Unleash the Cloud
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10 min

It's Time To Move Your Company To The Cloud: Here's Why

Over the past decade, the cloud has become a central topic for growing enterprises. A reported 94% of enterprises have cloud strategies in place, and that number continues to increase.

While cloud migration was already experiencing a sharp uptick in use and relevance, COVID catalyzed the desire for companies to transform their operations, improve efficiencies, and create a safer and more secure way to do work.

The pandemic hit the fast-forward button on organizations making the move to cloud technologies. This segment was already growing rapidly, but we have seen a 5x average growth rate in companies moving to, and taking full advantage of, cloud.

--Preetham Reddy, TechFabric CEO

The Cloud, Defined

Modern cloud technology allows companies to move the digital assets, services, resources, applications and more to an off-premise virtual environment that scales as with the business and its technology needs. Cloud removes the need for physical servers or traditional data centers, and offers a host of advantages through cost savings, greater flexibility, elasticity and optimal resource utilization. As a technology, cloud computing is much more than the sum of its parts. It opens doors to cloud-native technologies, supports more efficient ways of working and enables emerging capabilities in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Organizations of every type, size, and industry are using the cloud for a wide variety of use cases, such as data backup, disaster recovery, email, virtual desktops, software development and testing, big data analytics, and customer-facing web applications.

Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits to making the move to cloud.

Key Benefits of moving to the Cloud

Today we still run across misconceptions about moving to the cloud. “It doesn’t have the performance we need” or “It won’t be as secure as our on-prem environment” are concerns we hear often. The truth is, for the overwhelming majority of businesses and cases, cloud offers better performance, increased security and believe it or not, is actually less expensive over time than most on-premise ecosystems. And for others, a hybrid approach may be the key to maximizing their overall ecosystem with multiple environments.

Key benefits of moving to the cloud

Budget Friendly

Instead of paying to host your servers in-house, pay a hosting company at a set fee, sometimes cutting budgets by as much as 50%. The confusion here is that cloud offers a lot more built-in services and features, which after migrating, most companies want to take advantage of. This can, and will, increase budgets. That said, if you take a 1-to-1 comparison with your on-prem features, cloud is typically the same, or even less expensive.

Transparency in data

By moving your business to the Cloud, your business can explore more detailed and reliable insights and analytics. Not only do you have the ability to access more reliable data, but the timeliness of accessing that data is significantly improved. Moreover, using cloud cuts time to build data warehouses and other solutions that can aggregate and make data fully visible where it wasn’t previously.

Improved Security

Cloud providers are held to a security standard unlike most- which makes moving your company to the cloud a safety-first practice.

The data centers covered by the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are built to keep themselves (and therefore you) safe. They have the means to afford the best cybersecurity experts in the field, which means you are protected as well.

Most cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, offer a host of built-in security tools and management giving you the security you need on the application and user levels in addition to the infrastructure.

Scalability

As your organization grows, so does its infrastructure.

Whether it’s an unexpected amount of incoming traffic or something else, cloud providers offer businesses on-demand capacity using a pay-as-you-go model, which means your company can toggle up OR down depending on needs, as quickly as you need it to.

Also included are advanced load-balancing tools allowing you to both scale and route overages into the right places to assure 100% uptime and performance.

Pay for what you use, get all the tools to fully manage and position yourself for scale… it’s a win win.  

Want to see how moving to the Cloud has helped someone else? Check out our case study on VRM (Vehicle Reporting Matrix), who was able to X, X, AND X when we migrated their company over.

Some of the top Cloud providers

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure Cloud and Google Cloud.

With an ever-increasing demand for businesses to move to the cloud, it’s also important to know the available providers and determine which is best for you. We’ve provided quite a few of the top providers, though our team at TechFabric are strong advocates for Amazon Web Services  and Microsoft Azure (and are proud certified partners of both).  

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Known for: Popular with Startups and SMBs looking for an inexpensive platform that is powerful enough to scale to Enterprise. Hosts companies like Pfizer, GE, and Disney.

Our opinion: AWS is a great service and currently the most widely used. While it is powerful and easy to scale and comparable in cost, our cloud teams feel the initial setup is more complex than Azure or Google (needlessly so). We consider AWS to require a bit more advanced skillset to configure as opposed to the competitors, but besides that it is arguably still at the front of the pack..

