There are three clear drivers to cloud migration – data protection and security, data modernization, and the performance and cost of IT operations. It is understood that cloud migration involves moving applications, data, or other business components from an on-premises environment to the cloud to improve performance, gain agility, and reduce costs.
There are several different ways to migrate to the cloud, and the best approach for your enterprise will depend on your specific needs and goals. Some standard methods of cloud migration include lift-and-shift, re-platforming, and re-architecting.
- Lift-and-shift is the simplest and most common method of cloud migration. It involves moving an existing on-premises application or workload to the cloud without changing how it is built or operated.
- Re-platforming is similar to lift-and-shift, but it also includes making changes to how the application or workload is built or operated to take advantage of cloud-native features and services.
- Re-architecting is the most complex and disruptive method of cloud migration. It involves completely redesigning an application or workload to take advantage of cloud-native features and services. This approach can be necessary when an application or workload is not well suited to the lift-and-shift or re-platforming methods.
Cloud migrations can be complex and challenging, but they can also benefit enterprises that migrate to the cloud. And while there may be a few challenges, with proper planning, they can be overturned into benefits, which is reason enough to embark on the cloud migration journey.
Enterprises are moving to the cloud to reap its benefits
As businesses strive to stay competitive, many are turning to cloud migration as a way to cut costs and improve efficiencies. Here are some of the benefits that can be achieved through cloud migration:
Faster to market
Enterprises can provision servers and test and deploy new applications much faster in the cloud, cutting down the delivery cycle time. Faster deployment translates to higher ROI. Additionally, migrating applications using container technology ensures that there is no downtime. If one server is busy, you can access data from another as containerization independently supports each application stage.
Cost saving and optimization
Auto-scaling allows enterprises to scale up or down, paying only for what they use. It reduces the cost of keeping machines running when they are not in use. On-site data centers can cut into your budget steeply, and as new technologies come in, your digitization processes may hit a wall, as the original hardware has become obsolete. Cloud services, on the other hand, only require monthly operating expenses. Another factor that cuts costs is that there is no need to expand your in-house IT resources with special skills. In-house data centers will need support and maintenance, IT specialists to keep the systems updated, and provide troubleshooting expertise. Cloud migration eliminates these expenses from your budget.
Increased data security
Cloud providers take stringent measures to protect data and follow protocols and procedures to offer a secure environment for enterprises to store their data. They also have automatic security updates preventing data access from hacks. Additionally, there are cloud-to-cloud backups and instant notifications to enterprises if there are issues with their apps or systems. The backup and logging service eliminates downtime caused by an outage. Data encryption, cloud monitoring in real-time, and access management policies ensure compliance with security regulations.
Increased flexibility and agility
Cloud migration allows enterprises to scale their resources up or down as needed easily. Cloud migration reduces infrastructure complexity, and with the increasing need to operate from anywhere, the cloud also ensures consistent provisioning processes and efficient deployment. The plug-and-play solutions offered by cloud services and the capacity-on-demand help ensure an enterprise’s business continuity even during a fickle political and economic climate or natural disasters. Migrating to the cloud is synonymous with globally distributed data centers and cloud computing solutions.
How best to migrate to the cloud?
Answering three fundamental questions makes the migration process straightforward.
- Which applications and data to move? Not all applications and data are created equal, and some may be more important or sensitive than others. Answering this question will also help prioritize migration in order of importance.
- What type of cloud platform to use? There are several different cloud platform providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Each offers a different set of features and pricing models, so choosing the right one for your enterprise is essential.
- How to ensure a smooth transition? You can migrate your applications and data using various tools and methods, such as data migration services, lift-and-shift methods, or manual migration. Whichever the method, the data must be protected and secured during the migration process. And testing and monitoring the applications is imperative to identify potential issues and ensure that your applications and data are accessible and available whenever you need them.
The future of cloud computing
According to Gartner, 95% of enterprises will move their data workloads to the cloud by 2025. And the cloud migration services market size was at $88.46 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $515 billion by 2027. There is no time to waste, and debating the value of cloud migration has become moot as enterprises either migrate to the cloud or get left behind. Moreover, on-premise infrastructure will either become obsolete or too expensive to maintain. The only decisions to make are which cloud services provider and how soon you can move away from legacy systems and into cloud operations to future-proof your enterprise.