Businesses look for cost-effective solutions to manage company data and applications easily. But is cloud migration the solution to do so? According to a recent survey by the Center for digital government, 50% of surveyed businesses reported reduced operating costs after migrating to the cloud. 64% saw better disaster recovery and business continuity and 36% reported a more flexible and scalable computing power.
It can give your business a competitive edge by enabling faster time-to-market and better team collaboration. But it also brings challenges. We will see, cloud migration can go either way, forcing some businesses to pivot into cloud repatriation. The newest trend seems to create a safe haven for businesses in terms of cost and compliance. But is it truly so?
In this digital transformation era, cloud migration has become necessary for businesses of all sizes. Which will you take: migration or repatriation? In this article, we will review the basics, benefits, and challenges of cloud migration.
The basics of cloud migration
Cloud migration is the process of moving a company’s digital assets, such as applications, data, and infrastructure, from on-premises or traditional data centres to a public or private cloud environment. This can be done partially or fully, depending on the company’s needs and resources.
The public cloud is a remote computing platform owned and managed by a third-party provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). By migrating to the cloud, companies can take advantage of cloud computing benefits, such as scalability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and increased security.
There are several reasons why businesses choose to migrate to the cloud. One of the most common reasons is to reduce IT costs by eliminating the need to maintain and upgrade on-premises infrastructure or scale infrastructure according to your current load.
Additionally, cloud migration allows companies to access new technologies and services previously unavailable, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools.
Businesses often choose cloud migration to modernise their IT infrastructure, reduce costs, and take advantage of the latest technologies. It’s a complex process that requires careful planning and execution, but the benefits are well worth the effort.
Would you like to see a real-life cloud transformation example for a top 10 global retailer?
We helped to achieve:
- The successful migration of dozens of business critical applications
- A reduced duplication of effort across development teams
- A reduced developer friction with security
If you want to know more, just click the button to read the case study.
Benefits of cloud migration
Let’s go through some of the most important benefits.
Scalability and flexibility
One of the primary benefits of cloud migration is the scalability and flexibility it provides. In a traditional on-premises environment, enterprises must invest in hardware and infrastructure to accommodate changes in workload. This is a lengthy and expensive process. However, with the cloud, businesses quickly and easily scale up or down as per their needs and only pay for the resources they need and use.
Cloud providers offer various service models, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
Let’s have a look at the cloud models in detail:
Enterprises can choose the service model that suits their requirements. Cloud providers offer a range of pricing models, including pay-as-you-go, reserved instances, and spot instances, making it easier for businesses to optimise costs.
If done right, cloud migration significantly reduces an enterprise’s capital and operational expenditure. Organisations must purchase and maintain hardware and infrastructure in an on-premises environment, hire IT staff, and manage power and cooling costs. The public cloud, on the other hand, allows businesses to avoid capital expenditures associated with infrastructure.
Cloud providers take care of infrastructure maintenance, software updates, and security patches, freeing up IT staff’s time to focus on more strategic projects. This means enterprises reduce operational expenditure, optimise costs, and allocate resources to more critical business operations.
Disaster recovery is a crucial component of any enterprise’s IT strategy. However, traditional disaster recovery solutions can be costly and complex. Cloud providers offer built-in disaster recovery solutions that are easy to implement, and businesses quickly recover their data and operations in case of a disaster.
Additionally, cloud providers offer geographic redundancy, ensuring that data and operations are replicated across multiple locations. This provides enterprises with a cost-effective, reliable, scalable disaster recovery solution.
Cloud migration offers greater accessibility. With the cloud, data and applications are accessible from any location and any device with an internet connection. Highly accessible applications make it easier for employees to work remotely, collaborate, and share information. Collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, and Slack, are cloud-based and enable teams to work together seamlessly, irrespective of their location.
Cloud migration enhances an enterprise’s agility by enabling rapid deployment of new applications and services or scaling them during high demand, like holidays or annual shopping events such as Black Fridays.
In a traditional on-premises environment, it takes weeks or even months to scale an existing or deploy a new application or service. However, enterprises spin up new environments and services in minutes or hours with the cloud, accelerating their time-to-market.
Moreover, cloud providers offer an array of tools and services that enable enterprises to develop and deploy applications rapidly. These include containerisation, serverless computing, DevOps tools, continuous integration and deployment, as well as hosting repositories and artefacts. The entire development process can be conducted within the cloud environment.
Challenges of cloud migration
44% of businesses name the difficulty of budgeting for ongoing cloud costs. The prediction of cloud costs closely follows them. A good partner with extensive knowledge of the cloud-native environment helps to navigate the challenges businesses face.
But let’s look at some challenges of cloud migration.
Cloud migration can be expensive if not managed correctly. Enterprises must have a clear understanding of their cloud provider’s pricing model and how it fits into their budget. The cloud provider’s pricing model can vary depending on service, support tier, usage, storage, data transfer, and number of users.
Businesses must monitor their cloud usage and optimise their resource utilisation to minimise costs. This involves identifying unused resources and right-sizing their cloud environment to match their workload requirements. Cloud vendors provide tools for managing that. Moreover, businesses must be aware of hidden costs, such as data egress fees, and factor them into their budget.
