The Benefits of Cloud Migration –And The Risks of Ignoring It

Explore the benefits of cloud migration and how StratusGrid's MigrateOne can simplify your transition to the AWS cloud. Contact us for a consultation now!

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The entire internet has been talking about how cloud computing has revolutionized business operations. But what exactly is “the cloud”, and why is it becoming a business need in 2024 rather than just a convenient tech option?

Cloud computing is the delivery of various services through the Internet such as data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software. A shift to the cloud promises organizations more flexibility, improved collaboration, and reassurance your business is resilient in the face of change.

But how exactly does migrating to the cloud translate into tangible gains for your enterprise? What risks might you face if you choose to ignore this technological trend?

Discover how migrating to the cloud could be the most strategic decision your business makes this year, and why lagging behind could cost more than just lost data.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving your organization’s data, applications, and other business components to cloud environments. Cloud migration may involve transitioning from on-premises hardware to the cloud or between cloud services.

This transition reduces the dependency on physical hardware, lowers maintenance costs, and enhances data accessibility across your organization.

As you consider migrating to the cloud, it's important to understand the different cloud deployment models offered by hyperscale providers (AWS cloud, for example). Examples of these deployment models include:

  • Public cloud: The traditional model where organizations pay for space on servers located in the cloud provider's data center.
  • Private cloud: In a private cloud setup, the server or specific server racks in the cloud data center are dedicated exclusively to one organization.
  • Hybrid cloud: This model combines on-premises infrastructure with cloud services, creating a flexible and scalable environment.
  • Multicloud: Multicloud means using services from multiple cloud providers to host different components of an organization’s IT environment. For example, an organization might run its application servers with one provider and manage database operations with another.

Once you’ve decided you want to move to the cloud, there are three different approaches to cloud migration, each suited to different organizational needs and goals:

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS): The SaaS model shifts the entire business process to the cloud, where your applications are hosted and updated and patched by the provider. Your employees access this application via a web browser.
  2. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS means moving an existing application from your data center to the cloud provider’s infrastructure with minimal changes.
  3. Platform as a Service (PaaS): The PaaS option is a more comprehensive migration approach that includes core infrastructure—such as servers and networks—and platform services like databases, application servers, operating systems, containers, and development tools. This model is ideal for developing and running new applications in the cloud provider’s data center.

Each of these migration models offers distinct benefits and is chosen based on the specific needs of your organization. Read more about migration strategies in our The Rs of Application Modernization blog.

Why are More Companies Migrating to the Cloud?

Enterprises are adopting cloud solutions primarily for its cost efficiency and scalability

Businesses that have moved to the cloud can perceive a reduced capital expenditure on hardware and infrastructure by shifting to a pay-as-you-use model. The pay-as-you-use model is ideal for handling fluctuating workloads and rapid growth. The benefits also extend to enhanced collaboration –remote employees can access data and applications from anywhere. 

Additionally, cloud services help businesses recover from disasters more effectively. Effective disaster recovery solutions ensure they can keep running smoothly even during unexpected events.

But is the cloud suitable for everyone?

Let’s find out.

Who Can Benefit from Migrating Their IT into the Cloud?

Virtually every industry can garner benefits from migrating to the cloud, but the impact is particularly significant in sectors such as healthcare, financial services, and retail. These sectors benefit from cloud computing's scalability and flexibility, especially as they manage large volumes of data and require robust compliance measures.

For Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), the cloud levels the playing field. They can compete with larger companies without the need for significant capital investment in IT infrastructure.

Large enterprises often deal with complex IT infrastructures and massive amounts of data. Moving to the cloud provides them flexibility and agility, improved collaboration across borders, and minimized downtime. This benefit allows large business continuity to grow at scale.

Government entities and public sector organizations are also increasingly adopting cloud technologies to improve service delivery and efficiency. They benefit from data security and compliance, and cost-effective scaling.

Startups particularly benefit from being in the cloud because it enables them to deploy their applications quickly without physical infrastructure. The low initial costs and pay-as-you-go models of the cloud allow startups to experiment with new ideas and pivot quickly based on feedback without significant financial risk.

Are you considering migrating to the cloud? Contact StratusGrid today for a consultation and discover how we can help streamline your IT operations, enhance your data security, and save costs. 

So, Is it Time to Ditch Legacy Systems?

