Cloud Migration: How To Overcome Fears and Capitalize on Opportunities
In overcoming the most common fears and capitalizing on cloud opportunities, organizations can drive their digital transformation forward.
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Cloud computing has been a major trend for a decade. In 2015, it saw triple-digit annual growth. Although by the end of 2019, the largest cloud providers grew at a slower rate, just 31% annually, and this rate was expected to decrease in 2020 and 2021 as the industry matures, cloud growth still surpassed many other sectors.
Moreover, in 2020, the cloud market grew faster than in 2019 by some metrics. That happened despite the severe economic downturn. The reason for this growth was the increased demand caused by the pandemic, lockdowns, and the shift to remote work.
Nowadays, every company uses at least one public or private cloud. By 2025, 85% of organizations will adopt a cloud-first approach.
Worldwide organizations are preparing to migrate various workloads in the coming year as their cloud strategies evolve. Primarily, advanced analytics/ business intelligence/ data analytics, server virtualization (VMs), systems management and orchestration (server, storage, and internal private cloud), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and mobility management, CRM/sales and marketing, enterprise resource planning (ERP).
However, many businesses are still postponing their cloud migration plan because of common fears of modernization. Let us consider these concerns and ways to overcome them.
Fear 1: Huge Budget
Obviously, cloud migration demands money. In your organization, this can be the main challenge. You might have already invested in on-premises tech, giving you budget clarity. Moving to the cloud might seem like an added, unnecessary cost.
Offset migration costs with ongoing on-premise expenses and future growth. On-premise servers demand a budget for storage, power, maintenance, expertise, and warranties. If your organization grows, you'll need more servers; if it shrinks, the allocated IT budget for its own infrastructure may be wasted.
Cloud migration offers flexibility in server capacity. You can pay only for what you use, and your cloud provider handles maintenance and upgrades. Monthly/quarterly subscriptions cover infrastructure and hardware costs, enhancing budget control. Additionally, you can reduce costs by reallocating your workforce. In total, 79% of IT professionals reported saving costs with the cloud.
Remember that you don't need a massive budget or a complete cloud migration for a solution. Complex on-premises apps can be modernized step by step. Start with smaller, defined projects, conserving resources. As you succeed, then tackle more complexity and scope.
Finally, you can use Azure's TCO calculator to plan your migration project's costs and savings effectively.
Fear 2: Critical Downtimes
Organizations need 24/7 data access, and any interruption is a problem. Tech failures trigger disaster recovery, but the business may suffer. On-premise servers seem controllable, while the cloud might feel out of control. Yet, on-premise systems still need servicing and upgrades, causing unavoidable downtime.
You can plan your migration process over the weekend or on days with the lowest customer activity to prevent downtime. Developers can keep the old software running as a backup until they are certain the migration was successful.
For a smooth migration, secure a dependable internet connection, review backup and recovery plans, encrypt your data, and bolster cybersecurity. Don't assume all cloud providers are identical. When choosing one, inquire about their 24/7 support, guaranteed uptimes, and upgrade management to prevent disruptions.
Fear 3: Security Vulnerabilities
Shifting to the cloud might seem like losing data privacy and control. According to IBM research, security is a top concern for 32% of respondents. Over a quarter see it as a barrier to cloud business goals. The main challenges are data governance (49%) and cybersecurity (47%) for integrating their business into the cloud.
These fears are understandable. For instance, such domains as Healthcare, HIPAA, and GDPR demand extremely high data security.
Your cloud provider must address your concerns and meet your needs. In your migration preparation, ask your cloud vendor:
- What are the data safety measures in place to protect against security threats?
- How can you assist with ensuring regulatory compliance for our organization?
- Do you provide essential IT expertise and support in the event of problems or issues?
To reduce data security risks, prepare in-house. Over 90% of financial, telecom, and government organizations use security tools like confidential computing and multi-factor authentication. In your cloud strategy, review also employee cybersecurity training, session time-outs, and role-based access.
Your cloud vendor can guide you in adopting best practices for data security, so choosing the right provider is time well spent. For example, such cloud tech as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which together account for 55% of total market spending, prioritize data security. They use cutting-edge cybersecurity software to protect customer data.
Fear 4: Lack of Technical Expertise
A big barrier to cloud migration is the lack of in-house expertise. Cloud tech is evolving fast. As more organizations go to the cloud, experts are in high demand. In the USA, almost 40% of respondents acknowledge a lack of skills to manage cloud applications effectively, highlighting the need for talent. Finding and keeping skilled internal experts can slow down the transformation.
To tackle this challenge, it might be useful to consider outsourcing cloud migration to a specialist vendor. Choose one with extensive industry experience.
Work closely with your Project Team and Subject Matter Experts for a smooth transition. At the same time, develop a culture of continuous learning to retain and recognize top talent in your long-term cloud strategy.
Investing in on-premises hosting and data centers can waste money today. Cloud technologies offer clear benefits like pay-as-you-go pricing and easy scalability. Plus, cloud-based systems are nearly immune to downtime compared to on-premises setups. In overcoming the most common fears and capitalizing on cloud opportunities, organizations can drive their digital transformation forward.
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