As cloud computing has grown in popularity and capabilities, it comes as no surprise that many businesses are looking to make the switch. While many organizations have utilized on-premise software for the entire duration of their business, so they are hesitant to migrate to the cloud, carrying the outdated mindset of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." While it may seem beneficial to keep your software in-house behind an organization's firewall, these businesses fail to see the endless advantages of migrating to cloud software. To give you a clearer picture of what this transition entails, we will discuss the key differences between on-premise and cloud computing, in addition to the benefits of switching and the best practices when making this migration.
The most significant reason for an organization's hesitation to switch to the cloud is on-premise software security. Because this software is in-house, it may provide you with peace of mind knowing that you can monitor your data within the safety of your organization's walls, with support from your own IT infrastructure. This is possible because on-premise software requires an enterprise to purchase a license or software copy to enable usage. While these are advantages to keep in mind, there is a reason that organizations are still switching to the cloud. In utilizing in-house software, your organization is responsible for all expenses associated with managing and maintaining that software. This is often exponentially more expensive than the price of maintaining cloud computing software. It also requires the purchase of hardware, software licenses, integration capabilities, and on-hand IT support – not including the expenses that may arise with technical issues or machine breakdowns.
While on-premise software remains in-house, a third-party provider hosts cloud computing services. Your organization would pay this provider based on the services and software needed and allows you to increase or decrease scale based on usage, requirements, and company growth. This server utilizes virtual technology to run your company's applications off-site. While this could be concerning to have your data out of your hands, your provider will regularly back-up your data to ensure your information's safety and security. A great benefit to cloud computing is that you only have to pay for the resources you use, resulting in nearly no capital expenses.
Additionally, this option provides near-instant provisioning because your provider already configures everything – any new software integrated into your operations is ready to use once subscribed. With these capabilities, you will eliminate the time and money spent on installation and configuration, allowing you immediate access. Another advantage is that because the cloud is globally accessible, it will enable you to connect with customers, partners, and other organizations anywhere with ease.
Benefits of Switching
As we touched on the key differences between on-premise and cloud computing, we'll discuss why migrating to the cloud may be the most optimal choice for your organization's needs. There are three primary reasons why; cost, performance, and security.
The ultimate driver behind migrating to the cloud is its cost-efficiency. As we touched on above, in switching from on-premise, you will be eliminating the direct cost of owning or licensing your own data center equipment in addition to the cost of maintenance, management, and training. While you may be so used to handling these expenses that you have forgotten their actual price, they are significant. In maintaining on-premise infrastructure, you have to pay for space, construction, additional electricity, hardware procurement, operating systems, networking, security, and IT personnel. With maintenance, you must pay for your team's management and training to run these services, which requires expertise and experience. In shifting to cloud services, you will only be paying for the services of your chosen third-party provider, significantly reducing your data service expenses. Your provider is already equipped with professional cloud solutions such as expert personnel, advanced technology, and the knowledge to handle your data with accuracy and care.
In terms of performance, cloud computing is far superior. The cloud offers unmatched flexibility, brought to you by the best equipment in the industry. With optimized RAM, the newest Intel processors, endless storage, and programmable hardware, you will have unlimited means to lead your organization into success. In addition to the state-of-the-art hardware, you will have access to expert-managed databases and warehouses, efficient caching and queueing systems, and all tools necessary for software architecture. Best of all – these resources will be available to you immediately, which is vital for staying ahead of a competitive market.
Finally, we have the benefit of security. While mentioned previously, it can be daunting to go from a secure in-house database to an entirely new system handled by a third-party provider. Many do not know that their in-house data centers are only as reliable as the security policies they have put in place, which can fall victim to human error due to lack of expertise. On the other hand, Cloud service providers understand that they are responsible for the data security of their clients. So they are required to meet the highest security standards in the industry. For this reason, authentication, authorization, and more security measures are built into all cloud platforms to ensure the utmost security for your data.
Once you have decided to migrate from on-premise to cloud computing, it is vital to figure out how best to make this transition. Sources estimate that more than 30% of cloud migrations fail, so to best prepare you, we will go through a list of best practices to help you achieve success during this migration. For step-by-step instruction, you can review our cloud migration guide, which details how to develop a cloud migration strategy document calculating. TCO, managing cost levers, and how cloud service providers can help your organization.
An excellent start to the migration process is to develop a strategy. A simple way to do this is to outline a cloud migration strategy document, which helps you determine your goals and priorities.
First, draft a summary of your project, your goals, and how you plan to implement and measure changes. This will help you determine your vision for cloud services in your organization and what your desired outcome is.
Next, develop a workload inventory with a rundown of vendors, costs, security requirements, and other relevant criteria so you may determine how suitable each item is for the cloud.
Following this, build a strategy for how you plan to move from your current IT status quo to that of cloud-enabled services. It is essential to discuss how your organization will make decisions once cloud applications are in use. Consider who on your team will be responsible for what roles and use it to allocate team members to fill gaps of existing capacity and expertise. Briefly give your team members an outline of their specific responsibilities, which you can then combine to piece together your technology roadmap. This is where you will lay out milestones, success metrics, and criteria for completion. Once you have laid out your strategies, your team will be better prepared to handle the migration to cloud services, leading your organization to be a forerunner in cloud success.
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