The thought of moving to the cloud or even the cloud migration process is overwhelming for many small and medium sized businesses. Although it can save money and help businesses pivot more quickly in turbulent times. Yet, some businesses struggle to navigate the cloud and cloud migration. So, let’s bring a little clarity to the topic of cloud migration.
What is cloud migration?
Cloud migration is simply the process of moving digital business operations to the cloud. Commonly, “cloud migration” relates to moving from on-premises or legacy infrastructure (which is outdated hardware and software that is still in use) to the cloud. It also describes the migration from one cloud to another cloud.
It’s kind of like when a business moves from a tiny office into a larger full-service office suite. Except in this case the business is moving data, IT processes and applications to the cloud. Or, it’s migrating those IT processes, applications and data to another cloud.
What are the key benefits of cloud migration?
This is the central question business owners ask. Let’s look at a number of key benefits.
- Cost savings. Businesses that migrate to the cloud greatly reduce their IT spend. Because the cloud providers handle upgrades and maintenance. This outsourcing of a business’ IT infrastructure and workloads to a secure data center lowers IT costs. Plus, cloud hosting providers may have additional expertise, saving businesses from having to increase their IT spend.
- Scalability. A business working in the cloud can scale-up faster and more easily as they need. With on-prem infrastructure it can cost more and take more time to scale-up. In some cases, on-prem infrastructure requires businesses to buy and set-up more physical servers, more networking equipment and applications licenses. But businesses operating in the cloud are more agile. They can support a greater number of users and larger workloads more easily. Also, cloud hosting increases supply chain productivity and makes IT management easier.
- Flexibility. Migrating to the cloud allows a business’s employees or their customers to access their cloud-based services and data from anywhere and at any time. Allowing businesses to pivot quickly to a remote working environment, implement VDIs or grow their customer base in new sectors and offer their services across a wider market.
- Performance. Depending on the type of business, migrating to the cloud can improve a business’s performance and enhance their customers’ experience. For example, if a business’s website or their applications are hosted in data centers with cloud-based hosting versus on-prem servers, they can reduce their latency. Because the data doesn’t travel as far to reach their customers or users.
- Ability to Develop Multicloud Solutions. Through cloud migration, a business can develop a multicloud strategy. Giving businesses increased flexibility and scalability. Meaning businesses can leverage multiple cloud technologies at one time. For example, using the public cloud and a dedicated private cloud for specific cloud-native applications.
Key cloud migration questions for businesses.
One of the reasons businesses may feel confused is not knowing what questions they should ask about cloud migration. Here are a few question businesses thinking of migrating to the cloud should ask themselves.
- What workloads are you currently running on-prem and why? Are there compliance reasons for why you are running on-prem versus using a public cloud?
- What are the main challenges faced with your current environment? Are you able to scale-up as quickly as you need? Perhaps you’ve discovered a need to integrate your business to offer more online options for your clients or employees. Can your current environment handle an increased workload?
- What improvements do you need to make? Business owners know their business. Even if they’re not IT experts. Perhaps they see an uptick in their website traffic or need to expand or set-up an e-commerce site.
- Do you have a cloud road map for the next 2 to 5 years? For small businesses this may be the toughest question. Some will say, they have no cloud road map, and others may have a road map but not be aware of the difference in cloud hosting services. That’s when you call the cloud experts, like Clarity.
What Clarity in Cloud Migration looks like.
Part of getting clear on what cloud migration is about, means looking at the process. Clarity provides a comprehensive full spectrum of technology solutions. Giving us the ability to conduct a thorough cloud migration assessment and seamless cloud migration.
Here’s how Clarity works with clients interested in cloud migration.
1. We start by focusing on your needs. The first step is understanding your environment and running an analysis on what is currently running on-prem. Assessing what technology systems and services you are currently using. This means looking at the operating systems, off the shelf applications, customized applications and productivity software.
- This includes mapping existing applications to a specific solution. For example, if you are running an on-prem Exchange for your email and calendaring, we map it to a cloud-based solution like Microsoft 365 or Google G Suite.
- Conducting a cost benefit analysis to identify the costs of your cloud migration. This means looking at cost optimization options and ways to manage cloud costs after you’ve migrated to the cloud.
- Using a platform independent approach. Most applications are not platform dependent. So, you can run them on GCP, AWS, Azure or OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure). This means we can present you with the most effective options.
2. Propose an efficient cloud migration plan. Contracting cloud migration expertise means the cloud solutions specialists should provide you an efficient cloud migration plan. One that is based on your custom needs. Clarity cloud solutions specialists provide you with an efficient cloud migration plan that provides insights into the cost efficiencies and also how to make the actual cloud migration seamless.
3. Configuring the users, network environment and cybersecurity protocols for your cloud. This includes setting up user management including MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), security policies and network environment. As well as setting up a backup strategy and redundancies.
4. Mapping and migrating your data and applications. Once you are ready, our cloud solutions specialist maps and migrates your data and applications from on-prem to your cloud platform. Or from your existing cloud to your hybrid or multicloud platforms.
5. Setting up auditing and logging based on your needs. Based on your business’ compliance needs, we set-up an auditing and logging process. For example, if you are a financial services firm, your industry compliance policies and needs are different from a legal service firm. Therefore, our cloud solutions specialists ensure your specific auditing and logging policies meet
your industry’s compliance and data protection needs.
6. Secure your cloud. Once you’ve migrated to cloud, we make sure your cloud security is tight. This is the configuration and hardening security phase of cloud migration. Such as setting up your Web Application Firewall (WAF) and your cloud endpoint protection. Clarity’s deep knowledge of cloud cybersecurity ensures your cloud is secure.
Cloud migration isn’t confusing when you have clarity. Knowing what cloud migration is, the key benefits of the cloud migration, what questions to ask and what quality cloud migration looks like, should take away the fear of migrating to the cloud.
If you want to know more about how cloud migration can lower your costs, improve your productivity, scalability, IT security and maximize your business’ potential, connect with Clarity today.