How much can you customise a cloud environment?

There is no identikit guide for customising a cloud environment. However, you should avoid one-size-fits-all solutions regardless of performance and cost appeal. In business settings, there is rarely such a thing. But, going overboard can result in unnecessarily complicated infrastructure that is difficult to scale and manage. Your cloud environment should be tailored to how your business works right now, and flexible enough to adapt to growth and change.

 

What can be customised in a cloud environment?

A cloud environment comprises the platform itself, plus the applications it deploys and the data it stores. Customised clouds are typically private or hybrid platforms. Their razor-sharp precision contrasts them from public cloud offerings.

For maximum performance and return on investment, a business may choose to personalise their cloud environment’s CPU, memory, storage, bandwidth and security protocols as standard. Tailoring management and reporting preferences is popular too. Most commonly though, an organisation will customise its core business applications.

 

How can cloud applications be customised?

Applications designed for and deployed in the cloud are deliberately flexible. In fact, this unique agility and ability to grow to scale sets them apart from on-premise cousins. They can be customised (or configured) for limitless integrations and pull data from a wide range of sources. Ideal for if a business must retain some on-premise infrastructure while digitally transforming.

Although it could get expensive, cloud applications can be continually customised, with roll out in near real-time if necessary. Starcom recommends partnering with a customised cloud specialist plus application experts to scope requirements with insight and foresight. In the long term, this will sidestep downtime and knee-jerk spend.

 

What should be customised in a private cloud?

What you tailor is your choice. But there is one competency your cloud infrastructure should have, above all else. And that’s scalability. Demand and business conditions are evolving faster. The consequences of falling behind are serious, too. Sustained revenue slumps, a customer exodus and even curbs on selling to some regions are very real threats.

Yes, it’s important to build a digital transformation journey that fits the inner workings of your business. But don’t lose sight of agility. The last year taught us that disruption and opportunity comes from anywhere, at any time.

 

Do I have to customise my cloud platform and apps?

Remember. You don’t have to customise cloud infrastructure if it doesn’t make sense. Standard instances may fit perfectly with your business needs and digital transformation priorities. It’s true that customisation comes with a price. So, any decision to go bespoke must carefully balance benefits against costs. Will you make competitive efficiency and productivity gains? Or will upfront investment and management fees dwarf business improvement value?

 

Cloud customisation versus cloud configuration

Say you’re somewhere in the middle of standard and customised instances. Sure, out-of-the-box has a few limitations. But will customisation deliver adequate gains? (You are looking for tangible improvement to finance, product, customer, operational and personnel metrics). If your answer is no, configuration could be a sensible alternative.

Configuration involves tailoring your cloud settings and integrations to perfectly match organisation needs. This should be undertaken alongside business-critical application configuration, focusing on ERP and CRM. The result is a cloud environment that feels highly specified but built faster and more cost-effectively.

 

What are the benefits of cloud configuration?

For the most part, precise configuration means you can build a cloud environment your way without going totally back to the drawing board. Take for example, cloud applications. The latest applications have a wide scope for no-code modification, so you can get the value of customisation without the costs and complexities. Just a few examples of configuration are:

  • Task and business process workflows
  • Reporting and queries
  • Compliance controls
  • Data access and visibility
  • Security and authentication
  • Backups
  • Appearance and user experience
  • Dashboards

 

Configuration is a fantastic middleman for cloud environments. And for many organisations, it provides perfect-fit cloud infrastructure. If taking this route though, a word of advice. Never compromise on how robust, secure, and scalable your environment is. If configuration puts just one of these conditions in jeopardy, raise this with your cloud partner.

Digital transformation guides often dictate set, highly regimented rules cloud infrastructure. But, as we’ve seen, there really is no one-size-fits-all way to customise cloud environments! With any technology investment or change, you should start with a business value mapping exercise. For help untapping the best cloud setup for you, book a consultation with Starcom’s cloud experts. Just call 0844 579 0800 or contact us via email.

by Stuart Buckley

Sales Director

An IT specialist for over 20 years, with a wealth of technical and commercial knowledge, experience and skill in managed services, cloud and hosted solutions.

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