The demand for cloud based technology has accelerated as the importance of flexibility and agility have been realised. Businesses that haven’t adapted risk being left behind, but what are the benefits and how do you know if it’s the right solution for your organisation?
What is the cloud and how does it work?
The cloud refers to servers that are accessed via the internet, rather than on premise. Cloud servers are located in data centres all over the world, meaning businesses no longer need to manage and maintain their own physical servers and hardware.
There are different types of cloud environments such as private, public, multi-cloud and hybrid, but they all enable users to access files and applications anywhere, from any device, because the computing and storage takes place on servers in a data centre rather than on a specific device.
Why the cloud is a popular solution for businesses?
Choosing the ideal on-premise model for the type and size of your business is a big decision to make when you aren’t sure how your needs will change in the future, and there is a significant amount of technical expertise required to install, configure, test and update servers. Not to mention a hefty upfront cost.
Cloud computing eliminates many of the constraints of an on premise server. It can scale with your business and provides more flexibility, not to mention peace of mind that your data is less vulnerable to disasters, cyber attacks and downtime.
8 Benefits of migrating to cloud technology
Benefits of migration include reduced IT costs and improved performance, but the migration process itself presents some challenges, such as planning and cost. Keep reading to explore key migration benefits and challenges. (3)
01. Cost Savings:
cloud solutions require very little hardware owned by the business. Typically cloud solutions are fixed monthly fees hence costs may be lower and easier to predict and you only pay for what you use.
02. No maintenance:
Infrastructure is continuously updated by the service provider, so there’s virtually no maintenance or infrastructure replacement required.
files can be accessed, shared and updated by your teams from anywhere at any time as files are stored online.
04. Flexibility and scalability:
Many organizations adopt a hybrid cloud model, where they migrate some of their workloads to the cloud while keeping others in their existing on-premises environment. (There can be industry compliance benefits to hybrid clouds, too.) Most cloud platforms maintain a global presence so that organizations can improve performance by running workloads closer to where their users or customers are.
05. Enhanced security:
Public clouds have built-in security features and specialized cloud security tools to help ensure that an organization’s resources are protected. Security patching is done automatically by the cloud provider in many cases.
07. Backup, recovery, and failover:
Most cloud providers help to improve business continuity by offering built-in, one-click backup and recovery capabilities. Some providers also offer the ability to store backups in different geographic regions.
08. Simplified management and monitoring:
Organizations can manage and monitor their on-premises datacentre and cloud resources from a single screen if the cloud provider offers a central management tool.
Is the cloud secure?
Businesses are increasingly concerned about the risk of cybercrime to their livelihood and data, and rightly so. According to the ACSC over 65,000 Australian businesses reported a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months and faced increasing difficulty managing and deploying security solutions.
Whilst cloud computing is not exempt from the cyber threats, it can provide an extra layer of security. Data stored in the cloud is encrypted, which means that it’s much harder for hackers to intercept files from outside your business. Patches and updates take place automatically and new security measures are being developed constantly, with significant budgets and expert teams behind them.
If you’re concerned about giving your data to a third party, data centres are incredibly strict on who can enter their facilities. As a global market worth billions of pounds, data security is a top priority for cloud service providers which is not going to change anytime soon.
Businesses can further enhance the security of data stored in the cloud by using secure passwords and two-factor authentication, as well as backing up data to a remote location in case of data loss, downtime or disaster.
How to have a successful cloud migration
The right cloud migration strategy is crucial for a successful cloud journey.
Drawing up a cloud migration strategy is as simple as four steps, although each step requires thorough preparation. With cloud migration itself a complicated endeavour, it pays for each step to be as complete as humanly possible. (3)
- Planning: Determine the purpose of cloud migration. Will it be used to safeguard data in case of a disaster? Will it be for streamlining DevOps or workloads?
- Business Case: Assess the services that cloud service providers have put forward. Every cloud-bound app or asset must have a strong case for doing so.
- Execution: In initiating the move, it must keep interruptions and costs to a minimum. A crucial app used in current processes can grind the entire business to a halt.
- Upkeep: Once the move is complete, the cloud system must be kept to a high standard of optimization and security, primarily through real-time monitoring.
To help ease the process, here’s how you can make cloud migration successful and easy:
Formulate the right strategy
First, it’s important to know what you want to accomplish. This can be done by knowing the baseline metrics of your IT. Doing so allows you to map both your assets’ and applications’ workloads. By having a baseline, you can understand where your business stands and helps you establish your desired KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), like response times, page load times, CPU and memory usage, as well as conversion rates. (2)
By knowing the baseline, you’ll have a glimpse of whether your business is doing good or bad after migrating to the cloud. You can then conduct the necessary adjustments depending on the outcome of the migration.
Partner with a good provider
With your metrics set and your expectations settled, it’s important to find a reputable cloud provider. For one, cloud technology can be complicated even if it has the basic function of server warehouses. So it’ll help if you partner with someone who understands the complications hidden in cloud technology, as they can answer any questions you may have.
Second, a good partner allows you to seamlessly store all your business information and only provide your selected users access, ensuring that the data and files you stored are secure and safe from any unauthorized individual. So it would be good for your business if you ask whether your potential cloud partner can handle multiple people simultaneously accessing the cloud, as well as running any programs and applications from the cloud. (1)
To sieve through the countless cloud providers, it’s best to find the ones who have a good track record and those also handling the same companies as yours. Additionally, it would be best that the cloud partner can guarantee assistance as you’re migrating. With their expert hands, your migration will be more manageable and successful.
Determine the right application to migrate
Take note that not all apps your business may be using are cloud friendly. This means that some apps will need to undergo minor to major code changes for them to be hosted on the cloud. Hence, determine which apps can be hosted on the cloud so your migration process can be successful.
To help you out, here are some considerations for you to determine which applications can be migrated:
Know which apps can be moved as is and those that need to be redesigned.
If a redesign is needed, is the process complicated? If so, then don’t migrate the app as it can cost you time.
Know the type of cloud environment––public, private, or multi-cloud––for apps that can be moved to the cloud. (2)
Making the move to cloud
Kaine Mathrick Tech is an award winning managed service provider offering cyber-first managed IT services including IT support, project delivery, cyber security, communications. We can offer advice, consultation and guidance on what cloud solution is right for you, with full migration to leading cloud platforms including Microsoft Azure.
If you have any queries or would like to start your cloud journey today, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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Cyber-first Managed IT Services by Kaine Mathrick Tech
We will work closely with you to digitally transform your IT so it will drive growth and business results. Whether you are looking for all-inclusive or outsourced IT support, we provide the ideal blend of personalised service, fast response times, combined with the capacity and ability to meet the increasing demands of your business.
Our team will monitor and maintain your physical and virtual IT infrastructure and ensure the latest security and performance patches are up to date minimising any chance of downtime.
- “SIX KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL CLOUD MIGRATION”, https://edafio.com/blog/six-keys-to-a-successful-cloud-migration/
- “6 Key Elements for a Successful Cloud Migration”, https://www.ibm.com/cloud/blog/6-key-elements-for-a-successful-cloud-migration
- “Benefits of cloud migration”, https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/migration/benefits-challenges/#overview
- “6 Strategies for Migrating Applications to the Cloud”, Source: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/enterprise-strategy/6-strategies-for-migrating-applications-to-the-cloud/