Enterprise Cloud Services

Utilize the Cloud

Adopting cloud virtualization technology allows businesses to deliver solutions to customers in shorter time frames than traditional infrastructure allows. Cloud solutions can also be scaled out more quickly and more cost-effectively to meet ongoing changes in user demand. Organizations can build out cloud solutions internally by virtualizing existing in-house compute and storage infrastructure. Alternatively, they can fully externalize their cloud infrastructure needs to third-party cloud vendors, freeing them from the overhead of infrastructure and datacenter management. Cloud vendors provide a wealth of services and capabilities that fulfill large commodity middleware requirements for delivering robust and secure internet-scale software solutions.

Scale Your Business With Enterprise Cloud Solutions

Infrastructure management has traditionally been the area of most significant inertia for software enterprises. When a business manages its hardware internally, early planning and capacity hedging is needed to ensure products reach the market on time and can robustly scale to meet user demand. The business must also simultaneously try to minimize unused capacity, only spending for infrastructure that is needed. Cloud services help to address these issues, allowing companies to quickly scale compute and storage infrastructure to meet their exact needs at any given point in time.

Challenges Of Cloud Adoption

Depending on your organization’s size, there can be many potential challenges to adopting a cloud-based delivery strategy. While these can be complex, the benefits of adopting a cloud solution delivery strategy often outweigh the effort required to overcome the challenges.

Operations

Operations teams will need to adapt to a more DevOps way of working, aligning more closely with development teams to describe and manage infrastructure in a similar manner to how software is created and operated, including more automation of infrastructure scale-out and configuration. Monitoring and alerting concepts will need to be adapted to work within the desired cloud environment, including any necessary aggregation if adopting a hybrid cloud model that includes monitoring existing infrastructure.

Networking

Networking challenges typically relate to any bridging that may be required when operating hybrid cloud models, where existing infrastructure in your organization needs to communicate with new systems and networks within a cloud provider. Data transfer requirements need to be well understood, both for ongoing bandwidth cost implications and whether additional physical network infrastructure is required. For organizations with large data transfer requirements, this could include installing new dedicated connections to allow more direct routing between internal data centers and third-party cloud providers.

Security

Security remains an essential factor regardless of an organization’s infrastructure choice. Cloud adoption brings challenges in this area around new means of implementing your existing security policies and new policy adherence assessment methods. Additional care is also needed when choosing a hybrid cloud model where security practices need to bridge between in-house and cloud-native implementations. All affected teams will require new security training to understand their expanded responsibilities when working within the new cloud environment.

Development

When adopting a cloud delivery strategy, your development teams may need additional training to learn about infrastructure and cloud services concepts specific to the chosen cloud vendor. While these concepts are similar across vendors at a high level, there are implementation details that are specific to each. In addition to expanded security training, development teams will also need to be aware of cost management - not an area of regular focus for developers. These areas of training are required to ensure pre-production cloud resources are responsibly managed and remain within budget.

Cost

Cost-effectiveness remains an ongoing challenge. Careful monitoring and management of cloud solution costs are required to ensure the cloud solutions remain more cost-effective than an equivalent on-premise implementation. A cost risk is especially relevant within pre-production environments where solution teams may spin up what should be temporary resources for a once-off task but forget to shut the resources down once completed. Without sufficient oversight, these costs can quickly become unconstrained. Cloud vendors provide a range of tools for cost insight and management - these, together with tight scaling to meet exact user demand, allow organizations to keep on top of their cloud spend and ensure it remains below that of a do-it-yourself approach.

Our Cloud Services

SitePen focuses on end-to-end design and implementation of cloud-native applications across a variety of public cloud vendor solutions. Our expertise allows us to offer cloud strategy design, including cloud adoption and migration options. Additionally, we provide cloud-based solutions within enterprise-managed virtual private clouds based on public cloud services.

Cloud Strategy & Adoption

We work with business, technology, and operations stakeholders in your organization to help design and implement cloud-first strategies and solutions for new projects and help with the migration of existing applications to a more cloud-native target state.

Assessment

SitePen can help analyze your infrastructure requirements for existing applications and your upcoming product roadmap to identify where you can benefit in ease-of-management, cost-saving, and delivery efficiency through implementing a cloud strategy. We provide assessments that appreciate such benefits while not treating the cloud as the only way forward - our approach balances a wide range of options to meet your technology ecosystem needs.

Planning

With a cloud adoption strategy established, SitePen can help your team in the detailed planning and analysis of all steps required to implement the strategy. We aim to provide grounded roadmaps that consider organizational constraints and are incrementally achievable to deliver ongoing successes while still retaining the flexibility to adapt to any unforeseen challenges.

