Cloud Migration: Benefits, Risks, and Solutions
Most businesses either have a cloud migration strategy or have already moved. The cloud environment is better, and not just because of lower costs. Companies derive benefits from the cloud’s scalability, security, availability. However, that does not mean that cloud migration is right for everyone.
If your businesses considering first cloud migration, many factors should be taken into account — from the advantages and the risks to the cloud service model and type that is right for your business. In this article, we will look at the various considerations you need to keep in mind when moving to the cloud.
1. Cloud Migration Benefits
Cloud migration means moving data, applications, and even the entire infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud. Here are some typical scenarios where companies benefit from cloud migration.
Companies need rapid deployment and implementation of applications. They need to focus on development while reducing infrastructure costs. Cloud technologies allow testing the service or software in an isolated environment, checking compliance with business requirements and compatibility with various operating systems and software products.
Deploying the testing environment in the cloud accelerates the development of applications, software, and services, reducing routine operations for developers, simplifying the allocation of necessary resources and storage for testing, solving organizational issues related to hardware supply.
With cloud services, this will not be a reason for IT infrastructure expansion. Instead, system engineers can change the number of computing resources on a cloud platform. The changes will come into force in a few minutes.
A company that has chosen cloud computing gets all the tools for rapid growth without being tied to the size of its IT infrastructure. Since the foundation is located in the cloud and is easily scalable, nothing is holding back the pace of development. Thus cloud-based solutions reduce the dependency on internal resources.
There is a need to build a widely distributed team. With cloud-based services, communication between remote employees will never be an issue. Whether you work with a foreign colleague, or with a teammate who is only working from home, collaboration has never been easier. Cloud allows remote employees to access applications from anywhere via the Internet.
Business is focused on sales through the website. You need to ensure that a website remains functional even during peak load times, reducing slowness and mitigating any chances of downtime.
When you choose cloud hosting, the resources required for maintaining your website are spread across two or more web servers. This reduces the chances of downtimes and allows you to manage peak loads without facing any bandwidth issues since another server can provide additional resources.
Enterprise storage is growing, and it is becoming difficult and expensive to keep up with increasing demands. Cloud offers unlimited storage – you can increase or decrease the size of your cloud storage to meet your needs. The cost is much lower than renting a virtual or dedicated server. You pay only for the amount of storage that is used. Another significant advantage is the increased information security.
Your company cannot afford to maintain a large staff of experts supporting the work of IT infrastructure. When you run your servers, you need to have at least one staff member responsible for system administration – configuration and administration of computers, servers, local area network (LAN) installing, updating the operating system and other software, ensuring information security of the system and performing data backup and recovery.
In addition to the above, the system administrator is responsible for maintaining technical documentation and supporting system users. With cloud adoption, all the above tasks are the responsibility of the provider.
Customers can focus on their priority tasks while their IT park flexibly adjusts to their current needs.
It is essential to control financial flows strictly. If you need to reduce operating costs while improving the efficiency of IT processes, cloud solutions will be the right option.
The services offered by cloud providers can be easily quantified. You pay for computing and software resources used. This transparent pricing allows business owners to control IT budgets, as well as to predict future costs. Also, companies’ prices are reduced by shifting from CapEx to OpEx, as there is no need to keep expensive hardware and software, spend money on electricity and cooling servers.
2. Risks of Cloud Migration
Cloud technologies have brought about many positive changes in the business. Nevertheless, you should not forget about the risks existing in the cloud-computing environment. It is essential to consider cloud migration challenges and risks to understand whether the technology will suit your business needs or not.
Compliance. You might not be able to maintain applications that retrieve sensitive data. It is better to store such data in your data-center, as there is always a risk of security glitch. Besides, some compliance standards may limit the information stored on the cloud. The cloud infrastructure must comply with the latest data security laws. This is necessary to eliminate legal liability and protect the reputation of your brand.
The data security issue remains by far the most acute. It is much more dangerous than if we are talking about our own data center. For example, the transfer of documents to the cloud requires customers’ consent. Before starting the cloud data migration, you should also find out which data on demand can be extracted from the cloud if, for example, you need to change the provider or transfer information to the local data center.
High latency can lead to delays, primarily if you use the cloud-based telephone or video-conferencing systems. System administrators are not able to fully control latency to the public cloud. This can diminish the benefits of cloud migration.
Shared issues. Noisy “neighbors” can affect the work of your cloud infrastructure due to its multi-tenant architecture.
Compatibility. It may happen that your application design is not compatible with distributed cloud architectures. In that case, some modifications will be required before migration.
3. Cloud migration must have a strategy.
Any changes in a well-established business structure start with a strategy or a detailed plan. These must include tactics and steps that will help achieve goals without wasting resources. The migration process must be smooth and efficient. While the cloud provider will do most of the work, you still need to leverage this process with your strategy.
The key to moving to the cloud without wasting time and money is flexibility. You need to be flexible: change your plans on the fly according to your cloud provider and IT team instructions. The migration of your local infrastructure to the cloud will require collaboration on both sides. You should plan each step to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances and ensure a smooth transition.
The most crucial step is choosing the best and most efficient type of cloud infrastructure for your business needs. Remember, just because something worked on other companies does not mean it will meet your requirements.
Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly analyze and consult with experienced cloud providers to find the best solution for your business needs. This will ensure that you get the most out of cloud migration, as well as choose the best provider.