Cloud technology has been around for a long time, but the improvement in internet services worldwide has increased the number of organizations migrating to the cloud.
This post covers the benefits of using cloud services, the steps for effective cloud migration, and risks in cloud migration.
Benefits of using cloud services
1. Get increased data security
Of the multiple benefits of cloud migration, data security ranks among the top. That’s why all major cloud services bring massive security provisions.
The advantages of migrating to cloud include:
- 99% Uptime: Your cloud service partner will maintain a 99% uptime to ensure there’s no data loss and practically zero-risk.
- Regular updates: Cloud service providers have robust mechanisms in place to protect their infrastructure from mala fide traffic, thereby protecting your data. What’s more, they regularly apply the latest updates to protect your data.
- Disaster recovery: Cloud service companies work with substantial infrastructure redundancy. That way, even in case of disasters, your data recovery is smooth and secure.
2. Make team collaboration easier
The location of your teams makes no difference when you choose to move to cloud computing. Here’s why:
- Exchange of documents: Your teams can easily exchange and edit documents from anywhere. Remote work becomes as easy and simple as in-office work.
- Fixing issues: Did a team-member notice something in your product that needs attention? They can resolve the issue, regardless of where they are based.
- Distributed teams: Your business can hire talent from virtually anywhere in the world because anyone with authorized access can work seamlessly with you.
3. Improve scalability
Your cloud migration process will quickly show how the cloud makes scalability so simple.
- Instantaneous scaling: You can scale up virtually in minutes. Cloud infrastructure is always available on-demand when you need it.
- Smarter investment: You can scale.
- Elasticity: You can scale down as quickly as you scale up. There are no fixed costs to tie you down.
4. Save on costs
The cloud migration strategies involve an important factor: cost savings for at least three reasons.
- Freedom from local maintenance: Your business doesn’t have to spend on the maintenance of the local servers you’d otherwise need to maintain diligently.
- Manpower costs slashed: You don’t have to hire people for maintenance since the cloud service provider services will be doing that independently.
- No sunk costs: A purchased hardware is a sunk cost even if it gets obsolete quickly. Opting for cloud services involves no such costs.
5. Manage infrastructure better
Maintaining your infrastructure eats into your time, energy, and other resources. Cloud migration needs experts, but once it’s done, it can free you from a lot of infrastructure management headache because of the following:
- Free from complexities: Since you’re not adding any hardware, you don’t have to worry about whether the new machines will work well with the old ones.
- No waiting time: Launching new products that require advanced hardware is faster and easier since you have the infrastructure available on demand. No waiting.
- Rely on specialized experts: Cloud service providers hire huge teams whose size and expertise can handle pretty much everything.
6. Achieve better efficiency
The cloud migration process achieves one more important goal: increased efficiency.
- Integration with other services:When you opt for cloud migration, you get to the choice to integrate easily with various sophisticated systems.
- Automation is easier: By its very nature, the cloud makes it easier for you to automate tasks.
- Flexibility: Because you can scale up and scale down quickly, and whenever required, you get greater flexibility and control over your resources.
7. Speed up corporate transactions
In situations like mergers and acquisitions, a cloud setup makes the handover of data resources easier and more transparent.
- Faster: With the cloud, you see the transfer easier since teams from multiple organizations can access the data.
- Easier: If the two merging businesses happen to use traditional servers, combining them could pose serious challenges. With the cloud, it’s a great deal easier.
- Smarter: If there’s an opportunity to merge or acquire companies, data on the cloud makes things faster. This allows your business to grab opportunities faster.
Steps for effective cloud migration
Now that you’re clear about the benefits of cloud migrations, it’s time to understand the steps involved in cloud migration.
Here are the 7 steps for cloud migration:
1. Build a plan
The importance of a detailed plan for cloud migration cannot be overemphasized. Right from why you are considering cloud services to how you’ll measure the outcomes, everything needs to be laid out before you begin.
A strong plan ensures success, keeps costs under control and prevents unnecessary disruption during the transition.
2. Decide on the elements to be migrated
The next step of your cloud migration process is deciding what all stuff you’d want to migrate. This is critical if you’re a multi-product company.
Do you wish to migrate only a few components? Do you wish to migrate a few products only?
Now is the time to construct what’s called a dependency diagram – a chart that shows how tasks are interrelated and what all previous stages do each particular task depends upon. That way, you’ll know beforehand the entire sequence you’ll need to go through.
3. Document your performance expectations
While cloud migration aims to improve the overall outcomes for your teams and customers, your expectations have to be realistic. From improved service to risk mitigation and costs to easier management, lay out your expectations, and have them validated by experts.
You don’t want to enter into something with an incorrect set of expectations.
4. Identify the right vendor and the partner
Your cloud service vendor is the entity that houses your data on their cloud. On the other hand, your cloud partner is an expert who helps you with the cloud migration process.
Check for their ability to help you with the migration. Pay particular attention to what kind of disruption of service they expect and their ability to design the appropriate architecture that suits your size, project complexity, and budget.
5. Agree upon a migration plan
Once you’ve zeroed in on who you are going to partner with, the next step is to plan the migration.
Among other things, your plan will contain details of the sequence of items in the migration process and reporting processes. For every step of the cloud roadmap, make sure there will be enough people and resources available.
6. Perform pre-migration activities
Here’s where your steps for effective cloud migration now lead you to the start of the actual migration.
The pre-migration activities include taking backups, checking all resources are in place, sending messages to stakeholders if your services are going to be interrupted, and so on.
7. Carry out and evaluate the migration
Now’s when you begin the migration, monitoring closely every step. You will be checking whether migrated elements and components are working as expected.
Then you’ll also test if the entire system works as a single unit, and not just the components working in silos. Tweak things if required, but don’t forget these tweaks should be solutions, not temporary patches. And don’t forget to check for vulnerabilities, if any.
Risks in cloud migration
No transition to a different technology can be entirely free of risks. The whole point is being prepared for likely dangers and ensuring complete risk mitigation.
Here’s a quick summary of risks of cloud migration:
- Inadequate roadmap: If you don’t have the details worked out beforehand, your cloud migration is going to be wobbly at best and full of risks at its worst.
- API vulnerabilities: You will need to ensure credentials are verified regularly for API calls. Otherwise, you’ll quickly see threats snowball.
- Not tightly knit: Because the services are all on-demand, you might over-provision for some features. The end result: your deployment could be spread too thin or go over the budget.
- New complexities: Over time, things might iron out, but you might initially find some of your team members find the latest technology complex and overwhelming.
- Compliance issues: A little loophole somewhere may lead to compliance challenges ahead.
- Incomplete services: If there are some loose ends, your customers and teams could see parts of your use not functioning or parts of data not being accessible.