It’s difficult to imagine life without the internet. It’s become such a necessity in our daily lives, not only supporting and simplifying tasks, but also connecting us to almost any contact or resource at anytime, anywhere. It has the same effect in business, and any company that does not utilise the internet in this day and age will surely raise a few eyebrows.
The progression of hosting and migration of systems on to the cloud is only an extension of this. Ask those who’ve already made the move, and they’ll probably tell you they can’t imagine operating without it. Just as the internet can support a more accessible and (sometimes) simplified life, so does cloud delivery, and it’s important that businesses don’t get left behind.
So, what do we mean when we talk about migrating to the cloud? Migration is simply the movement of data and software from one location to another. In migrating to the cloud, the provider will look into the applications and online elements of the business and decide how best to move them across into the new environment.
Firstly, lets discuss why you might actually want to migrate your infrastructure, systems and software to the cloud in the first place. We’ve said it supports and simplifies things, but let’s be more specific and breakdown exactly where the cloud benefits businesses.
• Cost Effective
Put simply, using the cloud to operate is going to save you money. Any investment into the required hardware is reduced to zero and the cost of maintaining and updating this equipment is also eliminated. Also, cloud services optimize business operations with specifically tailored applications, improving performance and efficiency which in turn encourages business growth.
The cloud allows access to resources at anytime, anywhere. This is hugely beneficial, as work can be carried out off premises, 24/7. Cloud providers will ensure high availability of their cloud services, usually defined in service level agreements (SLAs). Here at Secura, our availability as standard is 99.99%, as reliability is vital to our customers.
The cloud and virtualisation of resources allows for flexible payment models, with cloud solutions that charge as and when you use them. It also means solutions and services can be very scalable, as your software of hosting is not limited by physical barriers such as having to purchase new servers or computers. For example, here at Secura, our VPC platform allows services to be scaled up or down depending on usage or requirement, so you only pay for what you use, when you need it. If business requirements such as seasonal peaks require higher usage, this can be factored in for this period.
One common misconception of cloud computing is that it raises security questions for your data. This is understandable; potentially sensitive information being processed and stored offsite sounds like a potentially risky proposition. However, it’s important to remember cloud providers see the security of their customers as their number one priority. They not only work round the clock to monitor and sustain their cloud security, but they probably dedicate more time and possess more knowledge than any in-house equivalent.
So, we’ve established the benefits of migrating to the cloud. But what steps can you take to ensure this process runs smoothly as possible? Although the majority of work is carried out by your chosen provider, and for some software and services they will do the heavy lifting, there are a few good practices you can carry out at your end. I’m going to break these down into 3 key steps.
• Step 1 – Assess
It’s important you thoroughly assess your current infrastructure and the applications and resources you use. Logging details such as application usage and cost will enable you to identify what needs to be moved to the cloud and what your requirements will be from the provider. This may also act as spring cleaning and free your business from any unused resources.
• Step 2 – Establish
Establishing a plan is really essential to avoid any disruptions during the migration process. Through your assessment in step one, you should now know which applications and services are going to be migrated. It’s now important to establish which of these will be interrupted by the migration and if so, highlight that they may need to be migrated out of hours or over an extended period of time. It’s also important to consider for hosting in particular if you require a new build server and if you need dependency mapping, where some services may need to be migrated first as they support the functions of other resources.
• Step 3 – Test
Before the platform goes live, ensure you thoroughly test it to ensure everything is running correctly. For the long term, distinguish your success factors for the platform and benchmarks for performance standards. This will help you ensure these standards are met and maintained going forward.
We hope this blog post has been helpful and you understand why migration to the cloud could be beneficial for you. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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Matthew is Secura's content specialist, producing gripping, emotionally complex, edge of your seat, cloud hosting articles and videos.
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