What do we mean by cloud migration?
The term cloud migration has been used and discussed for a number of years now in the world of business and technology but what do we actually mean? Simply, it is the transfer of data and / or applications from local, on-premise systems which are generally manged by internal staff to servers managed by cloud providers. In this guide, we will look at the benefits of doing this and the options available to implementing a cloud solution for your business.
Cloud migration is a form of business transformation and isn’t solely about moving data and systems. It involves a change of mindset, a shift in how a business operates and requires buy in from all staff to make it successful. Any use of technology in business transformation is usually driven by a need for change – the technology used is the facilitator of that change and is what makes it happen but people don’t just decide that they want to move to the cloud. Something will be behind that decision that is essential for their business. The business need comes first and cloud migration is the solution to making that change for the business happen.
First, let’s look at the top 5 reasons why you should be moving business operations to the cloud.
Cost Efficiency of Cloud
One of the main drivers of a business deciding to migrate to the cloud is cost and efficiency. On-premise systems are, by their nature costly for a business to maintain.
The costs of on-premise solutions which need to be taken into account include the hardware, the maintenance of a dedicated server room and power requirements. In addition, ensuring the infrastructure is kept up to date can be costly not only in terms of maintaining legacy infrastructure but also the business impact of not being able to implement the latest technologies to support the business. A cloud solution ensures the latest technologies are available to businesses who otherwise couldn’t afford to constantly upgrade their on-premise solutions.
Scaleable and Flexible
Some businesses, by their nature require systems which can be scaled up or down at various times depending on demand. For example, ticket booking sites require to scale up at peak booking times or start up companies require the option to scale up as they grow.
Cloud solutions offer that flexibility at a lower cost and at speed. An on-premise solution would require planning, to know when an increase would be needed and ensure the hardware and infrastructure is in place to cope with the demand. If the nature of the business requires increases and decreases at different times, then what do you do with the infrastructure at times when demand is lower?
The flexible nature of cloud solutions ensures you can scale up or down when required and only pay for what is needed. Cloud also allows for flexibility of your workforce by enabling whole companies to work from any location which is essential for business resilience.
Business continuity and resilience
Cloud infrastructure for all business applications ensures business resilience and continuity at all times. Never more so has that been more important than now with statistics showing the almost 50% of the workforce of the UK is currently working from home.
Business with their operations in cloud can move quickly and easily. Sitting in one location one day and simply lifting PC’s, laptops and connecting from somewhere else the next. With all critical business application able to function on a cloud solution, business continuity is maintained and ultimately, so it customer service. Where a business has the ability to move location quickly and easily they can maintain the same levels of customer service. On-premise solutions don’t offer this same level of flexibility and therefore, make continuity planning more difficult.
Cloud solutions enable staff to work collaboratively to get more done. The efficiency gains ensure businesses remain competitive and can deliver for their customers by being able to deliver projects quicker.
With all applications stored in one co-location, staff can be assured they are accessing the latest information and as a result, can make decisions quickly, but more importantly, can be assured those decisions are based on the right information.
The collaborative nature of cloud applications improves efficiency to deliver a better service to your clients.
Cloud security has often been put forward as a barrier to cloud migration with some still believing that on-premise offers better security than storing business critical systems “somewhere out there”. However, with organisations such as the US Department of Homeland Security now migrating to the cloud, it would point to the fact that the major cloud providers can provide a much higher level of security than an on-premise solution could.
Organisations simply couldn’t afford the manpower to maintain the levels of security that AWS, Microsoft and Google deploy to keep your data and systems safe.
I addressed this in a previous blog which looks at the concerns over security in more detail.
Simply, concerns over cloud security are becoming outdated and shouldn’t be a blocker to cloud migration.
I’ve outlined 5 of the main reasons that cloud migration makes sense for business, there are many more that could have made the list but these for me are the top 5 reasons you should be considering cloud migration if you aren’t already doing so.
No matter how far along the cloud migration journey you are or if you’re still not convinced it’s right for you – speak to us and we can set you on the right path.