Cloud migration can provide a business with a wide range of benefits that include automatic software upgrades, enhanced security, greater flexibility and easy data access from various types of devices. Still, making the switch is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before a business decides on cloud migration, it must go through the following five considerations in precise detail.
Doing so not only results in successful cloud migration, but it also allows the business to take full advantage of the benefits of cloud computing.
1. Business Goals
In attempting to introduce the benefits of cloud migration to its operations, businesses must also take care to go over their unique goals. Evaluating both ongoing and future business goals will make for a cloud migration that doesn’t interfere with the pursuit and realization of these goals. This step also makes it easier to pick out and rectify any disruptions.
During this process, the business can also decide which of the three types of cloud migration works best for it. Each of the available options — private, public, and hybrid — is more suited to achieving certain goals than others, and a clear understanding of those goals makes for a well-fitting choice and an ideal implementation.
Another concern businesses have to look into while considering their business goals is whether or not the cloud technologies they are considering are compatible with legacy applications and other software already being run by the business. If not, the business can weigh what impact the migration is going to have and how best to minimize or avoid it altogether.
This step also presents the opportunity to see if legacy applications can be retired with minimal disruption to the business’ operations. According to Wavestone US, business goals can also be revised at this stage to account for the machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities offered by cloud computing.
Security is among the most important concerns for any business, and that’s more so the case when considering cloud migration. One of the main advantages of cloud computing in this area is that it generally offers greater security since cloud providers have robust security frameworks.
In fact, some experts argue that data is more secure on the cloud than on an enterprise’s local servers. While that may be the case, it’s crucial to perform due diligence and evaluate if the safeguards offered by a provider are in line with a business’s standards.
Migrating to the cloud comes with legal considerations, and these are mostly to do with the law and regulations in the country within which an enterprise operates. Certain data might be fine to keep on the cloud, according to the laws of a given country, but other types of information may fall under a different set of rules.
To stay compliant, some businesses opt for hybrid cloud computing, uploading the information they’re able to onto the cloud while keeping the rest on their private or on-premise servers. This all boils down to the kind of data a business keeps and the laws it must adhere to. Evaluating that allows the business to steer clear of things like having to roll back the migration due to clashes with local law.
4. Cost and ROI
As with many long-term and company-wide decisions, businesses must consider the cost of cloud migration, as well as the return they will get on it. This consideration is related to the first one, as the business will need to factor in both its financial goals and the leeway it has.
A benefit of cloud computing is that it’s paid as an operating expenditure, otherwise called an OPEX, and there is little to no scalability involved. The cost of the service, in most cases, falls entirely under the subscription, making cloud computing a cost-effective means of doing business.
Of course, if a business’ needs change seasonally or even unexpectedly, the subscription model carries the added benefit that it allows for enhanced flexibility. This allows the business to meet its needs, as well as providing it with the ability to upscale its computing needs to meet a wider variety of situations, without having to bear the cost of maintaining them when they’re redundant.
5. Business Continuity
The final consideration businesses have to make before cloud migration to ensure its success is how its disaster recovery strategy stacks up. If the enterprise doesn’t have one, this is a crucial opportunity to look into devising a backup strategy that guarantees business continuity in the event that the cloud provider experiences downtime.
At this stage, decision-makers can also beef up their knowledge on what counts as an outage, as well as when fiscal penalties will apply. Information to inform the business’ decision at this stage can be found service-level agreements (SLAs) which the business can also turn to when making other considerations.
Cloud computing presents new ways for businesses to enhance and streamline their operations while also providing new possibilities for growth and efficient cost handling. To reap these and more advantages, however, a business must ensure that its cloud migration is hitch-free by following the five steps above.