Migration

SitePen’s complete delivery experience can help implement a cloud adoption strategy, either helping alongside your existing technology teams or an independent delivery function. The includes implementing new cloud-first applications that align with a cloud strategy from the start as well as incremental migration of existing on-premise or non-cloud applications to your intended cloud platform.

Optimization

SitePen’s expertise draws from a wide range of cloud solution design and delivery successes within large enterprises, including the architecture, design, implementation, and ongoing production support of cloud-enabled applications. We can help your organization in the continuous assessment and optimization of cloud solution delivery effectiveness, including analyzing adherence to best practices, identifying areas for simplification, looking at cost-effectiveness between alternative options, and identifying areas of cost reduction.

Cloud Architecture Design

SitePen’s expertise lies in full-stack, cloud-based solution design and implementation that serve a wide range of industries and scales. We work with a range of product stakeholders and help analyze your requirements to find a cloud architecture design comprising the best fit of public cloud infrastructure and capabilities that can make your vision successful. We utilize architecture patterns and methodologies that deliver robust, secure, cost-effective, and scalable cloud solutions that meet a range of goals. With a target state architecture established, we can then work with your engineering teams to implement the solution. Our end-to-end solution delivery capability can handle the full implementation if required.

Cloud Migration Management

Depending on your needs, you may have existing in-house infrastructure that you wish to continue using in some capacity. Perhaps you are looking to migrate existing on-premise solutions to the cloud. SitePen can help you in this process to analyze, plan, and implement hybrid cloud architecture or any migration and uplift of existing on-premises applications to the cloud if you wish to move fully onto the cloud. Our services include the full redesign and implementation of new cloud-native replacements or designing more incremental migration strategies that progressively move components of existing solutions over to cloud-based equivalents. Our risk assessment expertise can help feed decisions between various migration options to reach the most effective strategy for your particular cloud migration or hybrid cloud requirements.

Enterprise Cloud Integration

SitePen can help design and implement cloud-based applications that require integration with on-premise data, services, or external third-party integrations. Our aims with integration solutions are to achieve high performance and availability while minimizing costs associated with crossing boundaries between internal enterprise systems and public cloud services.

Cloud Benefits

Cloud services significantly reduce the gap between software development agility and the inertia of hardware procurement, configuration, and management. Compute and storage can be operated as virtualized commodities and provisioned in a matter of minutes to meet changing requirements throughout the lifecycle of an application. The ability to spin up and scale entire environments at minimum cost and time can significantly improve your SDLC's effectiveness.

Increased agility helps during product development to quickly prototype various options where implementation teams may not yet know what an optimum solution would be. This agility also translates to live applications on production platforms where infrastructure resources can dynamically scale in response to user demand - maximizing usage while minimizing cost and ensuring the best possible end-user experience.

Cloud-Ready Enterprise Applications

Applications designed as "cloud-first" can better meet changing business and market conditions in a timely and cost-effective manner by reducing the overhead of peripheral technology functions typically associated with software delivery. Meeting business and customer needs can become more of a focus, freeing solution teams to deliver the best possible experience for all their users located anywhere in the world.

Cloud Security

Information security is critical to many software solutions, increasingly so in a modern environment of breaches and information leaks. Such an event can instantly wipe out the trust that an organization has taken years to build up with their users. Businesses that have not woken up to the severity of these risks will likely face harsh consequences in the future.

Our agency is acutely aware of the reputational damage that poor security can cause. We treat security with paramount importance within every one of our solutions. Secure design and implementation principles are intrinsic to every step of our solution delivery process - including considerations of data sensitivity classification and residency requirements, secure network design and cloud services utilization, and authorization across all solution layers and integration points.

Why Choose SitePen?

SitePen provides a wealth of expertise in the design, implementation, and delivery of cloud-first software solutions. We can help your organization navigate the complexities of public cloud vendor offerings to find the most appropriate solution for your needs. Our team can help at every stage of cloud adoption, including strategy formulation, enterprise and solution architecture, cloud infrastructure design, and solution implementation and delivery.

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Cloud Strategy and Adoption FAQs

Is Cloud Adoption Secure?

In short, yes. Cloud providers can invest significant resources into providing a suite of design principles and implementation resources that meet some of the highest industry security needs. Typically these solutions offer far greater security than many organizations require or can implement themselves. Adopting cloud-first application development and a cloud hosting strategy allows the implementation of greater security than your organization may currently support - for far less investment than uplifting in-house security would entail.

However, cloud operations and development teams within your organization still have a responsibility to design and implement secure application and networking practices within the cloud solutions they produce and maintain. A security chain is only as good as its weakest link, so secure methods and ongoing due diligence are always required - this fact remains valid for both on-premise and cloud solutions.

What Are the Benefits of a Cloud Adoption Strategy?

Agility and scalability are typically the primary benefits of using virtualized infrastructure within a cloud provider. Cloud solutions reduce infrastructure procurement, configuration, and scaling inertia, bringing it closer to software development. Solution implementation teams can quickly spin up resources when implementing new requirements or scaling existing capabilities to meet user demand. Scalability can even be automated, allowing precise infrastructure provisioning to meet fluctuating demand over time - users receive the application experience they expect whenever they need it. Organizations minimize their costs when demand decreases for their typical usage cycles. There can also be significant cost-reduction benefits when organizations reduce the burden of maintaining their own infrastructure and data centers.

What are Enterprise Cloud Services?

Enterprise cloud services provide a middle ground between legacy server-focused infrastructure, managed internally within an organization, and fully outsourced compute and storage infrastructure managed by third-party cloud services providers. Enterprises can offer internal cloud services by virtualizing the compute and storage clusters within their own data centers. This middle ground often appeals to organizations that want to maintain complete internal control of their products, data, and infrastructure while still providing the benefits that solution implementation teams expect from a cloud services provider.

However, many such organizations have realized that the complete externalization of infrastructure management to a third-party provider can mean significant cost savings and more robust solution implementations. Cloud providers are increasingly able to offer solutions that exceed robustness, scalability, locality, and security requirements - all at a more competitive price point than organizations can manage internally.

Our agency focuses on solutions based on public cloud vendors rather than internally-managed enterprise cloud services. However, we can help establish strategies for migration from private internal enterprise clouds to public cloud equivalents.

Why Are Enterprises Moving to the Cloud?

The benefits of cloud adoption are clear. While infrastructure is a critical part of every successful software product, it provides little inherent value if considered a standalone concept. A product’s value derives from the data it uses and the intellectual property of its software implementation, not the infrastructure used to run it. Businesses that can focus on this value come to realize the commodity nature of infrastructure. Managing compute and storage infrastructure internally within an organization is likely not an option for startups looking for maximum agility. It is also becoming increasingly difficult for large enterprises to justify when they are looking at reducing costs through consolidation around their businesses' value-generating areas.

Cloud Architecture and Design FAQs

What Are Cloud Design Principles?

Specific design principles are required when designing cloud-first applications to realize the full benefits that cloud platforms allow. These are based on axioms around the commoditization of infrastructure and capabilities that refine many pre-existing technology industry concepts. Principles such as simplification and decoupling, where discrete services and capabilities are created based around single responsibilities and loosely coupled together, are crucial to creating a maintainable and scalable solution.

Why Is Cloud Architecture Design Important?

Just as with any software system, correct understanding and utilization of infrastructure and commodity middleware capabilities are critical for its success. Insufficient or misconfigured infrastructure can easily result from a lack of knowledge of the underlying software architecture design or lack of capacity planning around the system’s expected usage and scalability requirements. This misalignment of software requirements versus infrastructure provisioned can cause a range of problems, including an inability to meet user demand and budgetary waste.

It is essential to understand how a system is composed, each component’s performance characteristics, and the size and shape of data at each stage of the overall data flow. Having this knowledge allows a cloud architect to properly select and configure infrastructure and middleware to realize the software solution’s full value potential.

What is Multi-Cloud Architecture?

Some organizations want additional flexibility in how their solutions are hosted, preferring to rely on a range of cloud vendor platforms instead of typical single vendor lock-in. Utilizing multi-cloud architecture comes with additional challenges and overheads to maintain. Still, it can provide benefits such as using the most cost-effective offering at any given time and increased resiliency. The extra layer of cloud concept virtualization typical of a multi-cloud architecture can also help when migrating between different cloud vendors. Organizations can operate their solutions within a single vendor but avoid excessive lock-in and any need to re-implement solutions if they reach a point where an alternative cloud vendor will provide a more beneficial service.

What Is Cloud Data Management?

The value of a software product is derived mainly from the data that it processes. Enterprises are beginning to appreciate this fact and are implementing data-focused strategies rather than those based around individual product silos. These strategies typically involve identifying, externalizing, unifying, and connecting datasets across the broader organization. Both internal and customer products can then access the centralized data authorities and combine them in innovative ways, exposing higher value than the sum of the individual parts.

Implementations can take the form of data services that provide APIs for external solutions to integrate with, including customer-facing integrations where data APIs become marketable products. More complex implementations may involve "data lakes," where central storage capabilities provide large scale data ingestion and access mechanisms to application development teams. These capabilities can be self-service or managed via centralized groups that hold authority for particular datasets. Cloud data management solutions are typically well suited to "big data,” providing compute capabilities that can run transformation, derivation, or similar data operations adjacent to or within the data storage layer itself. Thus, maximizing performance when dealing with internet-scale datasets.

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