Clinging to legacy systems can place your organization at a severe competitive disadvantage. Legacy systems not only entail high maintenance costs but also lack the agility and scalability that modern cloud environments provide. 

The inability to adapt quickly can hinder business growth and operational efficiency. Migrating to the cloud offers a way to modernize your infrastructure and applications and  ensures that your enterprise remains responsive and resilient in the face of change.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of migrating to the cloud and what your company is missing out on if it doesn’t.

Read our blog on 9 AWS Migration Tools You Need for a Successful Cloud Migration here.

9 Surprising Benefits of Cloud Migration for Companies

1. Speed to Market

One of the primary benefits of cloud migration is the ability to accelerate time to market. Cloud environments allow for rapid prototyping and quicker deployment cycles, which can be a significant competitive advantage. For instance, it helps your organization beat competitors to market by several months due to faster development and testing capabilities.

2. Reduced Risk for New Projects

The cloud provides an environment where new applications can be tested and deployed with minimal risk. If a project doesn't perform as expected, it can be scaled down or terminated without the sunk costs associated with physical infrastructure.

3. Cost Efficiency and Financial Flexibility

Migrating to the cloud can significantly reduce expenses associated with resource maintenance, real estate, and hardware by optimizing workloads to be less costly to operate. The shift from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model allows organizations to pay only for the resources they use, which eliminates the need for upfront hardware investments and ongoing maintenance costs.

4. Better Security and Compliance

Cloud providers like AWS typically offer advanced security measures to protect sensitive data and applications, including automated patching and robust encryption. They also often have configurations and settings built to meet rigorous industry-specific standards.

5. Simplified Management and Better Collaboration

Organizations can monitor and manage their resources in the cloud from a unified platform, which simplifies IT administration. Being in the cloud also enables a truly mobile workforce by allowing employees and customers to access applications and data from anywhere in the world, on any device.

6. Innovation and Agility Enablement

Cloud environments support fast-paced innovation cycles by allowing businesses to quickly test and deploy new applications. This experimentation model supports agile development practices like DevOps and continuous integration.

By offloading infrastructure concerns to the cloud, companies can focus more on innovation and core business functions. Cloud platforms also come with a suite of ready-to-use tools that can spur innovation, including machine learning, AI, and big data analytics tools.

7. High Operational Performance Availability and Reliability

Cloud services handle routine software updates and maintenance tasks automatically, and ensure that your systems are always running the latest software versions without downtime. Cloud platforms are always kept up-to-date and optimized for peak performance, which is crucial for compute-intensive applications.

8. Better Data Analytics and Insights

The cloud supports advanced analytics capabilities, which allows companies to process and analyze data in real-time. In the end, this data translates into better decision-making and operational efficiencies.

9. Streamlined IT Operations and Management

Migrating to the cloud consolidates disparate IT resources and management tools into a unified platform, which significantly reduces the complexity of overseeing various systems and software. This centralization helps in efficient management of IT operations, from monitoring to maintenance.

Cloud services are designed for quick setups without always requiring IT staff intervention, such as setting up test databases or development environments.

The cloud also provides the ability to increase or decrease IT resources as needed. This dynamic scalability helps in managing operational costs effectively and ensures resources are utilized optimally without overprovisioning.

The Benefits of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud

Several cloud providers have established themselves as leaders in the industry due to their comprehensive service offerings, global infrastructure, and reliability, but Amazon Web Services (AWS) is often considered the primary market leader in cloud computing. 

AWS offers cloud services like computing power, storage options, and networking capabilities, which makes it suitable for everything from small startups to large enterprises. AWS is known for its flexibility, scalability, and extensive global network of data centers.

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud supports everything from application hosting to blockchain and machine learning. These tools give enterprises the tools necessary to innovate and expand.

