We all know that cloud is the future of computing. Most of the businesses have either migrated to the cloud or are in the process of doing so. They do so because of the many advantages cloud computing has to offer.
This digital transformation of businesses migrating to the cloud has accelerated due to the current scenario and technological advancement. In this blog, we will deep dive into cloud migration and look at how it is changing the future of businesses.
Before we go into the details, let us understand what exactly do we mean by cloud migration. In simple terms, cloud migration is shifting digital assets like applications, workloads, data, and IT processes, of a company onto a cloud.
Traditionally, businesses stored these digital assets on-premises. Over time, the infrastructure used to store these digital assets becomes outdated. It is known as legacy infrastructure. The companies still use them for their daily operations.
The older versions might not be as efficient or advanced as the latest version. Also, in many cases, if the vendor has stopped supporting the legacy hardware or software, it will be a security risk as there would be no security updates to the legacy systems. It would be wise to adopt the strategy of moving to the cloud as there are several benefits.
The cloud service providers have a dedicated team of security experts to manage any security risks that occur. Also, cloud service providers regularly update their systems to make them more secure. Also, there are multiple backups taken to prevent any loss of data.
They also provide almost 100% uptime, ensuring the 24*7 availability of the digital assets. The end users can access it from anywhere and any device. An option to wipe off data or remove user access is available if a device is lost or stolen.
The cloud service providers adopt cutting edge technology and aim to provide best in class services to their customers. They ensure that the network latency is low as they may have data centres at multiple locations. It makes it easier to access data faster from anywhere and helps companies provide a positive customer experience.
A business can easily and quickly scale up if the workload increases. If the company wants to enter another region, it can easily do so. For an on-premise system, a business will have to purchase additional infrastructure, set it up to work with the existing systems, and align IT team personnel for managing it. It could be time-consuming.
If we consider a cloud-based solution, a business can buy additional resources as per their requirements and almost start using them instantly.
Also, in the case of lower workloads, the businesses can choose to scale down their requirements. They can pay-per-use basis and manage their workloads without affecting their performance.
Cloud migration could be very cost-effective in the longer term due to the ability to scale up or down, as mentioned above. Also, companies save a lot of money on IT operations as the cloud service provider looks after the maintenance, upgrades, and security.
Also, if a business moves on to the cloud entirely, there would be no need to buy additional infrastructure, which would otherwise be required, for an on-premise solution. The businesses will also save money, as they no longer need to worry about server back-ups, which would require them to have a replica of the existing system and maintain it. The companies with a multi-region set up need not have the set up for each location.
Also, a lean IT team can manage all the processes as the majority of the heavy lifting is done by the cloud service providers.
The IT team spends the majority of its time in operational tasks like maintenance and security. If you migrate your digital assets onto the cloud, your IT team gets more time to enhance the current product and processes. They would be using their expertise to find solutions to the business challenges and focus on improving the overall performance.
It will help the business to provide better solutions to the customers. It will also encourage the IT team to create impactful business innovations, thus boosting their performance and enhance productivity.
A business has some great benefits if they want to migrate onto the cloud. But you should also know the challenges that your business might face while migrating to the cloud.
A business has to plan well the move to migrate a massive database on to the cloud. For such an enormous database, transferring data over the internet would not be feasible as it could be time-consuming.
In such cases, the cloud service provider should provide an alternative way to physically transfer the data by copying it on a device and safely delivering the device to the cloud provider to perform the cloud migration faster. Generally, data transfer onto the cloud is time-consuming, and it requires good planning.
The process of migrating the digital assets to the cloud should be seamless and not affect the availability and performance of these assets. It is always advisable to plan the migration in a phase-wise manner and have backups available. Doing everything at once should be avoided.
The business should ensure that go live only after testing that the migration has been successful and the assets function as expected post-migration. Till this time, the company should keep using the existing on-premise solutions for operational purposes. Also, the businesses should take care not to compromise data integrity in any way during the migration process.
