Cloud computing is the next big tech revolution just like the internet itself. Also Gartner’s predictions states that this tech hype is here to stay and by the year 2020, there would be no looking back to the “no-cloud” policy. According to Gartner’s predictions, almost 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors will invest in cloud based softwares by the year 2020.

There are some organizations who still prefer on-site IT infrastructure rather than running their workload on the cloud. Needless to say, such organizations are lagging behind in the competition. By injecting the plug of cloud computing into your business, you are moving all the hard work to the cloud while keeping only the essential resources on-site.

Why Cloud migration is so important for your business?

While the motive of cloud migration is different for every business, the benefits of cloud migration are available to businesses of every size and in every sector. Perhaps, have a look at what your business can achieve through cloud migration:

On-demand Resourcing

This feature essentially means that whenever you need a resource, it is readily available in the cloud and you have all the leverage to allocate it whenever you need it and wherever you need it. This alone can prove to be a great advantage for many businesses. Having to source additional resources for your infrastructure is often times a lengthy process. Whether you are selecting and configuring compute, network or storage, all these steps can take up to several weeks! In today’s competitive world, weeks is not a good time frame. Sometimes hours or even minutes are very crucial for impacting your customers’ experience. The on-demand resourcing of cloud alleviates this problem entirely by providing instant access to your resources and data without any additional configuration.

Collaborative Environment

Another business advantage of moving to a cloud platform is collaboration across the whole organization. Collaboration is the backbone of project management, enterprise operations and encompassing communication across different departments and teams. When collaboration workload is moved to cloud technology platform, the remote users can gain control and visibility over business operations just like your on-site personnel. Every member of the project can interact in real-time over any communication channel, access data and documents on the-go, and access crucial business applications. All they would need is any internet-enabled device. The collaboration aspect of could migration promotes a sense of presence, transparency and enhanced productivity.

Operational Adaptability

Cloud computing offers an exceptional level of operational agility. You can choose to upscale or downscale your cloud resources and services as per your fluctuating business demands. There is absolutely no need to guess your resource capacity upfront. Whereas architecting for sharp surges in demand is both expensive and time consuming when you choose the on-site IT infrastructure. Consumers expect to have the access to everything they need almost instantly. Slow response times can take your business downhill. Cloud computing offers unique capability to deploy as many or as few cloud services and resources based in your needs within minutes or even seconds. An added plus are the automated updates, as your systems and softwares will always stay up to date when you choose cloud computing.

Utility-based Costs

On a cloud technology platform, you only pay for services and resources which you are using and when you are using them. On the contrary, traditional on-site IT infrastructure brings along with them hefty maintenance and operational costs. You just cannot waste your business capital on running multiple on-site servers 24*7 which aren’t fully utilized as they are seldom used. For instance, if you use a cloud server for two hours only and then shut it down, then you pay only for two hours’ worth of resources and compute. Moreover, you can also choose to schedule your resources ahead of the time.

Security

Cloud computing takes security to a whole new level as most cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure must adhere to global governance requirements that cover all major sectors and industries. Such cloud vendors pour a fair share of their capital into developing tougher security infrastructure with the best technologies in the market. As a result, all the customers of these cloud vendors benefit from the same level of security as a large corporation would do. The data and information on the cloud is automatically backed up and the key metrics are logged with ease. In case of disaster recovery, the backup will keep things up and running again in no time, and the logs will help you find out what caused the outage in the first place.

The benefits of cloud computing might be overwhelming to hear all at once. Sure, cloud computing reaps many benefits for your business such as security, standardization, scalability etc. But, with these computational advantages, comes many core business challenges such as migrating traditional IT infrastructure to cloud paradigms.

To ensure a quick and smooth cloud migration, you first need to understand different cloud services and then choose the one which best meets your business demands.

Here’s where you have to make a choice.

What Cloud Service Model Do You Need?
  1.  IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS forms the basis for all cloud service paradigms and it’s the most important of all. Through IaaS service model, the user is provided with pre-configured hardware resources such as servers, storage disks, data backup and networking. The typical examples of IaaS service providers are Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Flexiscale etc. This service is especially beneficial for the startups as they cannot afford to lose valuable time for configuring hardware and software.  The services on IaaS model are provided on demand and are billed by the hours used or data consumed.

  1. SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS is delivery mode, through which fully functional and complete software products are provided to the users on per-user basis, or in some cases, on flat monthly charge. This model is the most widely visible delivery model of cloud computing. You might be using this service without even realizing. Gmail, salesforce, basecamp, google docs are the most common examples of SaaS delivery model. Users do not need to install the software on their local devices. Instead, the application is accessed through the web or an API.

  1. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

For many, PaaS is the next evolution for the cloud. The PaaS vendors provide a platform including framework and basic functions to their users. This delivery model is the perfect resource for the software developers. It also provides the collaboration for multiple developers working on the same development project. Examples of PaaS service provider are Microsoft Azure, Engine Yard, Google App Engine, AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Heroku. Large organizations, in particular, gain the advantage for their product development from this cloud delivery model.

Now, as you are well aware with the three tiers of cloud delivery, you would know that cloud migration needs a great deal of planning. And this is where most organizations fail as they are still unclear about how do they overcome the technical challenges of cloud migration. Let’s take quick look on these technical problems and their solutions below:

How to migrate to the cloud smoothly?
  • Hire skilled cloud architects. One cannot stress the importance of talented cloud architects and administrators who have the complete knowledge and hands-on experience of cloud migration and know a way around how it takes place. With evolving cloud technology, it also gets more and more complex, developing many legacy and technical issues. Hiring cloud architects or even a whole team of cloud administrators will ensure that every such issue is dealt with swiftly and in the most viable manner.
  • Use encrypted file system. When you are migrating your data from one server to another, always encrypt your files. This way, you can always rest assured that even if your data is stolen or lost, it will never be used for nefarious purposes.
  • Always keep backups. No matter how small or large your information stack is, it’s recommended to always keep a backup of your data. This is the best method to ensure complete data security and helps to be more organized for sharing and distributing data. Moreover, regular offsite backups will help to recover in the least time possible in case of a crash.  
  • Decide upfront which application need cloud migration. Perform a comprehensive check on all your applications for how useful they are for your business and how your people are using them. Then decide whether it is good to keep these applications on-site or move them to the cloud. Another important aspect is calculating the costs involved with migrating these applications to the cloud. Needless to say, always calculate the overall cost of cloud migration. Ask for a detailed cost breakdown from your migration service provider and then take the dive.
  • Form partnerships with trusted vendors. Choose a cloud vendor who has a proven track record and who can assist you technically in cloud migration. Such vendors will always suit your interests more as they will always deliver what they promise for.

Now that you have a clear idea about why and how you should migrate to the cloud, you are probably looking for the migration service providers and cloud vendors. Choose the ones that best aligns with your current business needs and swiftly solves your challenges.

Here’s to 2018 – the year of cloud migration.