Moving to the cloud is inevitable for most businesses. The advantages that cloud transformation brings to organizations are too valuable not to pass up, and those who stick with legacy systems will be competing at a major disadvantage. Companies that make this transformation will see benefits in every aspect of their business. From greater employee satisfaction to increased scalability, and being able to better suit their clients’ needs, a well-thought-out cloud transformation policy can help with it all. Change can be scary, but it doesn’t mean that the road ahead in a transformation journey has to be difficult. Here’s some of what you need to know to get started.
So, What Exactly is Cloud Transformation?
The phrase “cloud transformation” seems vague and nebulous, but the explanation is pretty simple. Cloud transformation is essentially transitioning all of a business’ processes, applications, data, and software into the cloud instead of hosting it in data centers. While this might just sound like simple data migration, it’s a little more complex. True cloud transformation is taking the time to really align your IT infrastructure with your organization’s goals to develop processes that make work simple and build better business outcomes. Transformation also plays into making your security posture much more effective. Organizations that move to the cloud tend to have better defenses against common attacks, such as ransomware.
When you’re looking to cloud services for your IT infrastructure transformation, it’s important to examine the various types of cloud transformation and how they could work for your business. There are four main types that you should be aware of:
This is infrastructure not owned by the end user and is managed as a paid service. Some of the largest and most effective cloud services in the world reside here, including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Any cloud platform resembling these are utilized by multiple users and normally runs off-premises. The public cloud tends to be more scalable and reliable than other options, making this a solid choice to start a cloud strategy.
Private clouds are created for a single organization and dedicated solely to them. They’re normally used for specific purposes or departments to ensure they have greater privacy and control over data. Private clouds are usually more secure and give greater sovereignty over your own data, as well as better customization options than a public cloud.
This is a form of architecture that utilizes both private and public clouds to cover for each other’s weaknesses and benefit from their strengths. Hybrid clouds give businesses the agility they need to switch their cloud computing strategy on a dime to fit different use cases. These clouds are usually controlled by an integrated management platform which allows IT workers to use both together as a single network environment.
Multiclouds happen when you buy from more than one cloud service provider. For example, an organization could be running Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure at the same time. This is normally done to improve security, especially for data that has strict regulatory compliance requirements, or for more robust data storage.
As stated before, the benefits of a cloud transformation process are many. The most important is that cloud transformation accelerates an organization’s digital transformation initiatives by providing the foundation and backing for any project. This makes them easier to drive to completion. Organizations that deeply adopt products like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud are able to scale more effectively, develop better frameworks for their customers, and deploy their products in a far more efficient way.
Cloud transformation is taking the business world by storm. The industry is expected to grow by 20.4% in 2022 up to nearly $5 billion, according to Gartner research. With 67% of all enterprise infrastructure already in the cloud, and much more slated to migrate, those who do not adopt a cloud-first mindset are destined to fall behind in the race.
From a security standpoint, looking toward the cloud is a fantastic way to better your security posture – often at less of a time commitment from your IT department. Cloud services, especially from big-name providers, provide far better data security and monitoring capabilities than the majority of internal teams can. As major vendors have a lot of stake in protecting the security of their cloud infrastructure, using theirs can protect against common threats like identity theft, ransomware, and DDoS attacks.
Cloud Transformation Strategy Best Practices
As with any kind of major business overhaul, there is risk in undergoing a cloud transformation. However, you can develop a strategy that will help make the transition smooth and make your life easier. Bear in mind that while it’s not risk-free, the rewards are worth it. 80% of companies say they found noticeable improvements within months of completing their cloud transformation journeys.
One thing to bear in mind is the wise words of Gartner Research Vice President Sid Nag: “IT leaders who view the cloud as an enabler rather than an end state will be most successful in their digital transformation journeys. The organizations combining cloud with other adjacent, emerging technologies will fare even better.”
When you’re trying to make your cloud transformation journey happen, here are some best practices from start to finish:
Define Your Cloud Strategy
When looking at cloud transformation, you have to make sure your ducks are in a row. Set defined timetables for each stage, identify the first targets for transformation that will bring you the most immediate value, and develop a risk-mitigation strategy. It’s also important at this phase to establish KPIs that will show if your transformation is successful.
Build a Better Business Case
To convince key stakeholders of the need for a cloud transformation, you will need to sell them on its business value. You’ll want to go into these meetings knowing and demonstrating how much money you’ll save, how much more efficient you’ll make your employees, and the real security risks that an organization that isn’t on the cloud can face. It’s worth knowing how your cloud journey will make an impact on business strategy.
Follow One or Many of the 7 Rs
Gartner put out a helpful guide on how specifically to make the move. These steps were iterated upon by AWS and each of them is a handy method to move your infrastructure over to the cloud. Some common suggestions for implementing your cloud transformation include refactoring, rehosting, or re-platforming. Learn more.
Iterate and Optimize
The most successful cloud migrations aren’t just over when the last of your organization’s tools is moved to the cloud. Once you’ve moved an application or piece of software, it’s time to dig deep and ensure that the application is scalable with your company and optimized for use.
The Benefits of Cloud Transformation
The realized benefits of cloud transformation can completely change the way that your business operates and can ensure that it remains healthy, secure, and scalable. Moving to the cloud can also save your organization a lot of money. Cloud service providers may seem like a large upfront cost, but they save organizations a lot more on the back end. Running and managing your own servers is an expensive and time-consuming process, which can be ended by moving to the cloud, allowing your IT team to focus on your business goals instead of patching and maintaining servers.
Cloud servers are also more scalable and can make workloads much simpler for IT administrators. For MSPs, using cloud service providers can help them easily spin up new instances for their customers and start new projects on the fly. Cloud makes it easy for every customer of the MSP to be one script difference away from each other when turning features on. To give a further example of the efficacy of cloud initiatives in terms of scaling, when Pax8 was in a growth spurt, our company was able to scale very quickly from 300 to 1,200 employees without having to buy new infrastructure because our cloud-based systems allowed us to grow without any trouble.
If you’d like to know more about how you can take the first steps on your cloud transformation journey, contact Pax8 today.