The Cloud has become the major and primary location where businesses store their data. Almost 90% of the businesses today have shifted their application to the cloud in form, and the remaining are planning to migrate soon. What motivates businesses to move to the cloud is the great level of flexibility, agility, opportunities for innovation, and enhanced security that the cloud provides.
Apart from the general security concerns organizations faced, the COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented wake-up call to make their systems resilient, agile, easily scalable, and adaptable. The cloud lets organizations sustain operations under severe disruptions by managing the increasing need for remote access. Therefore, companies across industries are modernizing their data platforms to leverage new-age applications while migrating their data to the cloud.
The need for the shift:
A survey of more than 500 IT leaders revealed that security and data protection was the major concern for organizations before they shifted to cloud. With cybersecurity attacks rising, companies struggled to manage security in-house and turned to third-party cloud and managed security services to mitigate these security-related issues.
The second several organizations face is data modernization, i.e., utilizing the data to receive real-time analytics and updates. Most companies want to shift to the cloud to get a stream of insights based on data mining, exploration, and predictive analytics. The cloud is an effective and essential tool for modernizing a company’s data.
Apart from the above-mentioned reasons, the higher costs related to IT performance in a pre-data scenario are a major driver to shift to the cloud. The cloud provides several business benefits like agility, greater efficiency, a range of solutions, and options from established vendors, supporting the enterprise’s digital transformation. These added benefits account for the costs associated with adopting cloud services, and due to them, a cloud transition seems like a profitable option.
Types of Cloud Computing:-
Benefits of adopting cloud:
As mentioned above, migrating to the cloud has several advantages and can be viewed as the future of business operations. To understand the benefits better, we could list down the functions that the cloud enhances:
- Helps quickly encapsulate the increasing traffic, scales resources to meet the increasing and dynamic business demands.
- Reduces operational costs and increases the effectiveness of IT processes, and reduces infrastructure overheads.
- Provides fast application, implementation, and deployment of services
- Eases geographical expansion by removing the need to set up a multi-region infrastructure.
- Removes the costs associated with fulfilling growing storage needs
- Cloud computing environments allow remotely located employees to access applications and work via the internet, especially beneficial during the pandemic.
- Cloud disaster recovery systems are implemented quickly and give you much better control over resources.
- Cloud providers track and upgrade underlying server software automatically.
- Cloud computing models handle many administrative tasks like database backups, periodic maintenance, and software updates, saving human time and energy.
- Cloud computing shifts IT expenditure to a pay-as-you-go model, which is an attractive benefit, especially for startups.
What is Cloud Migration?
The moving of applications, databases and other business elements from the local data centre, physical or virtual server(s) to the cloud server or environment called cloud Migration.
Types of Cloud Migration:
It has three types of delivery models as a service capability and they are: a) Software as a Service (SaaS) b) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and c) Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Software as a Service (SaaS)
One of the most adopted cloud migrations is SaaS. It enables the users to access the application from anywhere via the web. To illustrate, if a content sharing application moves to the cloud, it becomes more flexible and highly available. Users don’t need to install the software anymore. It is an excellent way to save a lot of money for the enterprise. Also, it improves the operational agility and functional features of applications dramatically.
Platform as a Service (PaaS):
It is the process of shifting the on-premise platform to the cloud. It is an easy method that can be done without technical expertise. It accommodates external hardware and software and allows building applications upon the platform. Further, the users can tailor the application to their specific business model. It offers all sorts of cloud-native benefits to the users.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):
It is the process of transferring computing infrastructure such as servers, operating systems, networks, storage in the cloud. Users can access all these computing resources through virtual gateways. It provides unlimited scalability and mobility to the users. Google compute engine, Amazon web series (AWS), Microsoft Azure are some of the best examples of IaaS.
Challenges faced during cloud migration:
While most businesses are moving to the cloud, it does not mean it is absolutely necessary for all organizations to do so. There are a lot of factors that have to be considered while migrating to the cloud. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, several IT executives also believe that the cloud is much more complex than they expected. The following are some challenges that must be considered before migrating to the cloud:
- Very sensitive data cannot be stored on a public or a hybrid cloud.
- If the business does not witness much traffic or does not have growing storage needs or is not dependent on real-time data analysis, a cloud might be an expensive option as compared to the existing set-up.
- If some of the technology the organization relies on is proprietary, cloud migration may not be legally possible.
- Some operations might suffer from added latency when using cloud applications over the internet.
- If the hardware is controlled by a third party, there may be transparency and control challenges while debugging performance issues.
- The current application design has to be modified before shifting to the cloud and this may consume a lot of resources.
- Drafting proper vendor contracts that legally protect the organization and its data is important. Chances of vendor lock-in or situations where it might be difficult to leave or move between platforms are prevalent.
- Downtime issues happen to everyone and may be frustrating.
How to overcome the challenges?
Despite these challenges, it must be considered that tech companies are providing cloud and managed services to address all such queries and easing the journey of the transition. They work closely with businesses and support them on the key aspects as part of their cloud migration journey by developing the correct approach to ensure clarity on the expected business outcome or final result. Additionally, they also address and tackle companies’ core business issues by taking advantage of relevant talent and expertise and utilize tool sets that are user-friendly, viable, and secure, protecting all concerns of the business.
- Partner with IT advisory firm:
A partnership with an IT advisory firm can help understand all the aspects pertaining to cloud modernization, including the technology, vendor contract, financial frameworks, and the cultural change required.
- Cloud Provider:
Business leaders must understand that the migration can be a slow and expensive process initially, but the right cloud partner will provide competitive pricing. While choosing the service provider, make sure that the contract is robust and the provider focuses on quick integration of the cloud while ensuring that each application is on the right path and right level of transformation.
- Vendor Contract:
The vendor contract must focus on several things but the primary details should be regarding the security concerts, who gets to be in control of what and upon the termination of the contract, what data remains with the provider, and what can be taken over by the organization.
- Independent partners:
The business can have several independent partners who help create and establish multi-cloud managed services based on their proximity to the providers. This way, they are best placed to advise on how to consume and use multiple cloud services. This saves the time on managing low-level aspects of cloud migration that the business leaders would be worried about.
- Identify the talent within the teams:
The best way to tackle the issue of migration is by taking advantage of the skills and expertise of the employees of the organization. By identifying the places where the skills and experience of the enterprise lie amidst teams, a cloud strategy can be effectively initiated and completed with the additional help of the partners.
After successful completion of the migration, cloud-native apps can drive innovation, revenue and transform businesses beyond recognition.
The Road Ahead:
This is the third era of cloud adoption. It started as an IT-inspired program but has now evolved into a comprehensive cloud-first approach to facilitate enterprise-wide modernization of culture that taps into a range of cloud-native capabilities.
Cloud computing is more important than ever now. It had already enabled companies to operate seamlessly 15 years ago and now the pandemic has given a push to the remaining organizations to witness the benefits of the cloud.
In the past, the barriers to cloud adoption were the migration costs and cultural changes required however, companies are now seeking continuity in their service delivery, and the utilization of cloud technology has become a necessity.
Cloud migration is a critical process that involves numerous factors. Understanding the relevant demands to upscale business and leverage the business prospects, enterprises can choose the best suite. It confines delicate business decisions to complicated technical checklists. Only the proper combination of all these strategies as well as operational elements could deliver a wholesome cloud migration experience.