Why and how to successfully transition to the cloud:
Your organisation can gain competitive advantages from cloud computing such as higher efficiency, greater flexibility, lower costs and better performance for your applications and services. Because cloud computing represents a shift from the traditional way of thinking about IT resources, making the transition to the cloud requires careful planning and strategy.
Cloud migrations can also include transitioning from one provider’s cloud to another. This also requires careful planning, and many of the same considerations apply.
Here are some initial points to consider as you explore a cloud migration:
Evaluate your existing investment
Weigh up the existing investment in your on-premises data centre and consider the costs of moving to the cloud to determine whether it’s right for your organisation. For many smaller or younger companies, migrating to the cloud can be a no-brainer. With cloud computing, you can quickly gain access to enterprise-class resources on a pay-as-you-go basis – resources that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive.
Consider your applications and data
Which applications would you migrate to the cloud? Will they perform well in the cloud or, for instance, do they depend on your current, customised on-premises infrastructure? Older applications may not be supported by your target cloud, so make sure the cloud platform you’re migrating to supports your application’s language. Also, consider whether the data you want to move to the cloud is right for the cloud. For example, highly sensitive data may require a more secure cloud deployment.
Determine what level of resources each application uses
The cloud can provide great benefits for scaling resources up or down for your applications. Determine which of your applications could benefit from a pay-as-you go resource consumption model.
The right fit: public, private or hybrid
The cloud is not one size fits all. A primary benefit of the cloud is that it lets you configure your deployment in a way that makes the most sense for your organisation. For example, you can choose to deploy cloud computing through the public cloud, a private cloud or a hybrid cloud:
This is the most common way to deploy cloud computing. Resources are owned and operated by a third-party cloud services provider and shared with other organisations who also use the service.
In a private cloud, resources are used exclusively by one business or organisation. Private clouds are often used when stronger security or higher control over the infrastructure is required.
A combination of public and private – a hybrid cloud – taps into public cloud resources and your private cloud or existing on-premises resources. A connection is made between the different environments to help you capitalise on the advantages of all.
When to migrate?
When to migrate to the cloud is a business decision – based on multiple factors unique to each organisation. However, a key time to consider the cloud is when your business is on the verge of an expansion or upgrade. For instance, maybe your server hardware is reaching the end of its lifecycle, or you need to add capacity to your data centre. Or, it’s time to upgrade to the latest version of software that’s critical to your business operations. These can be opportune moments to consider the cloud as part of your new or upgraded infrastructure.