Despite its arrival over a decade ago, many digital commerce businesses continue to struggle with finding success in the cloud. Organizations often set unrealistically high expectations in terms of the benefits of cloud adoption, while underestimating the amount of work that goes into migrating their applications and managing their infrastructure after the transition.
For digital commerce businesses trying to do this, the result can be a loss of revenue due to painful downtime or application slowdowns, erosion of brand reputation caused by vicious cyberthreats and bot attacks, and escalating cloud costs.
To put it simply, you must learn to walk before can run, so let’s familiarize ourselves with the stages a digital commerce business must navigate in its cloud adoption journey, and try to determine where you and your business are at:
STAGE 1: Ignorance: In August 2012, a survey of more than 1,000 American adults showed that most people were confused by cloud computing. When asked what “the cloud” is, a majority responded it’s either an actual cloud (specifically a “fluffy white thing”), the sky or something related to the weather (29 percent).
While we live in a much more cloud-aware world today, there are businesses that continue to rely entirely on legacy data center environments and are mostly unaware of the benefits of cloud adoption. Such businesses, albeit in a minority, are typically severely constrained by the limitations of hardware-based infrastructure, which means they are either struggling with website crashes due to variable demand or overpaying server companies for unused capacity.
STAGE 2: Skepticism or Denial: A lot of digital commerce businesses, especially in the mid-market, find themselves in this stage. Here, the business is aware of the benefits of cloud services, but is not doing much yet to adopt the cloud, often because the journey seems hard.
While security is the number one barrier to adoption, some CFOs are also concerned about the cost implications. Mostly, it’s the uncertainty!
STAGE 3: Partial cloud migration: In this stage, the business has migrated non-mission-critical applications to a cloud-based environment. However, they lack a strong team to help them with cloud-ready migration and management. Finding the right people (DevOps) to help can be difficult due to a massive cloud skills gap in the industry, one which is widening due to the extraordinary growth that digital commerce is experiencing. The skills gap in cybersecurity roles is even wider!
Due to the lack of management, costs are extremely unstable and mostly go up, causing CFOs and business leaders to question decisions.
STAGE 4: Complete cloud migration and use of traditional managed services: Here, the business has deployed mission-critical applications in the cloud and typically has the support of an internal team, a system integrator, or even a cloud managed service provider (MSP) for migration and management.
It has come a long way but is still vulnerable to human error as most MSPs throw people at problems. Traditional MSPs are also reacting to issues (such as failure to scale in case of unpredictable traffic spikes) after they happen; not proactively preventing them from happening. Lack of security due to unpatched vulnerabilities and against new, more sophisticated cyber-threats, is also a huge concern as these must be addressed in system-time, not people-time.
STAGE 5: Cloud optimization and use of automation: This is where the business is winning the cloud game by leveraging all the benefits it has to offer!
The organization has a world-class partner to help with migration and management, in addition to cloud automation that predicts demand (site traffic) and addresses scalability needs, optimizes site performance and accelerates page loads, and provides enterprise-grade security against sophisticated cyberthreats and bot attacks, before they cause disruption. Costs are under control, predictable, and lower than ever.
Where are you in your cloud journey?
Let us know at email@example.com and we can help you get to STAGE 5!