Why Cloud Migration Benefits Your Business
Maybe you have already decided that it is time for your business to migrate to the cloud. However, there may be leaders in your organization wondering why cloud migration is the right move.
Even if you fully understand the benefits for your organisation, you still need to get all of those stakeholders on board.
Since every organisation is different, and stakeholders may find different cloud benefits most attractive, it is good to review many of the reasons why moving to the cloud is so often a good business and technical decision.
Here are some of the reasons why cloud migration will set your company up for enhanced efficiency, agility, and innovation.
Why Cloud Migration Benefits Your Business: Cost
Cost savings are a good place to start since they are most clearly connected to the bottom line.
However, the full extent of cost savings offered by cloud can easily be missed, as many of the costs of maintaining on-premises servers are buried elsewhere in the organisation's budget.
The costs of electricity, additional cooling capacity, and office space usage are often overlooked.
When we add those items to the costs of server hardware, server software, and staffing, the total actual cost of on-premises server hosting makes cloud services look affordable.
Cloud service providers have the advantage of scale, experience, and negotiating power with suppliers, allowing them to provide a better class of service for a given level of IT expenditure.
It's not that you couldn't deliver the same sort of things in-house, but that you couldn't deliver the same high level of service without spending a fortune.
For example, 24/7 support costs a fortune. Resilient hosting is also expensive to deliver in-house, as you need to buy two of everything and have at least two separate places to host them.
Why Cloud Migration Leads to a Competitive Advantage
Cloud migration can level the playing field, allowing smaller organisations to compete with larger entities with massive IT budgets.
So, whether your business is trying to take on larger companies or gain an advantage over similar-sized rivals, moving to the cloud can give you the edge you are looking for.
The reason why cloud migration is such an equalizer is that it provides companies of any size access to the same standard of IT services as the largest, most well-funded, most technically savvy institutions.
Even a massive investment in on-premises equipment and software can't compare to the advantages of moving to the cloud.
While enjoying cost reductions, businesses get access to the very latest technology, the same used by multinational companies, banks, and tech firms.
This will enable your business to scale faster, enjoy unparalleled IT platform reliability, and have greater technical agility.
It's hard to find an IT professional or c-suite executive that have some concerns about IT security.
Even with the best mitigation strategies, businesses continue to fall prey to hackers siphoning data, holding systems for ransom, and causing disruption to business operations.This is one of the reasons why cloud migration is a smart move.
Any size company can instantly achieve higher than usual levels of IT security, just by buying IT services from cloud providers that are used to meeting the demands of security-conscious government agencies and multinational firms.
Cloud providers prefer to deliver a single service for companies of all sizes rather than fragment their offering by provisioning the same service multiple times, each with a different level of security.
As a result, customers of all sizes tend to benefit from the demands made by the most demanding cloud hosting clients. These clients often insist on strict security practices in line with international standards such as ISO 27001.
This focus on security includes both physical and virtual deterrents.
On the physical side, your data will likely be hosted in secure data centres with 24/7 security, CCTV, and tough access requirements, to help ensure there's no unauthorized physical access. In addition, data centre staff members typically undergo background checks.
Virtually, these providers use state-of-the-art firewalls and are good at keeping there systems updated with the latest security updates.
In addition, most often have strict policies about administrative privileges, insist on strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
They also perform regular penetration testing and make use of strong encryption for their backups.
No More Patching - Possibly
Keeping up with the latest updates for operating systems and applications is a critical part of keeping your data secure.
However, for IT departments with limited staffing, patching often has to take a back seat to more urgent or visible priorities, leaving extended periods of vulnerability.
This is why cloud migration can be a good security move: Many cloud providers offer the option to take care of all the patches for your guest operating systems and virtualisation platforms, significantly reducing the risk of a hacker taking advantage of a known vulnerability.
With SaaS and PaaS providers, you don't even need to worry about keeping software updated. The provider does all of that for you.
Why Cloud Migration Can Lead to Enhanced Employee Productivity
Stakeholders may not even consider employee productivity when thinking about cloud migration.
Sure, the productivity of the IT staff may be a reason why cloud migration seems to be a good option. However, the right cloud provider can help boost the productivity of workers across the organisation.
With the right solution, web-based applications will load faster, searches will be quicker, and downtime will be reduced.
With major systems in the cloud, employees may find it easier to securely access your data and applications from outside the office - including from home, when travelling on business, or when visiting customers' sites.
Improved Data Transfer Speeds
In a world where home users are quickly gaining access to gigabit fibre broadband, many offices are stuck in the slow lane - making do with Internet connections that transmit data at speeds of 100 Mbps or 200 Mbps.
By shifting server-based workloads from on-premise servers to the cloud, it's possible to eliminate this bottleneck, withouthaving to upgrade the office's Internet connection to gigabit speeds.
