Cloud Migration: Why Some Companies Haven’t Made a Move Yet
By now, many organizations recognize the benefits of Cloud computing – from more predictable costs to greater flexibility – and are making the move. In fact, Gartner predicts 21.4% in worldwide public cloud growth this year, with the highest percentage of growth in the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market. Although the industry continues to experience growth, many businesses are still on the fence about whether the Cloud is right for them. In this article, we break down some of the top reasons why organizations may choose to stay away from the cloud and how to overcome those objections.
1. “Our IT team isn’t trained to run cloud infrastructure”:
One of the biggest reasons organizations delay moving into the cloud is that they lack IT personnel trained in cloud technology. Most in-house IT teams are comfortable with server maintenance, network infrastructure and application management. However, when it comes to the cloud, business leaders are concerned about not having the expertise to handle the cloud migration and ongoing management of their cloud infrastructure.
Overcoming fear # 1: Leverage cloud partners and services to help make the transition to the cloud much easier. When selecting a cloud provider, you need to ask if you will have access to the hardware and to technical support should anything go wrong. Some cloud providers offer a team of cloud, network, security and infrastructure experts that essentially augment your team once you are in the cloud. Your in-house IT team no longer has to monitor server health, and can focus on more strategic initiatives verses spending hours troubleshooting hardware.
2. “The cloud is complex, and we don’t even know where to begin”:
For many companies, deciding to move the cloud is the easy part, but it starts feeling overwhelming when they get to the integration and adoption of the Cloud – selecting what to move and when to move, identifying the dependencies and determining deployment strategy.
Overcoming fear # 2: Consider Disaster Recovery as your first option for the cloud. Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is one cloud solution that could have an immediate impact on your business. DRaaS protects critical business applications that may be vulnerable to internal and environmental threats such as power outages, hurricanes, ice storms, backup failures and more. Starting with a single application allows you to get comfortable with the cloud and the cloud provider.
3. “Running applications in the cloud will impact bandwidth and performance”:
Many organizations fear having an inadequate amount of bandwidth when it comes to the cloud, and for good reason. Once all your services are running in the cloud, it’s critical to get your internet connection right. When you have been running an application on-premises and switch that application to the cloud, all of your connections will run through the internet rather than on your local network. Applications such as email are fairly easy on bandwidth, but if you are considering moving data intensive applications such as a virtual desktop, it could impact bandwidth.
Overcoming fear # 3: Conduct a proper infrastructure discovery, understand all your application dependencies and fully evaluate the internal and external network flows across your various applications and users. Virtual desktop, voice, video and other applications should all be evaluated as long delays could reduce the user experience when moving applications into the cloud. There are solutions available on the market to test your network flows between applications and to evaluate the number of connections made to each application from inside and outside of the network. Testing your network connectivity will help you plan your internetwork connectivity once your application shifts to the cloud.
4. “The cloud isn’t as secure as our on-premises data center”:
Moving your company’s data to the cloud can have a level of uncertainty. The question “who has access to the data” comes up a lot when considering storing data in the cloud. Other security concerns that have kept organizations away from the cloud include regulatory compliance, data loss, data breaches and disaster recovery. All are valid concerns and important topics that you should address with prospective cloud providers during your due-diligence.
Overcoming fear # 4: Perform a thorough security assessment of your on-premises infrastructure before moving to the cloud. By working with your cloud provider, you can assess the likelihood and impact of each vulnerability and evaluate whether running on-premises or in the cloud makes the most sense.
Additional cloud migration concerns
There are plenty of reasons besides the four above that keep companies from moving to the cloud. Some organizations fear the loss of accessibility to their servers and applications, while IT leaders often fear losing control. Many executives fear that the cost of moving to the cloud could be higher than operating the same equipment on premises. If you are worried about any of these reasons or are just worried that once you move to the cloud you will never be able to go back, we recommend that you start small. We have seen companies move to a megacloud provider and find that the cost was higher than they planned – but they were able to move their workloads to our cloud environment and save money from their original operating cost on-premises.
Moving to the cloud should not be a strategy to off-load your data center and wash your hands of any responsibility. Moving to the cloud should be a partnership with your cloud provider as, in some sense, the cloud provider should become an extension to your internal IT team. By moving to the cloud, you gain the technical expertise and, if the provider offers it, the benefit of the provider's 24/7 operations.