Some of the benefits of migrating to the AWS cloud are:

  • AWS covers a wide range of needs: From basic computing, storage, and networking to more specialized applications like artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality.
  • One of the most extensive global cloud infrastructures: This includes a large number of data centers spread across different geographical regions and availability zones within each region. This global presence helps in reducing latency for end-users by hosting applications closer to them and provides better fault tolerance and redundancy.
  • A mature platform: As one of the earliest entrants into the cloud space, AWS has a mature platform that has been tested extensively across a broad spectrum of industries and use cases. 
  • Flexible pricing options: Pricing options in AWS include pay-as-you-go, save-when-you-reserve, and pay-less-using-more. AWS's pricing models include the ability to bid for services at reduced rates through their Spot Instances for workloads that are flexible when they can run.
  • A large ecosystem of third-party solutions and integrations available in its AWS Marketplace: This allows businesses to easily implement solutions that are already pre-integrated with AWS services. For example, StratusGrid is a certified AWS Advanced Consulting Partner that can help your organization migrate to the AWS cloud.
  • A large and active community of users and experts around the world: The AWS Support plans are comprehensive, and AWS also provides various training and certification programs to help users and professionals enhance their cloud skills effectively.

BENEFITS-OF-CLOUD-MIGRATION

How Does AWS Cloud Handle Security?

AWS uses a shared responsibility model to manage security. This means that AWS takes care of the security of the cloud—such as protecting the infrastructure that runs all the services. 

On the other hand, customers are responsible for security in the cloud—this includes securing their own data and managing who has access to it.

AWS also uses cutting-edge security features like data encryption, fine-grained access controls, and comprehensive identity and access management solutions.

AWS's security features are particularly impressive because they combine to enhance overall security and adaptability. Data encryption protects sensitive information from unauthorized access, whether stored or in transit. Fine-grained access controls enforce strict user permissions, minimizing risks from insider threats or accidental misuse. Comprehensive identity and access management solutions strengthen these defenses by ensuring only legitimate users can access the system and logging their activities for audits.

Together, these tools create a robust security framework that can be tailored to different business needs and goals.

How Scalable is the AWS Cloud?

Scalability is one of the main benefits of the AWS Cloud. Whether your needs involve scaling up during peak usage times or scaling down to save costs during slow periods, AWS provides on-demand resource scalability without the need for significant upfront capital expenditures

This resource allocation allows for efficient resource management and supports fluctuating business demands seamlessly.

The Risks of Not Adopting Cloud Technology

Choosing to ignore the shift towards cloud technology can lead to significant risks for any business. Companies that shy away from cloud migration may find themselves bound by the limitations of traditional IT infrastructure, which can significantly hinder their ability to grow and quickly adapt to market changes. 

This lack of flexibility can lead to missed opportunities and an inability to meet customer expectations effectively.

For instance, while competitors using cloud services can easily scale up to meet high demand periods without a hitch, companies relying on traditional IT must plan and spend extensively to handle similar demands. But running high-volume IT infrastructure often results in underused resources during quieter times.

The cost advantages of the cloud go beyond just saving on physical infrastructure. Cloud computing can also dramatically reduce the overhead associated with ongoing maintenance and specialized staff to manage and secure data centers.

Companies that stick with traditional IT setups often spend more money and risk losing money and harming their reputation if they face data breaches or system failures. Cloud services typically come equipped with robust disaster recovery and data backup systems as standard features. In contrast, on-premises technology does not.

Long story short? The reluctance to embrace cloud technology can limit a company's agility and scalability.

The True Costs of Cloud Migration

Migrating to the cloud involves various costs, which can be categorized as direct and indirect. 

Direct costs include the expenses for cloud services, such as storage and processing power. Indirect costs might involve the training of personnel, changes to business processes, and the adaptation of existing technologies to new cloud environments. 

An honest assessment of both is crucial to determining the financial viability of migrating to the cloud.

Here’s a deeper look into the costs of moving to the cloud:

  • Infrastructure costs. Transitioning to the cloud often necessitates initial investments in new infrastructure components, such as upgraded networking capabilities or integration tools that ensure smooth interoperability between on-premises systems and cloud services. Cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud offer flexible pricing models, which help businesses pay only for the resources they consume. They turn previously fixed costs into variable costs that can scale with business needs.
  • Compute and storage costs. Compute costs are tied to the virtual machines and the processing power required to run applications and manage workflows. Storage costs, on the other hand, depend on the amount of data stored and the type of storage selected, such as high-availability or long-term archival solutions. Both these costs are influenced by the chosen service model (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and the cloud provider's pricing structure.
  • Data transfer costs. Data transfer costs can be tricky and often catch businesses by surprise. Ingress, or uploading data to the cloud, is generally free, but egress fees—associated with retrieving data from the cloud—can accumulate quickly, especially if operations involve frequent access to large volumes of data stored across multiple cloud regions or transferring data back to an on-premises environment. These costs need careful consideration during the planning phase of migration.
  • Professional services costs. The complexity of migrating to the cloud often needs the hiring of certified external migration experts such as StratusGrid. These professional services may include assistance in planning the migration, executing the transfer of data and applications, ensuring security measures are up to par, and even training internal IT staff on the new systems. These services are vital for mitigating risk and ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Training and education costs for IT staff and end-users.
  • Compliance and security costs for enhanced security measures like encryption, advanced threat detection services, and compliance management tools, all of which are critical for protecting sensitive data and avoiding hefty fines for non-compliance.
  • Cost management tools that provide insights into resource utilization and inefficiencies to prevent budget overruns. StratusGrid has created a cost management dashboard that allows enterprises a comprehensive visualization of their cloud costs.