Microsoft Azure

Known for: An enterprise-level PaaS and LaaS provider offering mobile and web app deployment along with scaling, database services, virtual machines, mobile backends, and more. The fastest growing cloud platform, Microsoft Azure is trusted by companies like H&R Block, Whole Foods, Xbox, and Bosch. Ideal especially for organizations looking to take advantage of the whole suite of products offered by Microsoft.

Our opinion: The most flexible of the three; fast to setup and configure with more built-in tools and features than AWS or Google. 94% of companies use Office 365, which enables Single Sign On (SSO) through existing Microsoft accounts making user management and access simple and easy. We’d have to go with Azure as our favorite of the three, due to the ease of configuration, built-in tools, huge developer community, and competitive costs.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Known for: Google’s PaaS offers cloud computing, storage, and API services to help build and launch sites and applications in the cloud. Companies like Home Depot, PauPal, and Twitch use it.

Our opinion: Google is gaining steam but look at them as a better fit for smaller organizations and startups. The open source capabilities and default security offer flexibility and simplicity, and the cost can be much lower than Azure or AWS based on Google’s billing model and what you get for it. Not so great is the much smaller global footprint and lack of more common development tools and smaller community.

What Is Involved with Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is moving an organization’s digital ecosystem (digital assets, resources, services, applications and more) from an on-premise or hosted environment either partly, or fully, into a cloud environment. The question is, where to start.

A spreader lifting a red container.

Determine your level of cloud migration

There are ultimately two ways to make the migration happen: a shallow cloud integration or a deep cloud integration. Your organization's needs will help dictate.

Shallow cloud integration is the starting point for most organizations and does not require any significant changes, refactoring or modification of the existing code or infrastructure. Coined “lift-and-shift”, you simply “lift” the current data and storage environment and “shift” it to the new cloud environment. Shallow can include both licensed and custom applications as well as databases, resources and other areas. They key is only areas that can be migrated with no, to very minimal, changes qualify for this step.

Deep cloud integration is more involved as two main things occur, conversion and expansion. Conversion is the replatforming of legacy or outmoded applications to modern cloud-native architecture, frameworks and codebases. Expansion is taking full advantage of cloud capabilities including security, performance, monitoring and more now that applications and infrastructure are fully in the cloud.

Single cloud, hybrid or multi-cloud

Different organizations need different configurations. Some go cloud, others create a hybrid of on-prem and cloud while some companies  span their needs  across multiple cloud providers.

With single cloud, the obvious advantage is working on one platform with one provider. The only real downside to picking only one cloud provider is vendor lock-in - which can make ever making another move just as difficult as the initial move to cloud in the first place.

Multi-cloud allows you to mitigate risk of a single providers by spreading your ecosystem out over multiple (e.g. Azure and AWS), with the downside being you’ll have to maintain multiple environments which will likely mean larger teams working in parallel.

Hybrid environments are a combination of on-premise and cloud environments. Some organizations require this for compliance and/or during the infancy of their cloud migration. This can be the most challenging to ensure all environments are in sync and properly maintained.

Create data-migration plan

Arguably the most integral step of the process, having a data migration strategy in place prior to any move is key. A good strategy will prevent data loss and create a smooth transition across the entire business dataverse. A poor strategy will lead to challenges that can hamstring the business and cause lost time, cost overages and distract from core continuity activities tech teams need to stay focused on.

Switch over

The biggest mistake we see companies make when migrating is not having an holistic strategy in place. For any successful cloud migration you need to understand the entire digital ecosystem to fully assess the impact on all areas and create a strategy that addresses each. Without that a business will almost certainly hit unforeseen challenges that can lead to lost time, budget overruns or worse.

--Preetham Reddy, TechFabric CEO

Ultimately, here’s what we hope you take away from all of this: moving your organization to the Cloud is an extremely strategic and beneficial move. It is also only as impactful as the strategy and mindset behind it. Cloud services aren’t inherently transformative or revolutionary, they are a catalyst to transformation.

What’s My Next Step?

For any company thinking about making the move to cloud, your best next step is to reach out to a cloud technology partner or consultant. Cloud migration is achievable by internal teams, but there is a big learning curve with many challenges and unknowns, especially for novices. Working with a partner, even if it is just to build out the strategy your team will follow, will greatly lower your risk and actually keep costs down.

If you’re interested in learning how TechFabric partners with organizations to leverage Cloud services and ensure smooth migrations, send us a message!

Interested in learning more about this topic? Contact our solution experts and setup a time to talk.