In the past few years, driven largely by the effects of the pandemic on how work gets done and the environments it gets done in, a massive shift towards Cloud services has occurred, with 94% of companies now leveraging this capability in some capacity. And Cloud adoption is still growing, especially among organizations in the public sector, healthcare and financial services. With so many companies taking advantage of this technology already, those that lag behind are most likely missing out on a myriad of opportunities making it worth the investment.
According to a KeyBanc Capital Markets Technology report, both the Cloud Computing and larger, Digital Transformation markets will continue to experience double digit growth in the next five years. That’s in large part due to the fact that companies are looking to simplify and enhance operations in an effort to improve organizational health, customer experience, and the retention of those customers.
Cloud Migration, a key component of any company’s Digital Transformation initiative, can feel like a big undertaking for even the most seasoned teams, but when you know exactly why you are doing it and the benefits you'll reap as an organization, it becomes a must.
Big Benefits of Cloud Migration
Your on-site systems are secure and functional. So, why migrate to the Cloud? Scale, Flexibility and of course, Cost are the three biggest drivers for organizations seeking Cloud services. Within these areas, more specific, tangible benefits ladder up to overall operational improvements, both short and long term. So, let’s take a closer look at these key drivers.
In keeping up with the ever-changing landscape driven by category and industry shifts, the ability to consolidate data servers and improve security allows businesses to grow unhindered by operational constraints such as space and resources.
- Enabling Digital Transformation: Cloud Migration is one very necessary component to an overall effort towards Digital Transformation. Setting up this foundation enables the organization to be positioned for scale and increased efficiency.
- Consolidation of Data Centers: Housing your own data requires a large industrial investment in not only space but also in resources and personnel. Cloud servers alleviate much of this strain allowing the business to devote energy, time, and money elsewhere.
- Improving Security: On-site data management requires a highly specialized team, costly monitoring tools, and (per the point made above) physical space to maintain complete internal control and policy adherence. In the Cloud, there is less overhead required to manage your security based on built-in measures and the shared network responsibility, thus reducing overall security workload.
Cloud services support increased business agility by eliminating management of hardware and lowering access barriers to potentially cost prohibitive opportunities for growth and exploration.
- Increased Business Agility: On demand availability (100% uptime) offers dynamic scaling, meaning you can expand to new locations without needing extra servers.
- Eliminating End of Life Concerns: Application lifecycles and rigid timelines force IT leaders into a constant cycle of hardware and software that needs updated or upgraded. Additionally, service interruptions related to replacements can be lessened or avoided entirely.
- Leveraging New Technologies like Machine Learning and AI: Taking advantage of new technologies as they come online is a distinct advantage of Cloud offerings. With access to a broader suite of tools, you can leverage potentially cost prohibitive advancements much sooner, accelerating business growth into new areas.
Cost is often one of the more compelling motivations in favor of Cloud Migration. Not only can you reduce existing infrastructure costs, but you can help mitigate the effects of disaster if it ever strikes by taking advantage of more efficient recovery planning and capabilities.
- Reducing IT Infrastructure Costs: With the ability to right- size resources and adjust to changing business needs, the Cloud allows your organization to pay for only what you use. Unisys, a global IT company, estimates it reduced its IT budget by 35-40% in just four years and opened up resources to focus on innovation-centric work vs being consumed by maintenance.
- Streamlined Disaster Recovery: There is inherent resiliency in Cloud computing as the tools and services managing your data can be recovered quickly should a production issue such as an integration change cause data loss. To have this redundancy on site would require not only a team of people but possibly a location separate from your primary setup while working via Cloud requires less people and time to recover.
While these high-level benefits apply to most if not all businesses considering Cloud Migration, those that support your business goals most directly will drive the strategy you set forth. A complete Digital Transformation might involve over 50 potential items, but an individual company may prioritize the 25 or so that align best to their specific organizational directives. To identify those priorities, an optimized Cloud Migration strategy should be built keeping in mind the key considerations outlined below.
Top Five Considerations for Cloud Migration
Before embarking on a Cloud Migration initiative, consider these “watch out’s” that have the potential to hinder project success:
- Lack of workload understanding - Underestimating the scope associated with your Cloud Migration could result in serious cost implications.
- Interoperability - In some cases, it may be difficult to predict and plan for unforeseen challenges like ensuring effective communications between your new Cloud environment and your partners’/clients’ networks.
- Age of systems - If your systems are older or your applications are using dated technologies, your migration efforts may require additional time and investment and code remediation may be necessary.
- Development methods – If your methods are dated, such as an older application on a mainframe, it may prevent taking advantage of Cloud features without a re-haul.
- Stakeholder alignment - Managing expectations for business outcomes is critical to help justify significant investment.
These potential challenges are not insurmountable but do reinforce the importance and the potential benefits of finding an experienced partner to help you develop an approach tailored to your business’ needs. A successful approach for your transition will net results that far outweigh the hurdles, and a well-prepared strategy and tactical implementation plan will ensure long-term operational efficiency.
With the benefits of Cloud Migration in mind, let's look towards optimizing your strategic approach in our 2nd post of this two-part series on Cloud Migration - Optimized Cloud Migration: A Strategic Approach for Streamlined Success.
To discuss how the opportunities highlighted above apply to your company in more detail, reach out today to connect with a g2o Cloud Migration Specialist.