Migrating to the Cloud? What, When, and How?

According to Gartner, the cloud will account for more than half of all IT investment by 2025. Public cloud investment is anticipated to surpass $600 billion in 2023 alone as companies look to cut costs, increase scalability and agility, and gain access to the newest technology.

According to a Harvard Business Review 2022 research, 67% of firms advanced cloud adoption in 2022, and 81% of executives polled said cloud is very or extremely critical to their organization’s growth plan. A Deloitte survey found that 88% of IT decision-makers consider the cloud to be the foundation of their digital strategy.

Despite the cloud’s fast expansion, no single cloud migration method works for everyone. Each company requires a unique route to the cloud. Throughout this article, we will discuss which workloads are appropriate for cloud migration, when it should be done, and how it may be done successfully. We will also discuss the impact of cloud migration on the business itself.

What should be migrated to the cloud?

Cloud migration is an important decision for businesses as it can have a major impact on the success of their operations. When deciding which workloads to migrate to the cloud and which ones to keep on-premise, it is important to consider the business impact of each such decision.

The goal should be to identify suitable workloads that will benefit from the scalability, security, cost efficiency that cloud environments offer. 

Scalability is the most important factor. Does your on-premises environment have the ability to scale in response to changes in workload usage? What are the financial repercussions? Cloud migration may be best suited for workloads that are experiencing usage pattern increases and an on-premise environment does not allow for cost-efficient scalability.

When considering cost efficiency, the cloud offers automated capabilities that most on-premise environments would find hard to compete with. However,  the pay-as-you-go cloud pricing model can quickly add up, unless you are ready to remediate your workloads before you migrate them to the cloud.

Reliability and security of a cloud environment should also be taken into account. A workload should only be migrated if it can benefit not just from scalability and cost savings offered by the cloud but also by the security and reliability of cloud environments.  If your workload is mission-critical to your business profitability, consider the impact of downtime on your top line.

Uptime Institutes’ Global Data Center Survey 2022 reports that 63 percent of respondents are not migrating mission critical applications to the cloud for operational resiliency reasons, even though confidence in cloud resiliency has improved since 2019.

When Should You Move to the Cloud?

The easiest answer  to the question is when your business needs it. There are several real life scenarios that trigger an enterprise to move to the cloud. 

Business Growth & Workload Usage Increases– The most obvious scenario that triggers a move to the cloud is when your business needs new real estate/footprint to accommodate increasing workload usage. Expanding your owned capacity involves significant cost and effort. A move to the cloud may be a perfect opportunity to control your capital expenditures.

Efficiency Concerns – If you are spending too much time deploying, maintaining and managing your workloads, a move to the cloud could save you precious resources by leveraging highly automated processes and technologies that many cloud environments provide.

Software or Hardware End of Life – If you own or lease your IT infrastructure, and it’s time for renewal, upgrade or end of (supported) life – this may be a perfect time to think about a cloud migration to make changes to your current IT environment.

Remember that these events tend to be the trigger, but cloud migration requires a well thought and well planned strategy. From aligning migration to clear business imperatives, building stakeholder consensus, mapping of IT asset interdependencies and logistics of migration, and re-architecting workloads for cloud optimization takes expertise, time and costs. 

How Should You Move?

Consider your cloud-specific skill sets well before your migration. A recent Frost & Sullivan study found that lack of cloud-specific skill sets is the primary reason why enterprises are unable to leverage cloud benefits. According to the study, 59 percent of companies had to repatriate workloads, and another 30 percent  are considering doing so. 38 percent  of companies also indicated that lack of technical capabilities is the primary reason why they repatriated workloads back on-premise.

Working with an enterprise-grade cloud migration company helps you truly achieve the cost, scalability and security benefits of the cloud.

Reduced capital expenditures is often one of the major drivers of cloud migration. A cloud migration company can help you leverage the tools and technologies available from the cloud service providers (CSPs) by writing efficient infrastructure as code and other methods. For instance, they could help containerize your applications and leverage container management technologies, such as Kubernetes, to keep your operating costs down and keep you scalable. 

A cloud migration partner can also set up highly automated, efficient and secure environments to help you meet security and compliance needs. 

From planning the best migration strategies, soundproofing IT asset inventory & interdependencies, fault detection, post migration baseline tests and project management, cloud migration experts can ensure a secure and fully managed migration. 

Align Your Migration Strategy to your Business Objectives

Business migration to the cloud is accelerating.

While organizations now recognize the potential of cloud technologies to help them achieve their business objectives, misalignment between organizational strategies and specific cloud initiatives can lead to missed opportunities and inefficiencies.

To fully reap the rewards of shifting to the cloud, organizations must ensure that their cloud strategy is properly aligned with their long-term business objectives to maximize the benefits of the cloud. This entails addressing issues of scalability and efficiency as well as re-architecting the existing infrastructure to achieve the highest level of cost effectiveness on the cloud.

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