BENEFITS OF CLOUD MIGRATION

What to Consider Before Moving to the Cloud

Before beginning on your cloud migration journey, your should assess the following factors to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Define what you hope to achieve through cloud migration. Are you looking to enhance scalability, improve disaster recovery, reduce costs, or perhaps increase collaboration across global teams? Understanding your primary objectives will help you choose the right type of cloud services and the migration strategy that best aligns with your business needs.
  2. Determine the types of data you plan to move to the cloud and understand the security measures required to protect it. Ensure that the cloud provider's security offerings align with your organization's security and compliance requirements.
  3. Evaluate your existing applications for cloud compatibility. Some legacy applications may need significant re-architecting or refactoring before they can be effectively migrated.
  4. Understand the full cost implications of moving to the cloud, including potential savings on infrastructure but increased costs in areas like data transfer and managed services.
  5. Consider how your cloud-based applications will integrate with other systems and data sources. Effective integration is key to maintaining seamless operations across your business.
  6. Determine if your current IT team has the skills and resources needed to manage a cloud environment. Partnering with a cloud migration specialist like StratusGrid can be a cost-effective solution to migrate to the AWS cloud.

Is Cloud Migration Worth The Cost?

Cloud migration indeed involves various direct and indirect costs, however, the benefits often outweigh these costs. This makes cloud migration a worthwhile investment for many businesses, particularly enterprises looking to improve their technological agility, operational resilience, and long-term cost-efficiency.

The decision to migrate should be based on a careful assessment of these factors in relation to your business needs and strategic goals.

Contact us for a Cloud Readiness Assessment to make sure your enterprise is ready for this jump.

🏆 Securus and StratusGrid: A Cloud Migration Success Story

Learn how Securus migrated from on-premise hardware to a cloud native solution resulting in increased security & compliance, faster scalability and deployment flexibility. All while increasing cost efficiency.

Read out Case Studies & Client Success Stories here.

How StratusGrid Simplifies Migrations to The AWS Cloud

At StratusGrid, we specialize in making your transition to the AWS cloud as smooth and efficient as possible.

Unlike standard migration services that often apply a one-size-fits-all approach, with MigrateOne, our comprehensive AWS cloud migration offering, we will craft a migration plan that is precisely tailored to suit your specific scenarios and requirements.

MigrateOne was designed to minimize operational disruption during the migration process. Our strategies are implemented in a way that either eliminates or significantly reduces downtime. This ensures that your business operations continue smoothly without significant interruptions.

One of the main advantages of MigrateOne is its focus on cost-efficiency. By leveraging StratusGrid’s expertise in AWS pricing structures and our proprietary cost management tools (Stratusphere™), MigrateOne helps clients optimize their spending and avoid common pitfalls that lead to unnecessary costs. This proactive approach to cost management ensures a higher return on investment from your cloud migration.

Our relationship with clients doesn’t end post-migration. MigrateOne includes ongoing support and continuous optimization services to ensure that your AWS environment is always running at peak efficiency. This includes regular reviews and adjustments as needed to accommodate evolving business needs, technological advancements, and changes in the regulatory landscape.

Why MigrateOne by StratusGrid is Your Best Choice for AWS Cloud Migrations

MigrateOne is an end-to-end solution designed for businesses that want to capitalize on the benefits of AWS cloud computing without the hassle and risks associated with standard migration approaches. By choosing MigrateOne by StratusGrid, you're opting for a partner that is committed to your success. MigrateOne is a personalized, secure, and cost-effective pathway to AWS.

Start your migration journey today by scheduling an assessment with our AWS cloud migration experts.

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