How to Develop and Document a Winning Cloud Strategy

Mark Polimus

It’s pretty much a given that any enterprise today has already made some investment in cloud-based resources or has near-term plans to do so. Motivations for moving to cloud vary and include: gaining a competitive advantage by reducing time to market, expanding into global markets with new capabilities enabled by cloud-based infrastructures, improving operational efficiencies, and minimizing risk with highly available business-critical applications and consistent and secure business platforms.

Many enterprises have a “cloud-first” mentality for any new projects and applications. They are undertaking the migration of existing data and application workloads that can be feasibly moved or interoperate with existing on-premises resources in a hybrid cloud model, where infrastructure is increasingly being deployed at the digital edge.

As with any significant business and technology transformation, the plan, process, policies and procedures underlying any cloud evolution should dictate a well-documented, living strategy that is agreed to, socialized, adhered to and regularly updated in support of an enterprise’s cloud journey. Moving to the cloud and leveraging the digital edge without a clear direction and well-thought out strategy can result in significant issues down the road for an enterprise in terms of time, resources, costs and missed expectations and goals.

However, it appears that a fair number of enterprises are slow to develop and adopt a formal cloud strategy. The RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report shows that over a third (37%) of the respondents do not have a cloud strategy or are just planning or deploying their first cloud projects.

These results indicate that a fair number of enterprises may be struggling with where to start with a cloud strategy. While not comprehensive or a recipe for success by itself, enterprises can start by attempting to answer the following questions, which speak to four major tenets of developing an IT infrastructure: applications, network, data and security:

  • What applications and workloads are candidates for migration to cloud, both now and over the foreseeable future?
  • How does the underlying network – from a WAN perspective, in particular – need to evolve to support native, hybrid and multicloud deployments?
  • How is data classified for placement in cloud?
  • Where and how is security stood up and operationalized between on-premises and cloud resources?

Answering these questions will help form the foundation for a well-documented cloud strategy. To help enterprises get a running start on this endeavor, we provide our Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) Knowledge Base. IOA prescribes a structured interconnection-first design approach with the building blocks necessary for standing up network, security, data and application infrastructures at the digital edge.

Through analysis of over 600 customer deployments on Platform Equinix™, we documented common, repeatable architectural design patterns, beginning with these four foundational IT elements. Equinix developed those design patterns into a series of architectural blueprints for all customers to leverage on their journey to the cloud and digital business transformation.

Equinix Professional Services (EPS) offers practical guidance and proven solutions for formulating and executing on a cloud strategy. Equinix consultants have decades of specialized domain expertise and hands-on experience in assessing, enabling, migrating, optimizing, planning, designing, testing and deploying IT infrastructure, networks and cloud architectures.

Do you need help in getting started on a cloud strategy or assistance in assessing and validating the path your company is already on? Then schedule a high impact, two-day cloud workshop, where we’ll show you how to begin developing and documenting your cloud and interconnection strategy.


Mark Polimus
Mark Polimus Senior Global Solutions Architect