There is no doubt that the Covid-19 outbreak put under the spotlight many challenges for the global economy that demanded faster and easier online solutions. Therefore, new data has also grown at high speed as a consequence of the constant increase in the use of technologies. Users all over the world need to be connected from whatever place with access to their data and information, either for work or personal matters. This reality has converted cloud services into a must-have for businesses of all sizes around the world.
In this era of digitalization, cloud computing enabled a whole new chapter in digital experiences, such as mobile payments, high-availability data storage, and better communication between remote teams, helping users in different locations access the same data or project using multiple apps and web platforms at the same time, an advantage that businesses have taken. Cloud-based collaboration has brought the opportunity of creating flexible work environments, improving faster and better scalability, while reducing cost.
In the last couple of years, American companies have adopted cloud-managed services to approach their business needs related to networking, mobility, security, and others, having a positive effect on the industry. Only last year, the cloud computing market was valued at USD 368.97 billion and, is expected an annual growth rate of 15% in the next 8 years. Currently, North America is the most competitive region for Cloud Services with the largest market size, with a trend to continue like that by 2027.
Why does your business need to move to the Cloud?
First of all, you need to find what drives your organization and how it will be benefited from cloud services. Migrating to the Cloud will involve moving your computing resources, applications, data, and workload to a cloud infrastructure. It is important to consider that some apps may not perform properly on the public cloud, so consider using private or hybrid clouds is an option in these cases.
Before taking more steps forward, understand what moving to the cloud means to your business. Typically, companies are moving data, applications, and IT workloads from on-premises servers to the public cloud, but cloud migration also includes moving data and applications from one cloud provider to another. It is important to identify the right cloud environment and management platform before implementing it.
Cloud computing indeed facilitates working remotely, enabling access to files and data anywhere and at any time, but it also offers other multiple benefits. Some of the top reasons for migrating to the cloud are related to security and data protection, data modernization, and cost and performance of IT operations.
Shifting to the cloud can save around 14% in operating costs (Gartner’s, 2020), mainly because it involves lower acquisition costs compared to the investment in purchasing perpetual licenses. In addition, cloud services enhanced opportunities for innovation. Another key aspect of moving to the cloud is data security. Regardless of where and how the information is managed, cloud providers typically have in place multiple layers of security to protect their environment. It is also important to be aware that all information may be subject to data protection regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), or the USA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Define migration goals
If a cloud migration strategy is a next step in your business roadmap, you must consider the deployment model: public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud, and think about the approach that will be beneficial for you to reach your goals. You can choose a full data center exit, migrating from one cloud to another, migrating specific applications or datasets, or only migrating specific workloads.
Another thing to consider is the service category that best fits your business needs, it could be SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, which will now be explained.
The most popular is the SaaS (Software as a Service), mostly because you won’t need to install and maintain software with the capacity to reach multiple users and departments. An example of SaaS are popular products, such as Google Apps, Zoom, and Slack. These apps are also known as web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software.
If what you need is to customize apps for your particular business needs, you may rather work with PaaS (Platform as a Service). This model is ideal for businesses of all sizes, with the key benefit of simplicity and convenience for the user. PaaS doesn’t replace your business software infrastructure, it offers access through a web browser that can be delivered to public, private, and hybrid clouds. To illustrate it, we can talk about Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure, cloud-based programs that offer solutions through integrated web services.
Considering you are looking for a more flexible service model for migrating to the Cloud, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) may be the one, being this an affordable option with no maintenance cost because you only pay for what you use. By working with IaaS, users are responsible for handling the data, applications, and operating system through an API or dashboard, that will help to manage the network infrastructure, including storage, servers, and virtualization. Examples of IaaS include Cisco Metacloud, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine, and others.
How to migrate to Cloud?
The six most common migration strategies go from direct migrations with none or a few changes, to an entire digital infrastructure.
Rehost: Is getting the same software that was running in the data center running in the cloud. Is the first step for a digital transformation project, a good fit for businesses with predictable peak usage patterns.
Replatform: Offers applications the most efficient performance running in the cloud, it is optimizing some parts of your existing software for a new cloud environment.
Refactor: It is taking advantage of all the capabilities of cloud services; it means re-engineering your applications to make them cloud-native, often driven by the need for increased scalability or faster and more intuitive data analysis.
Rearchitect: This is changing the code functions to optimize the application and benefited from the cloud-native qualities, such as scalability, security, and agility.
Rebuild: Excellent option for companies that work with old code, considering that building an application from scratch takes less effort and time than adapting old code to the Cloud.
Repurchase: This strategy can be lot easier than refactoring, rebuilding, or re-architecting. It is moving from perpetual licenses to cloud-hosted Software-as-a-Service equivalent, but it can be more expensive.
Migrating to the Cloud may be the right call, but it also takes lot of effort to make it possible, so consider all the difficulties your company may face in the process. And remember, errors can occur, so always have a backup plan when migrating to the Cloud. This way, when some problems come up you will be capable of reloading your data again.