How to Know When Its the Right Time to Switch to the Cloud

by Emily on April 6, 2017

in Articles

More and more businesses are seeing the advantages of storing some of their information in a cloud environment, and infrastructure based in the cloud is starting to become commonplace. However, deciding whether migrating to a cloud-based system is cost effective or not is not always a simple answer. There are several factors that should be considered before making a final decision on the matter.

Resources

Resources in the cloud, whether it is applications, storage, analytics, infrastructure, or anything else, have many advantages over their local counterparts. Cloud providers can offer discounts based on scale and often can let the businesses they serve purchase additional disk space or computing power as and when it is needed. This allows flexibility, reducing the risk that a business takes when it invests in additional resources that end up being infrequently used.

Migrating Applications to the Cloud

Cloud services see a wide variety of business types, allowing them to gain the experience necessary to develop solutions to many of the most common challenges that businesses face. This means that they can provide ready solutions for anything from balancing loads to taking advantage of machine learning, all without having to invest many hours into costly IT development.

However, some businesses, especially if they have high generation of data or a large backlog of old data, may find that their applications are simply too large to easily migrate to a cloud-based service. They may also prefer to use infrastructure that was developed in-house or using the best practices from previous eras which are not well-suited to the cloud. They may also employ applications that use such a wide variety of different processes in the business that moving one part to a cloud service would mean having to completely overhaul the entire structure of the IT or data used by the business.

How Can Migrating to The Cloud Be Economically Feasible?

There are 3 main aspects you should think about:

  • Will your application run efficiently in a cloud environment?
  • How much would it cost to migrate your data?
  • How long do you expect the application being migrated to be in use?

Not every application will benefit by migrating to the cloud, however, many will. With the rising interest in cloud-based resources, the cloud will only continue to increase in efficiency. When trying to make the best decision, a business needs to analyze the resources available on the cloud and if they would be efficient if applied to the company. If it is found to be more efficient than the current system, that often will transfer into significant savings in cost.

Depending on how much the company will save, the cost of migrating to the cloud may yield a return on your investment before long. However, if the improvement is only expected to be marginal, the initial cost may be too large, or may take too long to recoup. The costs involved with migrating an application to the cloud can include both direct costs such as licenses and data transfer, and indirect costs such as having to retrain employees on the new system, so it is important to take everything into account.

Finally, it is important for CIOs and business owners to carefully examine how long they expect the application to remain useful. For some older applications, the technology or program may already be well on its decline and on its way out. For others, it may be a core process that is expected to be used by the company for many years to come. If the application in question is expected to last longer than it will take to see a return on your migration expense investment, making the move is a sound decision. If may be shorter or there are doubts about its longevity, it might be wiser to hold off on migration for now.

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Darren Daves April 28, 2017 at 12:11

The same applies for integration systems as well. Many large organizations have installed on-premise integration systems to integrate data coming in and flowing out of the apps and on-prem systems. While cloud integration systems have been around for a while, organizations are little reluctant in adopting such a technology as it means bringing about a major shift, and it may mean moving away from a legacy system in which they have invested heavily. However, in the long run, moving to cloud becomes more cost-effective, easy-to-manage, and keeps your system up to date.

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