If you’re like most businesses, you already have at least one workload running in the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud migration is right for everyone. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, those won’t be the only considerations driving your decision.
For companies considering their first cloud migration, there are a lot of factors that you’ll want to take into account — from the benefits and the risks to the cloud service model and type that is right for your business. In this article, we’ll look at the high-level elements that you should consider as you contemplate a move to the cloud.
Over the last 5 years, cloud migrations have increased drastically, whether it is moving to Office 365/G-Suite, implementing SalesForce, DevOps, or hosting applications on AWS or Azure.
Potential benefits of cloud migration
- Scale resources on the fly to meet the increasing demand.
- Reduce operational costs while increasing the effectiveness of IT processes.
- Fast application implementation and deployment and thus want to focus more on development while reducing infrastructure overhead.
- Expand their business geographically, but you suspect that setting up a multi-region infrastructure – with all the associated maintenance, time, human, and error control effort – is going to be a challenge.
- Growing storage needs.
- Build a widely distributed development team. Cloud computing environments allow remotely located employees to access applications and work via the internet.
- Establish a disaster recovery system but setting it up for an entire data center could double the cost. It would also require a complex disaster recovery plan. Cloud disaster recovery systems can be implemented much more quickly and give you much better control over your resources.
- Move expenditures from CAPEX to OPEX. Cloud computing shifts IT expenditure to a pay-as-you-go model, which is an attractive benefit, especially for startups.
Potential risks of cloud migration
- If your application stores and retrieves very sensitive data, you might not be able to maintain it in the cloud.
- If your existing setup is meeting your needs, doesn’t demand much maintenance, scaling, and availability, and your customers are all happy, why mess with it?
- If some of the technology you currently rely on is proprietary, you may not be legally able to deploy it to the cloud.
- Some operations might suffer from added latency when using cloud applications over the internet.
- If your hardware is controlled by someone else, you might lose some transparency and control when debugging performance issues.
- Noisy “neighbors” can occasionally make themselves “heard” through shared resources.
- Your particular application design and architecture might not completely follow distributed cloud architectures.
- Cloud platform or vendor lock-in: Once in, it might be difficult to leave or move between platforms.
- Downtime. It happens to everyone, but you might not want to feel like your availability is controlled by someone else.