Cloud Adoption 101: Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

Data centers have well-documented challenges. Organizations with on-premise data centers face challenges such as costly maintenance issues, limited resources and a lack of competitive edge. Moving your data center to the cloud is a must in today’s fast-paced competitive marketplace.

But as an organization looking to make the move, where do you even start? What are the benefits of moving to the cloud? There are many. 

Here are things to keep in mind as you start your cloud migration and transformation. It’s simple Cloud Computing 101

What are the Major Drivers that Move Organizations Toward Cloud Computing?

We've been seeing key trends that are driving migrations. Companies are seeking cloud computing because they are…

Bridging the Gap

The gap is closing faster than ever between managing on-premise data center infrastructure and leveraging the cloud, especially now that the remote workforce has grown exponentially in 2020. Over the years, the gap has narrowed between on-premise environments and the cloud, simplifying the migration process. As our work world continues to evolve and reshape itself, the cloud will continue to gain even greater prominence.

Switching Expense Models

BillingMany organizations have recognized there are business benefits and financial gains from shifting from long-term capital expenditure models that are tied to on-premise computing to the more fluid, operational model of the cloud. The latter ebbs and flows with business cycles, delivering pay-as-you-go billing. You use only what you need and scale up when you need more resources.

Future-Proofing

Companies are moving to the cloud to address their immediate needs but also to position themselves for future success. They don't have to pick one technology or one software now and find themselves stuck with it for years because it was costly to implement (back to the capital expenditure benefit). The cloud allows them to easily and cost-efficiently leverage new technology that companies like Google are developing and offering to the community without the need to update infrastructure.

Companies are moving to the cloud to address their immediate needs but also to position themselves for future success. @OnixNetworking 

Discovering Where to Start

A big benefit of moving to the cloud is that it isn’t an all-or-nothing decision. You don’t have to try and replace your entire data center on day one. You can start small to see if it works for your organization (my guess is that it will!). You can move just a few apps to the cloud for starters and see how it works. This allows you to reap the benefits of moving to the cloud and then expand your migration from there. 

What are some of the challenges that organizations face with on-premise data centers?

Three top challenges organizations face with on-premise data centers include...

Costly Maintenance Budget

An on-premise data center isn’t cheap. You have to have a budget earmarked for managing the servers and keeping them updated and secure and also for making sure you the staff to keep them up and running. You also have to factor in the cost of unplanned downtime and outages. On-premise servers are a pricey budget line item.

Time Not Spent on Core Business Activity

IT team working collaboratingAn on-premise environment also gobbles up work hours. When your IT team spends time managing servers, it means your staff isn’t spending time on more crucial initiatives. When you move to the cloud, you take servers out of the mix, moving those efforts to your cloud services provider. Your IT department can spend time innovating rather than maintaining.

No Competitive Edge

With on-premise data centers, you don't really have that competitive edge like you do in the cloud. If you need to shift or expand quickly, such as spinning up 30, 40, 50, or 1,000 servers in a day, you can do that in the cloud. You don't have to wait for provisioning or for capital approval. You can scale up on demand and scale back down as needed.

What Steps Do I Need to Take to Move to the Cloud?

It’s always best to take some time to assess your computing environment upfront and then follow these guidelines to build your cloud journey. It’s not something you should jump into without planning!

Discover

First, you’ll want to examine what your current computing environment looks like. Assess what things need to be moved to the cloud and what might need to stay on-premise or in co-location. You’ll also determine if a single-provider or multi-cloud strategy is right for you.

Analyze

Unposed group of creative business people in an open concept office brainstorming their next project.During this phase, you'll review what you learned in the discovery process and create a small proof of concept to see what type of migration plan meets your needs. At this point, you could take on a few preliminary tasks, including setting up required networking, virtual private clouds, VPNs or other access controls.

Deliver

Once you have a working proof of concept and are certain that the prescribed migration solution fits, it's time to start moving applications to the cloud. You'll want to keep business continuity in mind so your teams can experience business as normal during the migration.

Evolve

From the planning phases to the final migration, you’ll always want to keep an eye focused on your cloud computing’s ongoing evolution. Planning things like automation opportunities and DevOps, as well as looking for opportunities to define infrastructure as code, will only enhance your cloud experience.

What are the business and ROI benefits of moving to the cloud?

ROIMoving one or two high visibility applications early on in the migration process allows for a much higher return on investment. These typically are your high usage systems, which puts them into the scalable, pay-as-you-go model, which helps you manage costs much more effectively. You’ll also have your key apps up and running and then can focus on migrating less crucial ones.

Once your migration is complete, you'll be able to monitor systems and identify candidates for automation and containerization. You can use the data generated to glean insights that will help drive additional cost reduction and a more holistic view of the data. This will help you make informed decisions on where to spend your IT dollars.

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Greg Hohenbrink, Manager Cloud Solution Engineers

Greg Hohenbrink, Manager Cloud Solution Engineers

Greg takes great pride in his aptitude for technical advising, troubleshooting and analysis. With more than 15 years of experience in the public and private sector, he helps to shape the future for businesses of all sizes. He has a passion for excellence and integrity, and a knack for recommending the solutions that connect businesses to their employees, partners, and clients.

MORE POSTS BY GREG HOHENBRINK, MANAGER CLOUD SOLUTION ENGINEERS

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