Moving to the cloud is inevitable for modern businesses. Data shows that 94% of businesses use the cloud in one form or another. As promising as the cloud sounds, switching to it can be disastrous to your organization if not done right. Research shows that up to 70% of cloud costs are wasted.
Therefore, you need to extract good value from it. You can do this by defining your cloud migration goals, having strong cloud security, performing cloud cost optimization, and establishing measures of success. Here’s what you need to know about cloud migration and how to ensure migrating to it has the best benefits for your business.
What Are the Benefits of Moving to the Cloud?
Cloud migration has a massive impact on businesses. Some of the most significant ones include the following:
- Cost Reduction – You spend less on operational expenses using the cloud. A case study on Emirates shows that the company saved around $1 million annually from migrating to the cloud.
- Scalability – The cloud can easily and quickly respond to varying demands on your IT infrastructure and ensure consistent service delivery without the need to buy new hardware to scale your services.
- Security – Reliable cloud service providers regularly keep their platform’s security updated following the latest industry standards that are compliant. Therefore, you have reduced risks of a cyberattack.
- Reliability – Not all cloud deployments go smoothly. However, you enjoy better reliability and less data loss risk. Most cloud service providers offer service-level agreements guaranteeing 99% uptime and responsibility for disaster recovery and backups.
- Fast Implementation – Moving to the cloud hastens the pace of digital innovation within your organization. This promotes business growth, thanks to the improved tech flexibility that allows your development team to accelerate and optimize workflows.
- Availability – Cloud computing allows your team to access company applications anywhere globally. Therefore, you can transition to remote work and offer your employees a flexible working schedule.
How You Can Get the Best Value When Switching to the Cloud
The cloud offers great promise. However, you must transition effectively to get the most out of it. Here’s how to extract the best value from your cloud migration.
Define Your Cloud Migration Goals
Before migrating to the cloud, you must clearly understand the applications you use in your company and how they’ll benefit from migrating to the cloud. You can start auditing your digital assets by doing the following:
- Write a list of software you use
- Identify what apps no longer bring your business value
- Identify the apps that bring your business the most value
- Figure out the dependencies between various applications
Figuring out dependencies is crucial to ensure you don’t break your IT services by moving one app or several others to the cloud.
After performing the audit, determine whether your migration to the cloud is to improve the cost, security, or performance of your IT infrastructure and services.
You should also start incentivizing and training management and teams to understand the benefits of the cloud in terms of throughput, revenue growth, and value addition to the business. When all teams are aligned with the migration, it will be more effective and valuable to your organization.
Choose the Right Cloud Provider
The benefits you’ll get from migrating to the cloud are tightly tied up to your chosen cloud provider. Typically, your preferred choice should live up to their promised service level agreement. You can gauge this by observing the following:
- Downtimes – Even the most prominent cloud vendors will experience downtimes. However, if you spot several significant ones on their public status pages, it might indicate bigger problems with their infrastructure.
- Latency – You can’t fully control how fast users can access your services in the cloud. Therefore, you should opt for a provider with lower latency and fewer API errors.
- Capacity – Despite the cloud typically offering more capacity, you should find vendors who are not under-resourced. Thus, you’ll have fewer out-of-capacity errors and better scalability.
Your preferred provider should also offer a vast array of cloud models your business might need, reducing migration with changing business needs for cloud computing.
Select the Appropriate Automation Tools
Cloud migration can be a painstaking process. Several automation tools make the process more straightforward for businesses, making migration faster, less costly, and less risky.
Automation is essential when you have hundreds of components that must be migrated and several performance tests to run to ensure all services are working correctly.
Well-established cloud providers will have their selection of automation tools to aid in migration and replace the manual work your team may have to do. You can also get other versatile solutions from software vendors.
Focus on Security
Despite your cloud vendor promising regular security updates to their platform, you still need to monitor regularly to ensure you comply with data privacy and security regulations.
Moreover, some vendors might breach service-level agreements. You need a consistent and transparent means of identifying SLA problems and ensuring you’re taking full advantage of cross-region restore, backup, and replication of cloud services offered by the vendor.
You also need to ensure that the vendor is a verified cloud service provider you can entrust with your intellectual property to avoid your company finding itself on the wrong side of the law. They should also have a robust disaster recovery plan to ensure you recover quickly from downtimes and attacks.
Your security goals should ensure business continuity, with employees and clients still accessing company data when disaster strikes.
Perform Cloud Cost Optimization
Cloud costs can spiral if left unmonitored. Data shows that 60% of IT and cloud decision-makers encounter public cloud cost overruns that negatively impact their budgets.
You can avoid this by performing cloud cost optimization. Cloud cost optimization reduces your cloud spending using common strategies such as:
- Identifying mismanaged resources
- Rightsizing computing services
- Eliminating unnecessary processes and waste
- Implementing cloud optimization tools and platforms to gain visibility on where there’s excessive spending.
Have a Measure for Success
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial for assessing the effectiveness of your cloud implementation. These KPIs should go alongside your business goals. Here are some essential KPIs you can have:
- Availability – How is the migration making the product more accessible to the end user?
- Maintenance costs – Are system components less expensive on the cloud? This KPI includes the cost of training DevOps and system administrators.
- Scalability – How is automated performance scalability affecting your business?
- Operational load – How much will the operational load on system maintenance drop after transitioning to the cloud?
- Access Speed – Is access to resources faster and more distributed using the cloud?
Choose the Right Cloud Partner
Your business is bound to benefit immensely from transitioning to the cloud. However, you must have an effective transition strategy. Contact the right provider today and learn how your business can get value from the cloud.
Dennis Schroder is the CEO of managed IT services provider Arakyta. Dennis is an Information Technology Guru with more than 30 years of experience in IT. He has extensive expertise in software and systems design, implementation, and management; business process consulting, operations, as well secure document management built on Microsoft Cloud Solutions.