Migrating To The Cloud: Yet Another Hot Trend Or An Undeniable Business Necessity?

You’d have to agree that running a business is in many ways like raising a kid. For starters, both are much simpler to manage when they are small.

Yet, they grow up so fast. And so do the challenges brought by scalability (or lack thereof). 

As time flows buy you earn the trust of a greater number of clients. You gain the honor of processing their sensitive data. You are lucky to deal with an ever-growing demand that, by default, increases server load, the volumes of traffic, and the pressure on your IT team as a whole.

Not to mention your team’s internal needs such as a CRM, CMS, ERP, VoIP communications, etc. – all run on a rock-solid, encrypted network. 

Could you have imagined the role IT infrastructure will play in your business in but a couple of years from the founding date? More importantly, have you designed said infrastructure with scalability in mind?

Most businesses haven’t. That’s why 90% of them are expected to migrate to the Cloud by the end of 2019. 

Cloud = Heaven?

Cloud migration is an intricate process of deploying services, assets, data, or any other IT resources on a cloud-based platform. In simpler words, you use someone else’s servers for infrastructure management. This approach offers a series of peculiar benefits that give businesses an edge over the competition.

As we can see from the diagram above, a typical cloud-based infrastructure managers most of your IT services on its side. The only thing that’s on you is the equipment capable of connecting to the internet. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does. At least at first glance. But if we were to dive a little bit deeper…

What’s on the table?

We can categorize cloud solutions into three primary types:

  • IaaS: Azure, AWS, and Alibaba Cloud are all examples of a Infrastructure-as-a-Service product.  
  • PaaS: Google App Engine, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and Engine Yard are Platform-as-a-Service solutions.  
  • SaaS: These are your typical Software-as-a-Service products like Google Apps, Salesforce, HubSpot, or Netsuite. 

In addition to that, there are three separate types of cloud: public, private, and hybrid. 

The first is essentially a handy way of saying “that’s not my problem anymore” and allowing the vendor to manage the cloud. All of your resources are hosted by the cloud provider. In simpler words, public cloud is a prime example of IaaS.

Public clouds are typically cheaper, simpler in maintenance, and much more flexible than their private counterparts.

Speaking of private clouds, they are used to create custom infrastructures that are specifically tailored to the needs of your business. They are considered much safer. As such, they may be obligatory for your type of business depending on the industry you operate in, the country your business is located, and the volumes of sensitive data you are processing. 

Hybrid clouds tend to take the best from both worlds. Being the go-to choice for most enterprises nowadays they combine the decrease in maintenance costs as well as the scalability of Public networks, while offering a Private Cloud for managing sensitive data. 

The benefits of the Cloud

Remember the good old days when you first started your business. You had it all planned out and, to be frank, you didn’t need that big of an investment. 

Look at your company today and think about the costs you dedicate to IT, software licenses, new and improved hardware, all of which cost a pretty penny. 

A cloud-based infrastructure allows scaling your business organically without investing too much into maintenance and support. 

Need more storage? There’s always more on the clod.

Looking for a speed boost? Your PaaS provider has already invested millions for you to have it at your fingertips.

Your competitors are developing a handy analytics app? Purchase the license for an alternative and have it running within a day.

The best part about it all? The pay-as-you-go model that ensures you only invest in the products or services you need at the moment. 

A recent study of 1.242 IT professionals found that the lion’s share of their organizations are moving at least some capabilities to the cloud. More on the matter, 88% of cloud users reported they are saving costs while 56% report that cloud has helped them boost profits. 

60% believe that a cloud-based infrastructure has significantly reduced the load of their IT team, specifically in infrastructure management. 

The fact that 62% of businesses are reinvesting said funds to either boost wages, increase headcount, and drive innovation is but a sweet cherry on the icing. 

Disaster recovery

Data loss is the bane of modern tech-savvy businesses. We are simply too dependent on the machines. Perhaps even more than we are willing to admit.

That said, a cloud-based service is equipped with an efficient disaster recovery method from the box – all of your sensitive data is neatly backed on the cloud. 

A boost in collaboration

While your internal network may be limited by the length of LAN cables, the cloud is everywhere. An efficient internet connection is enough to keep the daily routine going, as some would say, on the fly. 

Quality of life changes

  • Document control: Update logs, implemented changes, as well as the most recent version notes are always at your fingertips. 
  • Data security: Data stored on the cloud is accessible from a variety of devices. If one is lost, destroyed, or compromised, you are not out of options. On a side note, the person to find, hack, or restore the device is left with nothing – the memory of the device itself is a blank page. 
  • Automated software updates: You don’t have to worry about updating your software to the latest version. You are already running it thanks to the cloud. 

So, is it worth the hustle?

If we were to go with the majority of businesses all over the world then yes, cloud migration is definitely worth it in the long run.

That said, each case is unique. The so-called “silver bullet” might be too expensive to even bother. How can you tell for sure?

  1. Conduct an audit of your current “business as usual” IT expenses. Calculate the cost of running your software, investing in hardware, and overall IT team management (training, benefits, and salary). Make sure to evaluate both direct and indirect costs of running a business such as revenue loss due to downtime or outages. 
  2. Prepare a rough estimation of infrastructure migration costs. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google Cloud Platform all have convenient calculators allowing you to sink your toes a bit deeper without spending a dime. 
  3. Evaluate the cost of moving your data to the cloud. You’ll need to think about the time it will take to run your apps in a new environment. The time your IT team will invest in mapping dependencies and inventory management is always a tricky thing to consider, but an important one nonetheless. If put simply, the devil is in the details. Plan accordingly. 
  4. Develop a cloud migration roadmap and evaluate every cost of product or service you’ll be launching during the shift. This will help you to map out a budget that’s relevant to a current period in time. It will also help you understand the labor resources you’ll require on your side.
  5. Now compare the sums from steps 2-5 with the money you are paying throughout step 1. The odds are, the migration will save you up to 20% of your overall IT budget. If the investment doesn’t seem like it’s worth the candles, well, maybe your business is one of those rare cases where cloud is not the solution. 

So, do you have any more questions left regarding migration your IT infrastructure to the cloud? Feel free to get in touch with us and get your answer from the top engineers behind VyOS.