Cloud services are becoming more and more popular in the business technology industry. 94% of enterprises already use some sort of cloud service today. However, understanding the factors involved in moving from on-premise storage and applications to cloud solutions is important before making the decision to move. There are multiple elements that must be taken into account when completing a cloud migration.
Cloud experts Shane Wendel and Dustin Nichols, who both have years of experience moving clients to the cloud, shared their insights on the process during a recent webinar. Below is their discussion summarized.
Cloud Migration Decision Factors
There are various aspects of an organization’s technological environment that must be assessed when considering or completing a cloud migration, Wendel explained. One important factor is cost. It may not make financial sense to move to the cloud if you’ve just made a large hardware purchase. And small costs of data storage, licensing and more can add up. It is essential to assess the financial aspect of moving to the cloud to ensure it makes sense for your business.
2. Network Connectivity
There are several aspects of your technology that support overall cloud function. One such element is your network connectivity, as Nichols explained. You must ensure that you have internet speeds that can keep up with your servers communicating with the cloud. If you don’t, this can cause frustration, as the processing speeds may not be as fast as they were when you had applications and data on-premises. However, some rural businesses may not have many options when it comes to their network. This means either getting creative with the cloud move, or perhaps reconsidering it.
Interested in learning more about network management and connectivity? Watch our SD-WAN webinar here.
3. What Can Move to the Cloud
Vendor support is also important. Some vendors may not support applications moving to the cloud, so you should always verify this with your vendors. If they do not support the cloud, then you may have to keep some applications on-premises. Conversely, some vendors are moving to solely cloud versions of their applications and eliminating the on-premises option. Be sure to communicate with your vendors when exploring cloud options.
Some organization-specific applications require a high latency, so they may also not make sense to move to the cloud, both Nichols and Wendel explained. If you have manufacturing applications, for example, you want a fast update time that may be better suited to stay on-premises.
4. Backup/Disaster Recovery
Backup and Disaster Recovery plans must be part of your cloud migration, just like on-premises infrastructure. Wendel explained that there is a common misconception that when you move to the cloud, companies hosting your information such as Microsoft or Amazon are backing up your data. This is not true, so it is important to create a plan of how to backup your cloud data, and understand how much downtime you can afford for your disaster recovery cloud plan.
5. Your I.T. Team
Finally, an additional common misconception is that by moving to the cloud, an organization can shrink or eliminate a large part of their I.T. team, whether internal or managed services. This is also not true. Cloud applications are updated constantly, and require a team to manage and understand these applications so that they work optimally for your organization.
Nichols concluded by explaining that the cloud is not for every business, but most businesses can move something to the cloud. Email is one easier aspect of technology that can help alleviate the technology management burden of your I.T. team to migrate to the cloud, and can be a good introduction to cloud services as well.
Wendel stressed that moving to the cloud will look different for every business. There is no one way to move from on-premises to cloud storage or cloud applications, and it is important to examine your business environment when planning for a cloud migration. He reiterated that business do not necessarily move everything to the cloud, but most can move something, so an important part of the process is determining what can be moved to the cloud.
To view these considerations and more implemented in a mock case study, watch the full webinar here.