Data is the most valuable asset for any company today and losing even a fraction of it could cause the loss of a lot of money. Since its introduction in the 2000s, Cloud Computing has taken the world by storm. Companies, both large and small, have turned to cloud computing to store their data and improve collaboration between teams. The process of moving your data, applications and other resources into the cloud environment, or from one environment to the other is termed as ‘Cloud Migration’. Companies may choose to completely transfer all their resource to the cloud while others may choose a hybrid solution where some applications are moved to the cloud while others remain on premise. Clouds make data management and your business cost-effective and scalable. Security also no longer remains a concern, since the cloud data warehouses take this responsibility.
A checklist for the enterprises
- Determine your cloud strategy: Before you decide to migrate, it’d be helpful to establish cloud migration KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Issues during migration can be identified in a more speedy manner and the metrics help determine successful completion. Response time, CPU usage, memory usage and conversion rates are some common KPIs, while business oriented KPIs will of course, vary. Which KPIs are important for the business and which ones have a greater impact on the cloud migration need to be determined before going ahead with the migration.
- Evaluate your budget and estimate costs: Cloud pricing can be fairly complicated and confusing. Choosing your server and storage type can be a little perplexing too for those migrating their resources for the first time. Regardless, cloud infrastructure providers have tried to simplify the pricing structures through free cost calculators. There are also bound to be some migration and execution costs such as cost of testing and integrating the apps, and the consultant fees. Select a server and storage optimum to your budget, so that such overhead costs do not leave your business bankrupt.
- Zero in on a cloud service provider: The current market for cloud service providers is vast. With market giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Google providing services, selecting the right service provider is a tough call. This is based purely on your needs and requirements. For instance, if you’re working on Data Analytics and Machine Learning, then Google could seem like an obvious choice due to its rich set of pre-trained APIs and advanced libraries. Data Security also plays a huge role here. It is a no-brainer that the tech-giants will have a more secure management process in place with strong authentication in place to prevent any data theft.
- Security Considerations: Before migrating, businesses must ensure that they have a well prepared in-house information security program backed by policies, procedures, guidelines and standards. It is also important to take into account data classification and protection regulation that ultimately pave the road to migration. Conduct a thorough review of the data and remove any discrepancies and redundancies – these tend to stick around and trickle through a centralised system.
- Prioritize migration components : There are a number of ways to complete your migration process – you can carry out the entire migration all at once, or you can migrate your applications to the cloud one component at a time, part by part. Whether you are doing it at one go, or component by component, it is essential to draw out the connections and dependencies between services. This determines which components need to migrate first. Most users migrate the internal services first, and follow it up by outermost services.
Challenges To Watch Out For
Opting for cloud services often makes business sense due to its wide range of benefits. However, due to its relative novelty, there are a number of challenges any business could face during migration.
- Shortage of Technical Expertise: While the technology continues to boom and see rapid adoption, there aren’t as many cloud specialists as the market currently requires. A lot of organisations have to outsource to experts in order to carry out the migration.
- Time: Data transfers require time. Companies often postpone migration citing lack of time, which puts the whole process in a loop. Employees also need to educated and trained in order to handle or work with data from the cloud and this could also push back the process
- Uncertain costs: Due to the number of options and uncertainty regarding amount of storage and memory required, costs of such a high magnitude become uncertain.
- Security: Many enterprises do not trust something they cannot physically see, and prefer to keep the data on local servers lest it gets intercepted by third party users. Convincing companies of the safety and reliability of the cloud might still have a long way to go.
Business Outcomes Of Cloud Migration
By automating many IT tasks, productivity goes up a considerable amount while bringing down costs. Businesses no longer need to buy hardware to set up their own local storage device and security is an assurance the cloud service providers offer. Cloud services allow businesses to grow and scale. Larger loads can be accommodated onto the system by simply adding resources, instead of building the set-up from the ground up. This eliminates the need to predict any future capacity requirements, thus saving the consumer a whole amount of stress.
With cloud based recoveries, data retrieval is possible within a few minutes – saving a lot of server time and resources. With its growing popularity and more organisations opting for the cloud, increased support is inevitable. Cloud based recovery can now replicate your entire network configuration so that it feels like your data was never lost. Data is the driving force of any company today and losing all or even a part of it would be disastrous.