cloud is considerably more highly-distributed, scalable, and resilient
Early computing architects could never have imagined the limitless size, breadth of scope, and always-on availability of today’s cloud computing. Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have invested heavily to be able to offer elastic, pay-as-you-go, cloud services. Those same services have effectively displaced on-site computing and even private data centers. The cloud is no longer a playground for IT experimentation but rather an operational mandate for enterprises of all sizes.
There are three stages to the enterprise cloud transformation journey: Application, Network, and Security.
1. Application Transformation
Innovative software providers like Salesforce ushered in the era of Software as a Service (SaaS). Salesforce’s CRM offering quickly displaced incumbent enterprise internal-hosted contact management systems. (Anyone remember Siebel? Act!?) Similarly, Microsoft moved its Microsoft Office suite of email and productivity tools to the cloud with Office 365.
SaaS offers enterprises several advantages to shrink-wrapped alternatives:
• Subscription pricing instead of software licensing
• Scalability: One-size-fits-all from five users to thousands.
• Availability: Maintenance, support, and uptime are all the responsibility of the provider.
• Dynamic upgrades: Users log on Monday morning and discover significant upgrades that have been made over the weekend. They can start to use them right away, without having to wait for the IT team to test the updates, schedule downtime, and roll them out.
Cloud transformation also provides enterprises with an ideal opportunity to better manage corporate applications. Most enterprises have embarked on migrating internal applications to the cloud in three tranches: