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29Jul 2014

“Nobody likes change except a wet baby,” said Mark Twain. Yet, change, such as migrating to the Cloud, is necessary for businesses to progress effectively. While companies prioritise the technical aspects of moving processes and data to the Cloud, the emotional side of the upgrade can often be underestimated, putting the success of the move at risk.

Here are eight essentials to ensure a happier and smoother move to the Cloud for your organisation and your people.

Loop HR in from the start

It’s definitely not news to you; your organisation’s best assets are its people. And as the department that exists to optimise your human resource capital, HR must be engaged in all meetings from the get-go. With all the new skills and responsibilities that will come with the migration, HR will provide a unique people-perspective that will anchor the success of your move.

Plan early

Draw up a plan – early – on how the migration is expected to happen. This helps everyone know what needs changing, why and how the process will take place. Keep on track with targeted milestones and responsibilities in place.

Educate your staff

Sell the idea to your staff by educating them on the features and benefits of the Cloud. Remind them that ultimately, people come first, and technology is only here to help them and the business grow. Set their expectations. Half the battle is won when they’re convinced that migrating is the right way to go.

Address fears, including your own

Some employees may perceive that new technology can take away their jobs, rendering them redundant. Assure them that while migrating to the Cloud does ultimately cut down on manpower costs, what it really means is streamlining business processes so that employees can be better engaged in higher valued skills and services. On top of that, management may find, in engaging employees in this dialogue, that its own fears and anxieties can be allayed.

Make opinions count

Get key users involved early in the implementation process and take their feedback into account. By doing so, it gives them a sense of ownership to ensuring a successful migration.

Update stakeholders frequently

Communication is key. Let users know if they will be affected by any downtime as a result of the migration, so that they’ll be able to work as smoothly as possible.

Be mindful that change takes time

Any kind of change takes time to get used to. Ensure that your IT department remains as patient in addressing any users’ concerns or queries, or even in the face of frustration.

Choose your Cloud Migration specialist wisely

Finally, when looking for a cloud solutions provider, engage one that effectively understands both hardware and heartware for a successful migration to aid your business.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

22Jul 2014

It’s no secret that businesses are embracing and migrating to cloud computing. But the reality is that it is hard to break away from the technology and infrastructure you’re used to. Leaping straight into the world of enterprise cloud computing is a decision not to be taken lightly, and it’s good to know there are options available that could ease the transition for you.

Many companies feel more comfortable working with their own, private solution rather than following the trend into publicly hosted clouds. But there may be a way to explore the benefits of the public cloud without losing control over the private infrastructure you have grown so fond of.

Hybrid cloud computing runs a public and private cloud in parallel, and is a popular choice for medium and large businesses taking on cloud computing. This method allows you to enjoy the security of a private cloud, and the flexibility of a public solution together. To help you better understand if going hybrid could work for you, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros

 

Flexibility
Your network could gain more flexibility and scale by sharing its load across a public and private cloud solution.

Save money
A private cloud solution can be pricey, so going hybrid could be an affordable solution for a medium size enterprise.

Go green
A hybrid cloud solution will add to your green credentials with its environment friendly infrastructure.

Cons

Security
In some cases (in the financial sector, for example) where information is considered confidential, a public cloud could increase security risks.

Complicated networks
Hybrid cloud computing could lead to a messy and complicated network if not taken care of properly.

Complex Service Level Agreement
A detailed Service Level Agreement for both your private and public cloud providers will ensure its performance meets your expectations.

Now is the right time to invest in enterprise cloud computing, and with the support of experts like Amazon Web Services, you’re in good hands. Explore the benefits of enterprise cloud computing by going hybrid, and see how it could help you take your business forward, fast.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

16Jul 2014

Switching from a traditional information technology setup, with data and applications stored on servers that are managed in-house, to a cloud-based solution, is becoming a reality for an increasing number of large and medium-sized companies around the world. According to a new survey carried out by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, firms that have decided to make the leap wholesale and adopt a no-holds-barred approach to switching are the ones that are reaping the biggest benefits, in terms of increased agility and competitive advantage.

From Singapore to Seattle, firms are recognising the many benefits of cloud-based solutions, which can range from savings in terms of costs and time, through to increased stability and improved security.A total of 527 Harvard Business Review readers from large and medium-sized companies based across the globe were interviewed as part of the survey. More than two-thirds (70%) said they had adopted cloud-based computing in some form. A similar number said they believed the move would reduce unnecessary complexity in their business.The fact that data is not only securely held off-site, but also that it can be accessed anytime, from anywhere, has revolutionised how some companies operate. It is in this way that cloud computing can make firms more agile, providing opportunities for closer collaboration and improved communication between colleagues, and between businesses and their clients. This is especially true if there are geographical boundaries to contend with – something faced by a considerable number of organisations in today’s market.

Asked if cloud computing had provided their company with some form of competitive advantage, 74 per cent said it had, with almost a third stating it had provided a significant advantage. Only about a fifth of survey respondents (22%) said they were cautious about adopting cloud computing technology, although they were still taking steps in that direction. Fewer than one in 10 said they had made no move so far towards the cloud.Quite how quickly companies will continue to adopt these new ways of working remains to be seen. However, with an increasing number of options such as Amazon Web Services to choose from, it seems likely that enterprises across all sectors will be keen to make their firms more agile and benefit from the competitive advantages on offer.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

07Jul 2014

The market for cloud-based services has developed immensely in recent years, and this has enabled businesses to periodically assess whether or not their current provider is best suited to their needs. Any service in this area is only going to be as good as the level of hardware that has been put in place, and this make cloud migration an attractive move for any organisation that wants to expand or improve their overall product. In a similar manner to any other type of transition, there are a number of factors to consider – the biggest concern will always be that any ‘downtime’ needs to be kept to an absolute minimum. Effective planning will always be the best method of avoiding any undesirable knock-on effects.

Carrying out a thorough value assessment is vital at an early stage, and this information can be used to decide whether or not migration is a cost-effective option. Additionally, the same process can also determine the best provider to move across to, and this process takes in a number of different factors. Businesses need to ask themselves how long it will take to recover the costs of migration, and clients need to be assured that the new cloud provider will enhance their own experience.

There will always be some kind of outlay involved, and this assessment will be linked to a study of the potential return on investment. It may be necessary to calculate financial projections for both the current setup and a number of other scenarios that involve migrating to a different provider. If the desired destination for a business also leads to new capabilities, increased client revenues can be factored into this analysis. As an example at the most basic level, an increase in storage capacity could translate into enhanced file backup solutions for existing and new customers – a benefit that could attract a higher monthly/annual fee.

When all of these considerations have been taken into account by key decision makers, the total cost of ownership may be the most influential factor. Although a cloud migration could bring any number of benefits going forward, there also has to be the reassurance that the overall costs of the business will not spiral out of control. Most cloud-based solutions are scalable in nature, and this means that companies can simply increase their capabilities when client numbers increase accordingly. When ‘running before you can walk,’ there is always the potential for financial hardship in the meantime.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

07Jul 2014

There are a great many benefits to cloud computing, and cloud services are at an all-time high – however, there isn’t much you can do when clouds suddenly cease, which is occasionally known to happen. Providers will draft comprehensive service level agreements to help cover your back, but what else can you do to ensure maximum cloud cover should the worst happen and you’re faced with unexpected down-time?

Data centres explained

Your cloud resides in one or more data centres based anywhere in the world. Not all clouds offer optimal security, but even the most vigilant and secure providers cannot always prevent data centre down-time caused by natural events such as storm damage, a fire or power outage. Many providers also rely on third party data centres for business hosting solutions, making things even more complicated.

To ensure your cloud provider is offering the most reliable and secure service, there are a few questions you can ask about the data centre behind your cloud. These include:

Location

Where is the data centre located?

Continued access

If your cloud provider or relevant data centre organisation should go into administration, it is crucial there will be steps in place to ensure you can still access or retrieve your data, such as an escrow agreement. Check what options are available should this happen.

Disaster recovery

If the worst should happen, are there sufficient fail-safe measures and back-up systems in place? Data centres should be at least ‘Tier 3’ in this regard.

Security

Is the data centre located near flood plains, or where natural disasters are known to happen? Any one of these should trigger alarm bells.

Power

Your data centre should be well-equipped to power the latest high density racks for sufficient cloud hosting; think 10KW minimum, or up to 60KW per rack. Is the mains supply powered directly off the national grid to reduce any surges or spikes in electricity?

Connectivity

Which carriers and ISPs are associated with your data centre? In the event of failure, a variety of networks with competitive prices will allow for continued access to your data.

Amazon Web Services

One of the most reliable and trustworthy cloud computing systems is offered by Amazon Web Services. To find out more about how AWS could benefit you, contact Cloud Comrade today.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

01Jul 2014

Many businesses are waking up to the various benefits of moving to the cloud, such as reliability, saving money, not having to worry about hardware, and being able to access data securely from any location – but what about the cloud systems themselves? Amazon Web Services has established itself as one of the clear leaders when it comes to cloud computing systems in the world of information technology, and we’re going to take a look at why.

The early years

As the first major player in the lead-up to the battle for the cloud, Amazon has maintained itself as the leader above other large corporations such as Google and Microsoft, all of which have poured billions of dollars into their own competing platforms. By getting a lot of the essentials right, it seems Amazon can do no wrong. For instance, by starting early it stayed ahead of the game with developers who were more than happy to experiment and see what worked and what didn’t. The company was then able to respond to requests for more features, allowing AWS to grow and expand its functionality.

Next, AWS focused on scale along with data centre automation, leading to a very efficient infrastructure that is essentially resistant to rising cost pressures. Its education and subsequent certification services has allowed Amazon to cultivate a rich talent pool filled with skilled workers who are able to demonstrate a wide range of knowledge in their use of AWS, expanding the system beyond their initial developer base and into all sectors of the market.

Competition

As the battle for the cloud becomes more cut-throat, companies are slashing their prices in order to establish themselves in the market, so how does Amazon stay on top? By constantly evolving and adding a plethora of new, customer-driven features every year, Amazon expands with the times and continues to meet its customers’ needs at every level. Not only does AWS listen to its customers, its scale also allows its prices to drop at a consistent rate with its competitors.

Future

Although there will be future hurdles, Amazon Web Services has remained one of the leading cloud systems with no sign of letting up. AWS offers state-of-the-art server technology and enterprise-class storage solutions, allowing for clear savings and peace of mind for your business.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

23Jun 2014

In a recent survey of 1,358 enterprises published by North Bridge Venture Partners, nearly half were using the cloud for revenue generation or new product creation.

Usage of cloud computing ranged from using Infrastructure as a Service to gain access to flexible computing capacity to using Platform as a Service technologies for developing new applications and prototyping. Meanwhile, use of Software as a Service has more than quadrupled from the previous year to 74%, mostly driven by enterprises transitioning existing applications into the cloud.

From an end user perspective, the front office is leading the way into the cloud with sales and marketing at 51% adoption of cloud technologies.

For beleaguered information technology executives the rapid and widespread adoption of the cloud has been a major boon, moving the focus away from service provision and maintenance and back into what improvements and savings IT can generate for an enterprise.

Michael Skok, founder of the Future of Cloud program and general partner with North Bridge Venture Partners, commented that the report meant “…we are going to begin seeing the birth of new, re-imagined, cloud-native applications” and continued to say that “These applications, which are only possible in the cloud, will result in an order of magnitude greater value creation than the first cloud front. This second cloud front will be transformative.”

It wasn’t all great news for cloud evangelists, however. 49% of respondents to the survey expressed concern about how secure their data was in the cloud and privacy concerns rose to 31%. With tension between consumers’ desire for personalised services and their desire for anonymity and privacy growing, cloud privacy is sure to a talking point for many enterprises as they embrace the cloud.

Overall, these concerns clearly highlight the need for quality consultancy when moving into the cloud space to ensure that businesses are selecting the right cloud services and partners for them and have confidence that their data, and their customers’ data, is secure.

Meanwhile, the cloud continues to grow at an incredible rate. A 2013 survey by NetCraft detected over 150,000 web servers running on the Amazon Web Services platform, hosting an estimated 11.6 million websites.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

18Jun 2014

It’s very likely that you have heard of “cloud computing” by now. If you are reading this blog post, you are probably a little confused by what exactly cloud computing entails. Don’t worry, you are not alone! The information technology industry moves at a rapid pace and it can be difficult to keep up with. However, cloud technology is the future. It is already an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and it will only grow bigger.

Essentially, cloud computing is the term used to describe the way in which users can rent online software as opposed to purchasing and installing it onto their computer. Users can process work and save files “in the cloud” (in other words, on the internet) and access this work at a later date. This can be done from any computer with access to the internet. The frustration of not having access to a file or piece of software saved on a laptop that you left at home or in the office is a thing of the past.

Like any great invention, the beauty of cloud computing is that it offers a simpler alternative. As is often the case, a simplified process costs less money to maintain. Sellers of software no longer have to consider the expense of running a help desk to offer assistance to the thousands, possibly even million of customers who use their software. With cloud computing they can instead maintain and repair a central copy (every one of their customer’s copy) online. This cost saving is then passed on to the end consumer. An enterprise can now run its information technology system by renting software for a nominal fee rather than the substantial upfront fee we have been used to paying.

There is a further cost saving for enterprises, one that is not such good news for information technology support staff. The demand for information technology support services, certainly as a full-time employee at an enterprise, is significantly reduced. With the software maintenance taken care of, it is only the computer hardware that an enterprise will need to worry about maintaining.

So there you have it: cloud computing explained. A straight forward concept that is already revolutionising how enterprises do business.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

17Jun 2014

If you are finding that your current business technology is slowing you down or you are constantly experiencing network or other critical technical issues, it could be time to move your business to the cloud. Hardware and software problems could be costing you money in lost revenue and maintenance costs and putting your business at risk.

Here are five reasons why you might want to consider an information technology refresh and moving your enterprise to the cloud.

1. Concentrate on running your business and not worrying about your hardware

When you move to the cloud, you effectively move responsibility for your technology to another party. Server availability, backups and technical issues will all be managed effectively by your cloud computing provider whilst you get on with running your business. Cloud systems run at optimal performance, give you access to your information from any web connected device and ensure your business is available 24 hours a day.

2. The cloud is more reliable

To run a business well, you need to ensure you are always available to your customers. With more and more people using their Internet connections and mobile devices to find and use your services, can you really afford for them to experience the dreaded ‘404 error’ when reaching your website? Most cloud providers offer up times of over 98% and will ensure your website and other data is available to you when you need it the most.

3. Best in class cloud technology

Amazon Web Services is one of the leading cloud systems available today. Using state of the art server technology, multiple layers of security and redundancy and enterprise class storage solutions, Amazon Web Services ensures you can enjoy significant cost savings and the peace of mind that cloud server technology bring to your business.

4. The cloud saves you money

Simply put, cloud computing is the most cost effective way to manage your information technology and business systems. Not only do you free yourself from hardware costs, but you can also scale your business systems in a more cost effective manner as your business grows.

5. Enjoy ‘anywhere access’ to your data

With cloud computing, you and your employees are no longer tethered to their computers. They are free to go on site visits, see clients or work from home easily as they will have access to your business data from any device. Cloud technology puts an end to complicated connection methods, trailing wires and dropped connections and gives you smooth remote access to your data 24 hours a day.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we.

13Jun 2014

Why more medium and large-scale business are engaging with the cloud

In the five years since cloud computing started to beguile the enterprise community, an increasing number of medium and large scale organisations are actively discussing a move to a cloud-based IT infrastructure. There is no geographical delineation, the same trend being expressed across the globe, particularly in the Far East, Europe and the IT powerhouse of South East Asia and Singapore.

Hesitation breeds a new industry

Any hesitation on the part of medium and large-scale corporations to move to the cloud is centred around three principal areas of concern: cost, security and scalability. Whilst many small operations have willingly embraced this new paradigm of information technology, many larger corporates are reluctant to transfer to what many still regard as being an ‘untested’ platform.

As the cloud has grown, it has therefore spawned a new industry of cloud consulting. In Singapore and South East Asia, the acceptance of cloud computing is more advanced and the need for ongoing consulting and the provision of genuinely expert advice has therefore increased. This is not surprising. The idea of moving a premises-based IT infrastructure to a medium that appears at first sight to be completely nebulous can make some executives nervous.

Cost, security and scalability

For companies contemplating transition to the cloud, an established platform is the first requirement, cost being the second, and security and flexibility, the third. The answer for many has been to jump on the back of an already globally established player, in the form of Amazon Web Services (AWS). With security and global access already built in through the international Amazon IT estate and local server network, the main concerns for potential IT migrants are limited to cost and scalability.

AWS, acknowledging the natural hesitation of some businesses to transfer to a new medium, offer maximum flexibility with familiar IT architectures. IT managers will feel completely at home with the methodology used by AWS, yet still be excited by the elasticity on offer. Furthermore, any cost-based objections are soundly defeated by the fact that AWS clients only pay for what they use, there being no upfront or maintenance fees.

Future drift to the cloud

Given the requirements for medium and large-scale businesses operating in today’s global market, especially the need for mobile/multi-platform data access, the idea of maintaining a building full of ageing and devaluing hardware is not a realistic business case for most organisations. The cloud will only become more advanced as time goes on and the value, security, flexibility and reliability that it provides will continue to advance, likely becoming the accepted norm for both medium and large-scale businesses in the future.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

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