Download our cost reduction whitepaper now
We help you to navigate the pitfalls of cost reduction and show the most common cost-reduction strategies with their strengths and weaknesses. We tackle topics such as:
- Minimising software licensing fees
- Using monitoring tools
- Choosing the right cloud provider
- Practicing the most efficient cost-reduction strategies
- Unfolding the most unnoticed, but most important cost-reduction strategy that works every time
Download the white paper and learn how to reduce costs guaranteed.
With sensitive data being moved to the cloud, it is essential to protect the data against unauthorised access and cyber-attacks.
Businesses must ensure that their data is encrypted during transit and at rest and that the cloud service provider has implemented robust security measures to safeguard their data.
Let’s have a look at the shared responsibility model:
Moreover, cloud security requires a shared responsibility model between the business and the cloud provider. The cloud provider is responsible for securing the infrastructure, network, and hypervisor, while the business is responsible for securing its applications, data, and access management. Therefore, businesses must clearly understand their security responsibilities and implement security best practices to ensure that their data is protected.
Depending on the cloud model, the cloud provider handles the responsibilities and security aspects, allowing the business to move security specialists to focus on other cyber threads.
Moving large volumes of data from on-premises data centres to the cloud can be time-consuming, complex, and prone to errors. Enterprises must ensure that their data is migrated seamlessly without any loss or corruption.
Businesses must plan and execute their data migration strategy carefully. This involves understanding their data dependencies, the migration tools, and the bandwidth required for migration. Moreover, businesses need to ensure that their data is backed up before migration and validated after migration to ensure that it is intact.
It’s worth noticing that cloud providers supply physical data migration using Network-Attached Storage such as AWS Snowball, Azure Data Box, and Google Transfer Appliance.
Enterprises need to ensure that their applications are compatible with and effectively leverage the cloud environment to their advantage. This includes understanding the dependencies and constraints of their applications, such as operating systems, libraries, and middleware.
They need to assess their applications for cloud compatibility and make necessary changes to ensure they can run efficiently in the cloud environment. Moreover, enterprises must thoroughly test their applications to ensure they function correctly and meet their performance requirements.
Businesses must ensure they have the flexibility to move their workloads between cloud providers if necessary. This requires a multi-cloud strategy that enables enterprises to leverage the strengths of different cloud providers while avoiding vendor lock-in.
It is important to be flexible and adjust your strategy along with market changes. Choose which systems will benefit your business best. This can range from using an on-prem environment, public cloud, or even a hybrid solution. In recent years, we’ve seen a trend towards cloud repatriation, where businesses retrieve their data from the cloud and go on-prem.
Moreover, businesses need to ensure that their applications are designed for portability and can run in any cloud environment. This involves using widely adopted standards, such as containerisation, using open software where possible, and avoiding proprietary cloud services that lock them into a specific cloud provider.
A new trend hits the streets: Cloud repatriation
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology trends, one particular phenomenon has captured enterprise’s attention for its paradoxical nature: Cloud Repatriation. This intriguing concept revolves around migrating workloads from public cloud infrastructure back to on-premises or private cloud environments.
What drives this seemingly counter-intuitive trend? The answer lies in the escalating costs of public cloud services and the complexities associated with compliance regulations. While there might be a moderate consensus, there is a loose agreement that exploring cloud repatriation can yield substantial benefits for businesses, extending beyond the critical drivers mentioned.
One noteworthy example of cloud repatriation comes from Dropbox, which saved a staggering $75 million over two years by migrating most of its workloads from the public cloud to its custom-built infrastructure. Yet, this trend extends beyond just a few companies; it reflects a growing sentiment within the industry.
An escape route to avoid costs
We find ourselves in a fascinating controversy, where the businesses that once embraced the allure of the cloud are now contemplating its reversal. The cloud has undeniably acted as a catalyst for digital transformation, but it has also brought about unforeseen cost escalations.
In fact, global cloud infrastructure expenses witnessed a remarkable year-over-year increase of 28% in Q3 of 2022, with projections indicating further rises in 2023. Moreover, the intricate compliance landscape has further complicated matters for businesses, pushing them towards exploring cloud repatriation to reduce overheads and streamline compliance.
However, it’s worth noting that cloud repatriation isn’t a complete reversal; rather, it signifies a strategic optimisation of hybrid approaches, achieving what the industry now terms “workload placement,” ensuring that workloads reside where they are best suited.
As cloud-native solutions gain traction like never before, we move closer to a future where the power resides in the hands of customers, rather than being solely dictated by vendors and hyperscalers.
Cloud repatriation presents us with an intriguing twist in the digital transformation journey. It challenges us to critically examine the trade-offs between public and private cloud environments, prompting us to seek the optimal balance for our businesses. As we navigate this dynamic landscape, it is clear that cloud repatriation will continue to shape discussions and decisions for businesses across industries.
Cloud migration conclusion
Cloud migration is a complex process that requires careful planning, execution, and management. It offers numerous benefits, such as increased agility, scalability, and cost savings. But it can also become a pitfall when vendor lock-in makes businesses dependent on one provider.
However, businesses must consider the challenges discussed in this blog post and clearly understand their cloud migration strategy. By doing so, they can mitigate the challenges and realise the full potential of cloud migration or even cloud repatriation.
Therefore, organisations must invest in proper planning and execution to ensure a successful cloud migration process. A reliable partner with extensive experience and knowledge in cloud native technologies can help navigate these challenges.
If you liked this article, we invite you to read the following: