Cloud Insurance

Top 10 Q&A on Cloud for IT Leaders

Your organization has considered the drivers and deterrents for cloud technology and decided to embrace it. However, before you embark on your cloud journey, you want to get answers to the questions you have about cloud. Or, you want to know what questions you should be asking to make sure you have all the information you need before proceeding.

Based on our years of experience helping enterprises adopt cloud technology for their organization, we have compiled the top 10+ questions and answers strategic IT leaders are asking during their cloud migration efforts.

Key Q&A IT Leaders should answer when crafting a cloud migration strategy

Q1: What are the business benefits of cloud?

The three top benefits of cloud include scalability, agility and cost savings.  Additionally, moving to a cloud environment allows your IT team to focus on innovation and delivering solutions, rather than maintenance of on-prem hardware.

Q2: How can I gauge my organization’s level of cloud readiness? What should I assess?

To get a clear sense of how ready you are for cloud, you need to look at four areas in your organization:

  • Business – Does your cloud strategy align with larger enterprise objectives? Without this alignment, your organization will likely lack clarity and focus in their cloud efforts, as well as struggle to create organizational buy-in.
  • People – Have you developed the skilled resources you need to support your cloud migration? This includes the creation of a central cloud team that provides centralized controls, tools, and best practices.
  • Process – Have you established a cloud operating model based on processes and best practices? Doing so will streamline operations and drive efficiencies.
  • Technology – What platform, tools, and technologies will you use to support your cloud initiatives? This will impact the policies necessary for governance and the level of security required.

Q3: How do I secure the cloud? How do I create cloud governance while addressing risk and compliance?

Security is a shared responsibility model divided between you and your cloud service provider (CSP); anything within the cloud is the responsibility of your CSP. The security of the applications you create is your responsibility. There are several layers of security such as data and applications that must be addressed: creating a framework for securing your digital assets will enable you to eliminate risk and ensure compliance.

Q4: How will cloud affect my role in the organization?

Embracing cloud will give you the opportunity to focus on strategy and innovation, enabling you to deliver solutions that keep you competitive while also driving growth at speed. Instead of worrying about CapEx, you will be looking at projects and expenditures from an OpEx perspective.

Q5: Where do I start with cloud? Do I need a comprehensive cloud migration strategy before starting to implement cloud?

The best place to start with cloud is determining your organization’s business objectives for cloud adoption. Typical business objectives include: business speed and agility, cost optimization, modernization, datacenter evacuation, and innovation. You then create a roadmap based on your business objective(s), including the creation of a cloud-focused group and cloud governance model that prepares your organization for cloud.

Q6: How should I decide between private, public, and hybrid cloud?

The security and compliance requirements of your industry are determining factors in deciding the type of cloud you should go with. Private clouds provide more security than public clouds; most organizations leverage a hybrid cloud strategy, securing highly sensitive data in a private cloud while leaving the rest in a public cloud.

Q7: How can I ensure compliance and SLAs are met in the cloud environment?

First and foremost, incorporate your needs and requirements in your initial contract with the CSP. Include minimum levels required for each service, the system infrastructure and security standards to be maintained, as well as remedies if those requirements are not met. Make sure you own the data stored on the cloud, have rights to audit the provider’s compliance, and set the terms for service discontinuation.

Q8: Which functions should I automate in the cloud?

You should automate as much as possible. The most important things to automate are: environment provisioning and monitoring, deployment, and back-up & disaster recovery.

Q9: How do I determine which applications to move to the cloud?

Not all applications need to be moved to the cloud. Depending on your business requirements and your technology stack, some applications are better left in legacy systems, some should be rewritten and updated, and others moved over in their current state.

Q10: How do I develop a disaster recovery (DR) strategy?

There are 4 types of DR strategies: data center disaster recovery, cloud-based disaster recovery, virtualization disaster recovery, and disaster recovery as a service. Data center DR refers to the data center and the entire building, including physical security, backup power, utility providers, HVAC, support personnel, and fire suppression.  Cloud-based DR uses the cloud provider’s data center as a recovery site. Virtualization DR is when you place a virtual server on either reserve capacity or on the cloud to achieve your recovery time objective in the event of a disaster. DR as a service (DRaaS) can be cloud-based or offered as a site-to-site service. The latter refers to having a secondary hot site at another location. You can determine which is best based on your business importance and application.

Q11: What should be my account and subscription strategy?

Your account and subscription strategy should reflect your anticipated organizational needs. Some things to consider include the speed and number of assets you want to deploy to the cloud, the number of environments, and the resources you have to support these projects. Some options for subscription patterns are: production and non-production pattern, workload separation pattern, application category pattern, functional pattern, business unit pattern, geographic pattern and mixed patterns.

These questions and corresponding answers should give you the information you need to streamline your cloud migration strategy and jumpstart your journey. For insurers looking for a more in-depth guide to starting their cloud journey, check out our whitepaper – Cloud Transformation in Insurance.

Learn more about how we can help by visiting our Digital & Cloud Services page.