This cloud migration post was originally published in January, 2021 and was recently updated with new content to help answer the question why move to the cloud.
Business and IT leaders all over the world are replacing legacy, on-premises technology with flexible, scalable, and cost-effective computing power in the cloud. From reducing IT costs to accelerating innovation, there are many compelling reasons to embark on a cloud migration journey. However, making the transition is not easy without a well-developed plan and cloud expertise.
Here, we highlight the eight biggest reasons why we see organizations migrate to a cloud platform, which includes:
- Reducing IT costs
- Increasing business agility
- Improving Security
- Eliminating end-of-life concerns
- Consolidating data centers
- Enabling digital transformation
- Accelerating growth
- Leveraging new technologies
We also discuss how to approach any cloud migration services project so that you can maximize your investment and avoid problems along the way.
Reduce IT Costs
One of the more common reasons why organizations embark on a cloud migration is to reduce IT infrastructure costs. In the cloud, IT leaders can easily right-size computing resources according to unique business requirements and cut wasteful spending. Rather than estimate capacity needs in advance, organizations can adjust on the fly, as well as eliminate unnecessary hardware or rigid on-premises assets.
Increase Business Agility
Business agility is key in the modern global economy. Having access to flexible, on-demand IT resources is crucial for keeping pace with competitors and rapidly changing industry dynamics. In the cloud, over 99% of what you need is available on-demand. Organizations don’t have to wait weeks or months for hardware components and installations. Instead, they can lease valuable capabilities directly from cloud providers and get to market much more quickly.
Security will continue to be a major focus area going forward. By migrating to the cloud, organizations can modernize IT infrastructure according to best practices and protect their applications from malicious hacking attempts.
One thing to keep in mind is that many leaders mistakenly think the cloud itself is what makes organizations secure. In reality, the cloud empowers groups to implement the security policies, governance, and compliance guardrails they need for their particular operations.
Eliminate End-of-Life Concerns
For many organizations, the cloud migration decision is influenced by end-of-life timelines for critical hardware and software. IT leaders today don’t want to deal with rigid licensing agreements and long-term contracts anymore.
Fortunately, the cloud bypasses this issue. Organizations don’t have to worry about application life cycles or contract terms, as they can pay as they go for crucial cloud capabilities and take advantage of updates as they come available. Companies can access the latest and greatest technologies immediately without having to sign any inflexible, long-term contracts.
Consolidate Data Centers
Thanks to the power of cloud computing, companies no longer have to manage their own on-premises data centers. IT leaders can outsource backend responsibilities to third-party cloud providers and reallocate resources to higher-value activities. Additionally, organizations can consolidate operations and distribute access to cloud services as needed, thus increasing enterprise efficiency.
Enable Digital Transformation
Many organizations are undergoing digital transformation to create incremental value out of existing assets. Because of recent advances in cloud computing, leaders can digitize more core functionality, including CRM, SAP, data analytics, and more.
Those who migrate away from legacy technologies can increase the productivity of their workforces, innovate, and unlock new sources of revenue compared to their peers. Once on the cloud, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Technology is more important than ever when it comes to organizational growth, whether it be through organic expansion or mergers and acquisitions. Enterprises in the cloud can integrate new acquisitions to existing platforms more easily. They can also scale rapidly with demand using auto-scaling functionality and flexible data management services.
Leverage New Technologies
Finally, migrating to the cloud opens up numerous doors of opportunity when it comes to leveraging modern technologies. For example, organizations that migrate can take advantage of machine learning and AI, which aren’t feasible on-premises. They can also spin up highly complex cloud-native technologies, such as Kubernetes containers and data lakes, in minutes.
Cloud Migration Process
Realizing these migration benefits is only possible if you can successfully move your on-premises IT infrastructure to the cloud without any issues. As cloud experts, we understand the challenges that organizations face when it comes to making the transition without disrupting operations.
Migration Acceleration Program
Fortunately, one of the leading cloud platforms, Amazon Web Services (AWS), offers a migration program to help ease the journey. Through the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), organizations follow a three-phase approach:
- Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA) phase
- Migration Readiness & Planning (MRP) phase
- The Migration Phase
In the MRA phase, your team reflects on important questions, such as:
- Is your business prepared to operate in the cloud?
- If not, what do you need to do to get ready?
- What is your business case for adopting the cloud?
- What are the financial implications of moving IT infrastructure to the cloud?
Before moving forward with any migration, you need clarity across these areas. Cloud migrations can be time-consuming and burdensome if not executed properly, which is why you shouldn’t start prematurely.
Once you’ve determined that there is a compelling business case to migrate, it’s time to mobilize. In the MRP phase, you build out a roadmap for the applications and workloads you want to move to the cloud. Along the way, you also address any planning gaps and refine your business case as you learn more about what’s possible.
In the migration phase, you execute according to your roadmap and carefully move away from your legacy IT infrastructure. In many cases, it also makes sense to modernize applications during the process so that they are optimized for the cloud.
Cloud Migration with ClearScale
Over the years, ClearScale has helped hundreds of organizations migrate successfully to AWS through the MAP program.
We recently worked with a shopping rewards company formerly known as Ebates that was outgrowing its on-premises IT infrastructure. ClearScale supported the migration effort to AWS and implemented DevOps automation to create a smoother end-user experience.
Our cloud migration experts also enabled CareMetx to build a HIPAA-compliant AWS environment and move its core SaaS application to the cloud. We led the cloud migration, developed automation tools, built the infrastructure, and set up a new deployment pipeline. Today, CareMetx has full control over its machines and a more secure IT environment overall.