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Ask the Expert: Shifting to the Cloud

Cloud adoption has risen rapidly in the past three years. More and more enterprises are shifting their IT spend from on-premise solutions to cloud-based ones. In fact, research group Gartner claims that cloud computing has evolved from being a market disruptor to an expected approach for IT. But in the Philippines, some organizations are still wary about moving to the cloud. We asked our resident digital transformation expert Joel Garcia some common questions and concerns our customers have raised:

1) What are the things I need to look out for when moving to cloud? What resources would I need?

The great thing about the cloud is that you can start out small and be able to test. Eventually over time, as cloud offerings get cheaper, customers can change and re-architect in the cloud without much disruption and with lower costs. Having said that, we go back to planning, understanding the needs of the business (storage, compute and networking requirements) and then mapping/architecting to cloud. It would be good for customers that are not as familiar to engage services companies that have the competency to architect these types of cloud solutions and to provide the best options. Customers will and should always have a choice.

2) Security is a big concern for us. How secure is cloud versus on-premise?

Security is a concern for everyone. Customers that want to leverage the cloud need to understand the shared responsibility for security in the cloud. Cloud providers are responsible for security OF the cloud however customers are responsible for security IN the cloud. What this means is cloud providers provide a level of security for all compute storage and networking resources they offer. Customers though must also ensure security within the resources they choose to deploy in cloud. For example, if a customer deploys a virtual machine instance in cloud, it is still the customer’s responsibility to manage the patching and the various security options that are made available. This wouldn’t be any different in the way customers manage their infrastructure on premise. The main difference lies in the fact that they didn’t have to build that data center and they now have access to virtually infinite number of resources that are available in cloud.

3) Internet bandwidth is a challenge here. Would you still recommend going for a cloud solution despite our challenge with internet bandwidth?

We go back to what the business requires and the options that are available. If a system is mission critical that requires a very high level of availability, customers must architect a solution that provides that level of availability on-premises and then backup to cloud. While the cloud can be cost effective, it is really more the agility (available compute resources, pay per use etc.) that organizations see as the primary benefit of the cloud. Note that when you leverage the cloud, some of the costs you save now shift to increasing/ensuring quality of bandwidth to make sure the right bandwidth throughput is met.

Joel Garcia is an experienced technology architect and digital transformation consultant. A 25-year IT veteran, Joel has worked with the top global technology firms in the Philippines and the US.


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