Why You Should Migrate to the Cloud…Now!

Cloud and distributed computing concepts predate the Internet and have existed since the ARPANET original architecture was created in 1969. However, true cloud computing first became popular with the release of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006, Microsoft Azure in 2009, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in 2013. Since then, the adoption of the cloud has penetrated all industries, disrupted how companies operate, and created a $200+ billion yearly-revenue industry that Gartner forecasts will continue to grow year-over-year.

The accelerated adoption of the cloud is a consequence of cloud providers delivering services that solve several problems most companies encounter when operating in an on-prem environment. Here are some of the major issues:

  1. Recurrent CAPEX costs based on hardware end-of-life and user concurrency.
  2. Robust security, privacy, regulatory compliance, and operational resilience, which increases data center costs.
  3. Digital transformation that increases computing footprints and the required hardware capacity.
  4. Reductions in time-to-market of new features that increase CAPEX and cost of goods sold.
  5. A global presence with unique compliance requirements for each country, which implies a significant investment that reduces agility.

Because of the above, the majority of new products—for startups, SMBs and large enterprises—are natively built for the cloud (mostly on either AWS, Azure or GCP). However, there are still a few cases where legacy and new products are developed on-prem. This usually occurs because of special compliance or regulation requirements, government implementations, or legacy solutions used by non-tech companies that haven’t prioritized moving to the cloud.

The Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud

This article is written for those companies that still run their solutions under a traditional, on-prem CAPEX investment. So the question prevails: Why should you migrate to the cloud?

To help you decide, here the major benefits, which are applicable for any businesses partnering with the providers that cover the majority of the cloud market share: AWS, Azure and GCP.

Cost Reduction

This is the easiest business case to be made; migrating to the cloud removes all your infrastructure CAPEX. This means your company doesn’t need to manage or invest in managing a data center with a controlled temperature, biometric access control, a disaster recovery site, hardware warranties, hardware renewals, sysadmins, monitoring, spare components, and the usual compliance standards for safekeeping sensitive operational data (ISO 27000, PCI DSS, HIPAA, TIA 942, AICPA SOC). Moving to the cloud will convert all of these functions into a predictable per-demand OPEX. And most cloud providers offer cost calculators to review past expenses and predict future expenses based on your company’s projected demand for cloud computing services.

Improved Security and Operational Resilience

The three main cloud providers have deployed more security and compliance measures than regular data centers. They all guarantee at least 99.9% uptime, but their average is way above, along the lines of >99.995%. For a private company to build in the same security and regulation standards as AWS, Azure or GCP, the effort would require significant recurrent expenses. Bank of America, Chase and Capital One are just some examples of large corporations with sensitive data that leverage public cloud providers for their operations while meeting the highest security and compliance requirements. For companies that require robust operational resilience and uptime under a traditional on-prem model, they would need to invest in a different data center located in a different geographic location with a robust data replication solution. If operating in the cloud, those same companies would need to invest $0 to cover their operational resilience needs (in most cases).

Agility and Scalability

One of the most obvious benefits of migrating to the cloud is the ability to immediately provision new resources when needed. More importantly, businesses can automatically spin up those resources using Infrastructure as Code services—while paying only for used resources. Another important aspect is that in a traditional on-prem environment, scaling up resources means maintaining a baseline cost of the scaled-up resources. Conversely, cloud providers allow customers to scale resources up AND down when not needed. The most common scenario is a company releasing a new product to the market that will increase the usage of its cloud infrastructure for a finite period of time but will need to scale down when the workload slows down.

New Technology Enablement

One of the most important elements of any web-based solution is understanding how your customers use your product. Cloud providers already include a predefined set of data analytic solutions that provide (with minimum effort) a useful set of insights to validate outcomes and mature your products. Besides data analytics, most cloud providers already have well-established services for AI, Machine Learning, and IoT. For example, AWS features Neptune, a fully-managed graph database service that easily allows you to analyze sources of information with highly-connected data sets (e.g., social media behaviors). Azure Machine Learning, a service that facilitates deploying machine learning models faster, accelerates your time to market. And Cloud IoT Core from GCP is a managed service that connects and ingests data from globally-disperse devices.

True cloud adoption provides benefits like these to different areas within an organization. However, ensuring stakeholders buy-in and executing a company-wide transformation both require solid preparation and planning as well as a robust and phased possible exit strategy.

Upfront Planning is a Must

Given the positive outcomes, migrating to the cloud has become a trend in SMB and enterprise organizations. However, a fraction of those organizations truly leverages the cloud because they start their migration journey without the required preparation and upfront knowledge of the desired transformation. There might be certain solutions that are not suitable for migration or require a specific order and timeline in order to produce the desired ROI and agility.

A successful migration that fully leverages cloud services requires a plan to transform several areas of the business—including engineering, operations, finance, HR, and IT. The strategy should include short, mid- and long-term plans for a gradual but steady evolution.

And given that a successful migration plan requires the involvement of several stakeholders across the organization—as well as orchestrating multiple efforts from different areas at the same time—these efforts provide better outcomes when executed by an experienced team that has already leveraged lessons learned from previous implementations involving companies with circumstances similar to yours.

The effort you expend is well worth it. By migrating to the cloud now, your business can reap the benefits sooner, which will play a key role in helping you deliver value to your customers.

If your company is considering a migration to the cloud, Tiempo Cloud Migration Services can help you with your preparation and your strategy. Our team of experts offers cloud consulting services, and once you complete your migration, our managed services team can ensure your cloud environment continues to function optimally. Feel free to contact me at aalmada@tiempodevelopment.com to learn more.