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As the Chief Technology Officer for global field and industry at VMware, Chris Wolf spends a significant amount of time advising customers and partners about best practices for cloud adoption.
Business Before Tech
“To begin, organizations should put aside the tech and ask themselves: What is the business problem being solved?” advises Wolf. “Is the goal greater business agility? Cost savings? Consolidating data centers? Clearly understanding business goals will lead to better technology decisions.”
Strategy is another consideration, cautions Wolf. When choosing between competing products and services, companies should think comprehensively through each specific use case. Is this a one-time project or a long-term transition? Will this workload need to move or will another instance need to be redeployed in the future? Answering these and related questions will help inform provider selection, eliminate inappropriate choices, and uncover true costs.
Understand Hidden Pricing
“You want to understand hidden costs. Sometimes people don’t consider the ingress or egress charges and data transfer costs that can significantly inflate prices,” says Wolf. “Projecting how cloud technologies will be used both today and tomorrow will yield a more comprehensive understanding of total costs.”
Additionally, Wolf advises organizations to remain flexible and consider the ongoing maintenance costs associated with any management solutions. Align with vendors whose strategy is to provide new capabilities as software updates rather than ongoing services engagements.
Changes Affect Costs
In addition to hidden costs, an enterprise adopting cloud technologies needs to consider long-term changes in policies, protocols, and staff. The move to the cloud enables significant automation and shifts the focus of an organization’s infrastructure from hardware-centric to software-defined. This evolution unlocks organizational efficiencies but also prompts changes in IT roles and protocols.
“How am I integrating with other backend dependencies that exist in my data center? What about operational requirements, which include networking, security, cost management, and service-level agreement enforcement?” asks Wolf. “These are just a few of the questions that organizations need to ask themselves. There’s quite a bit to consider when formulating a cloud strategy.”
Watch this video to learn more from Chris Wolf about best practices for cloud adoption and how the cloud is driving innovation.