Improved Data Backup
Data backups are essential to most businesses. There are a few reasons why cloud migration can result in data backups being improved.
Many cloud services offer platform-level backup of customer data as part of their service, protecting their users against data loss resulting from hardware failures.
The second reason why cloud migration can improve backups is that post-migration, workloads are hosted on services with plentiful, cheap bandwidth.
This makes cloud-based backup solutions far more practical, as faster data transfer speeds mean shorter backup windows and the ability to backup without saturating an office leased line with backup-related traffic.
Conversely, restoring lost data is faster if the server is hosted in a location with plentiful bandwidth.
Another Reason Why Cloud Migration Benefits Your Business: Disaster Recovery
The last few years have led companies to dust off their disaster recovery plans.
Whether it's COVID-related lockdowns obstructing long-standing business processes, power grid failures, more frequent flooding, or other disasters, organisations need to be able to get back up and running quickly.
That can be a painfully slow process if your business relies on on-premise systems - with new servers needing to be ordered, delivered and networked before data restoration can even begin. This could cause days of business disruption.
However, businesses that have migrated to the cloud can more easily use cloud-based disaster-recovery-as-a-service options.
These allow firms to gain access to virtual replicas of key systems in minutes, with no need to wait for replacement server hardware to be delivered or configured first.
If you need to migrate to an alternative office, you no longer need to take servers with you.
Improved Cross-Platform Support
For the most part, the days are gone when IT directors could simply insist that everyone work on their company-issued PC.
The move to more allowance for "bring your own device" policies means that ever more work is being done on other platforms, especially Mac OS. This can be a problem with on-site legacy systems.
Modern cloud-based solutions are ready for this change.
Whether it is a complete migration and move away from on-site servers to SaaS platforms, Mac compatibility is often standard.
Web apps tend to be cross-platform as they are browser-based.
In addition, many SaaS platforms now offer native apps for Windows, iOS, and Android.
Scalability: Horizontal, Vertical, and Downward
No matter how well your on-premises system is designed, scaling it to cope with unpredictable levels of demand can be challenging.
It's not uncommon for upgrades to be needed sooner than had been expected, meaning hardware has to be upgraded or replaced to avoid over-burdened IT systems becoming a source of pain.
However, by migrating to the cloud, you can make right-sizing your IT platform to cope with unpredictable demand far easier.
There are several reasons why cloud migration makes scaling easier.
Horizontal scalability is ridiculously easy on the cloud. Instead of adding another physical server on-premise - having to buy it, rack it, configure it etc, you can just add a new virtual server in the cloud, based on a template. With AWS or Azure, this can happen in minutes.
SaaS and PaaS platforms also facilitate horizontal scaling allowing businesses to expand permanently or temporarily without missing a beat.
Services like Salesforce already support over 150 million users, so most organizations could add accounts for an entire workforce without putting even a little stress on the system.
Vertical scaling is also dead easy in the cloud.
With the right IaaS (infrastructure as a service) platform, resource upgrades can often be done in minutes with virtually no downtime.
But what about when it is time to go the other way?
Sometimes, your need for more storage, memory or processing power is short-lived, perhaps because a project has been completed or a customer has cancelled their service.
Cloud-hosted services often make it ease to cancel unused services, accounts, and storage capacity. This may allow you to lower your bills when the need for extra capacity is gone.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Reducing your company's carbon footprint is not just good for the environment. It's becoming a business requirement, as customers, shareholders, regulators and employees pressure organisations to do more to tackle climate change.
Fortunately, moving workloads to the cloud is a great way to cut your carbon footprint.
Cloud providers tend to use energy very efficiently, as this cuts their electricity bills.
They proactively decommissioning older, less efficient hardware sooner than would be the case for on-premise systems.
Their superior power-efficiency comes from aggregating computing demand from multiple clients to create higher utilisation levels, while still having more than enough spare capacity for any one client.
Cloud providers tend to purchase electricity from renewable energy providers that generate electricity from the wind, the sun or the tides.
Better and Easier Compliance
SaaS and PaaS services often provide compliance-friendly features. So whether your organisation is subject to a legal dispute, a rogue employee, or just wants to find out who made a given change, you may be in luck.
The larger SaaS providers have more advanced compliance tools, helping you safeguard evidence, discover relevant information, and have the ability to prove that a given email was sent.
Compliance tools may include tools to block certain websites and emails to help keep your organisation and its employees out of trouble.
Get Help with Your Cloud Migration
These are just some of the reasons why cloud migration could benefit your organisation.
Is your UK-based organisation considering making more use of the cloud? If so, check out hSo's free guide to cloud migration to make sure you're well prepared. To claim your copy, click on the banner at the top of this page.