As a business, you need to evaluate the ease with which you can transfer legacy applications to the cloud. Not all legacy applications would be easy to migrate. Hence it is critical to determine the applications you can move to the cloud and which ones not to.
The IT team would be in charge during the process and also after the migration is complete. Hence it is necessary to have the skill set available to make sure that the migration happens smoothly. The IT team should have the expertise to deal with any challenges that may arise during and after the process.
In case of missing skill sets, the business has to hire new personnel or upskill the existing workforce. It ensures that you have the necessary capabilities and expertise in-house to deal with any challenges that may arise.
As per your business requirements, you need to choose the most suitable cloud type. There are 4 different cloud types mentioned below.
In the case of a public cloud environment, a business hosts its digital assets entirely with a cloud service provider like Microsoft Azure. It includes using all the resources of the hosting cloud service provider like servers, software, and storage. It is the most commonly used type of cloud by businesses.
Also, the resources of the cloud service providers may be shared by other businesses as well. However, there are security processes in place that ensure that the companies cannot access each other’s data.
The end-users need not be technical experts for accessing the data on the public cloud. They can do so over the web using the internet. The businesses pay-per-use and can scale up or down depending upon their requirements.
The businesses handling sensitive data or have security compulsions like financial records or healthcare details opt for a private cloud. The cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure exclusively set up the private cloud to meet the necessary security and compliance protocols.
The business has the complete authority and flexibility to customise the private as per its requirements. The end users can access it through the company’s private network only.
The simplest way to understand the difference between a public cloud and a private cloud is that a public cloud is like a shared taxi, whereas a private cloud is like a car you own.
A hybrid cloud is a mix of a public cloud and a private cloud. The businesses may host some digital assets on a public cloud and sensitive data or proprietary information on the private cloud.
This way, they get control of the private cloud as well as the flexibility, cost advantage, and scalability of a public cloud. Businesses should ensure that there is an easy flow of information in a hybrid cloud set up.
A multi-cloud set up is when a business deploys digital assets on two or more public clouds. It is done to achieve redundancy and for a backup. This way, you are not relying on a single service provider.
Most enterprise businesses prefer a multi-cloud setup. It helps them to leverage the strengths of different cloud service providers and also achieve economies of scale.
Another critical factor to consider is choosing the right cloud migration strategy. These are as follows:
As the name suggests, you lift your digital assets from on-premise and host them on the cloud. Here the cloud service providers offer only the infrastructure to host the digital assets. It is known as IaaS, i.e. Infrastructure-as-a-Service. There are no to minimum changes done by the business while migrating onto the cloud.
It can be apt for businesses to use it for simple and less impactful digital assets. It can be a stop-gap arrangement by companies just at the start of their cloud solution journey.
In this strategy, the businesses move their assets to a platform and make changes like task automation to improve it. The cloud set-up is used as a platform to run applications and hence, is called Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS.
In this strategy, the company develops from scratch the digital assets that they are planning to migrate. It helps businesses to leverage the benefits offered by a cloud-native application. The business should take care that till the time their cloud-native applications are stable; they continue using the on-premise version to mitigate the risks during migration.
It may so happen that during the evaluation of the processes for migration, you realise that certain aspects of the digital assets are no longer required. You may consider discarding these assets without any critical impact on the overall functioning. In this case, the business decides to retire these.
Some legacy systems or parts of your digital assets are critical, but you decide not to migrate them. In this case, you retain them in their current form. Also, you make arrangements to ensure that they function correctly, even if a part of them migrates onto the cloud.
If you are looking for a cloud migration partner, or need guidance to choose the right cloud type, or find the most suitable cloud migration strategy for your business, you may connect with us at CocoonIT Services Pvt Ltd.
We are a trusted Microsoft Gold partner offering intuitive Business Technology Consulting, Cloud Migration, Cloud Solutions, Automation implementation and provide ongoing support as per your business requirement.
We help businesses in their digital transformation journey by delivering Microsoft Business Automation tools, Power Apps, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Power BI, and other technology solutions services and support.