Over the last decade, you’ve seen countless advertisements for the cloud, promising that it can transform your business, unlock your data, unleash your creativity, and a cadre of other buzzy phrases.
But each time you investigate, you run into a wall of complexity or internal resistance. Up till now, you’ve concluded that your business is not yet ready to make this move.
Over the years, cloud technologies have continued to mature, and businesses are increasingly migrating to the cloud, often with truly transformative results.
If you’re still waiting on migrating to the cloud, now is the right time. We’ll show you why — and how you can get started, with less complexity than you might think.
Cloud migration means moving your business’s digital ecosystem (including applications, files, services, databases, applications, and more) from servers physically present in your own building or data centre to servers owned and maintained by a cloud provider.
The process can be as simple as a “lift and shift”, where applications and data are just dropped onto the cloud servers as they are. On the other end of the spectrum is a cloud native environment, where an organisation moves to cloud-native equivalents to current applications and services or even rebuilds an existing one in a cloud-native language.
Whatever the path looks like for an organisation, once the migration is complete, the business begins to reap the benefits of operating in the cloud.
What makes right now the best time for migrating to the Cloud?
Put simply, your organisation can’t afford to wait any longer to realise benefits your competitors are already enjoying.
In all cases it’s critical to define a Cloud strategy that is holistic and aligned to your organsiational goals. When doing so you should consider these seven elements or capabilities that Cloud services can deliver.
First, moving to the cloud is a core tenet of digital transformation. Cloud enabled digital transformation takes a holistic look at your business and its processes, identifying the ones that can be simplified, eliminated, automated, or otherwise improved by moving to the cloud.
Legacy processes, disconnected systems, and silos of information: each of these could be holding your business back in significant ways. Moving to the Cloud enables your business to modernise, automate, and rethink the way business gets done.
While it may seem counterintuitive, migrating to the cloud improves an organisation’s security posture. At first glance, moving sensitive systems, files, and processes to a cloud provider’s servers seems like a security risk. But on closer inspection, this move gives your business access to industry-leading enterprise-level encryption and security.
You’ll also gain newer and more robust capabilities in governance and compliance.
Legacy systems and proprietary tools may have their place, but often they create an unpleasant employee experience compared to using cloud-native tools working in standard formats. By moving to the cloud, you’ll likely eliminate certain elements degrading the employee experience, improving your staff retention rates and simplifying the onboarding process.
Legacy on-premises systems may seem to offer some vital capability that cannot be replaced, so many organisations hold on to certain systems long past their useful end of life.
Not only does this create security nightmares due to old, unsupported systems that cannot be patched, but it also drags down overall system performance. These legacy systems become bottlenecks or chokepoints. At worst, businesses build workflows in obviously inefficient ways just to support these systems.
Moving to the cloud generally requires eliminating such systems or rebuilding them in a cloud environment. While finding a modern equivalent to the specific capability may take some time and effort, you’ll enjoy measurable benefits by eliminating the drag on performance..
On-premises systems simply are not scalable. Adding additional server capacity is expensive and time-consuming, and it can never be done quickly. This impacts business decisions in surprisingly powerful ways: faced with a significant hurdle to greater compute power, an organisation might delay or decide against something that would have been an avenue for growth.
The cloud, on the other hand, is infinitely scalable. You’ll gain the ability to add or remove compute power and server capacity instantly according to your business needs. And in many cloud arrangements, you pay only for what you use.
Well-functioning disaster recovery systems are a non-negotiable for today’s businesses. On-premises backups are feasible and do provide value, but they should never be the sole pillar in your disaster recovery strategy.
Choosing a Cloud solution instantly diversifies your backup and disaster recovery capabilities. Most cloud providers offer redundancy, spreading out your disaster recovery storage over multiple servers and eliminating the risk of a total data loss even in the event of a localised catastrophic failure.
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When you eliminate legacy systems, scalability limitations, and disaster recovery complexity, you automatically reduce costs. The same is true as you improve security and transform legacy processes and systems to efficient modern ones.
With these real advantages on the table, the better question may be why businesses aren’t migrating to the cloud right now.
There are several common objections, each of which can be overcome with a cloud migration that is strategic and well-managed.
As we mentioned before, there is a common misconception that the cloud is less secure than on-premises. It certainly feels like keeping your data warehouse on a physical server at your physical location is safer, but it’s worth asking why it feels that way.
In terms of raw cybersecurity power, virtually no business will match the security capabilities of the major cloud providers.
In other words, unless you are the size of Microsoft, Google or AWS, you can’t out-security Microsoft, Google or AWS.
There are risks, of course, but these mostly relate to how an organisation uses the cloud and manages access — not to whether your cloud provider will mismanage security.
The Cloud offers most organisations exponentially stronger security than they can produce internally. The risk of credential compromise is real, but this can be mitigated with stronger governance, SIEM, and SOC policies that can recognize, for example, a login from an unusual location or at a questionable time.
Migrating to the cloud can appear daunting, and there is certainly some complexity to the prospect of moving an organisation’s entire digital ecosystem from one environment to another. This complexity is enough to generate resistance or, at minimum, cause an organisation’s leadership to delay the move.
Many cloud providers offer a migration program that helps your organisation plan and structure the migration. And a qualified IT partner like CBS will not leave you on your own to figure out your migration plan. We’ll walk with you every step of the way, from initial planning and road mapping to execution and follow-up.
Another objection is simply human resistance: leaders and decision-makers who are not convinced of the value, do not accept the cost, or fear the complexity can stall, undercut, or even cancel cloud migration.
The solution here is a human one, just like the problem. Start early with your leadership team and show them often the benefits and advantages of migrating to the cloud. By demonstrating the financial and operational benefits of cloud migration early and often, you’ll begin achieving buy-in and reduce the likelihood of this kind of resistance.
If you aren’t yet operating in the cloud, chances are your existing IT staff are not well-versed in cloud technology. Certain cloud skills are in high demand, with too few experts to go around. Hiring a full complement of cloud experts may be practically or financially unfeasible.
There are two solutions to the skills shortage. One is training your existing employees. This comes at a cost and does not generate instant results, but it’s often a wise long-term strategy.
The other solution is working with an IT partner for managed IT and Cloud Transformation services. Working with a partner like CBS gives you instant access to the in-demand skills you need as well as an experienced team that can guide you through the complexities of cloud migration.
Canon Business Services ANZ (CBS) is your Cloud Transformation partner, offering you both the skills and the big-picture vision to create and execute a Cloud GTM strategy. We can work with your team to determine whether Public Cloud, Private Cloud, or a Hybrid Cloud is right for your needs. We’ll help you build and then execute a cloud migration strategy that delivers all the value of the cloud without the hurdles or risks that could be holding you back.
Don’t let the complexity or mystery of the cloud stop your business from growing and competing. Reach out to the CBS team today to get started.