With the high cost of hosting your IT infrastructure on premise, it has become a popular move to consider a cloud service option. While on premise technology is nowhere near extinction, the many benefits of being in the cloud are now hard to overlook for most companies. The ability to scale, cost effectiveness, redundancy and security of being in the cloud are some of the benefits to consider. If you come to a decision to take that leap and move to a cloud platform, there are some items that you should consider. While going through features offered by different cloud service providers, you will want to create a migration checklist or plan to evaluate your IT infrastructure in order to choose the service that fits our strategy best.
- Application and Data Evaluation: You need to take a hard look at the applications you are going to be moving to the cloud platform. Some applications are not compatible with a cloud service and might cause issues or not work at all. Also, some data are not advisable to be stored in the public cloud and these include credit card information, client personal information.
- Cost Evaluation: Because of the cloud platform is more cost efficient, most organizations migrate over to reduce IT hardware and staffing expenses related with maintaining an on-premise IT infrastructure. Most applications will have a good rate of return being moved to the cloud especially if it has random levels of demand that increase and decrease. However, older applications that use legacy hardware might be more expensive to run in the cloud. Another hidden expense most organizations ignore is their increased bandwidth and network costs as they will need to expand this for a fast, efficient connection to their cloud account to perform their business operation.
- Cloud Class Evaluation: Based on your company needs, you will have to evaluation what class of cloud service will be appropriate for your applications and data. While public, private and hybrid clouds all have their advantages, you will need to consider which one fits best with your migration strategy. The public cloud provides an ease of use and scalable environment that will be easy to manage but without the secure environment that highly regulated industries require in order to meet requirements. Financial and Healthcare companies could then choose a private cloud option that offers that additional layer of security along with the other benefits but they will now be responsible for administering and monitoring their network. A hybrid cloud can be a great option with the benefits of both a private and public cloud but performance issues may arise such as latency and dependency.
- Governance and Security Evaluation: With an on-premise IT infrastructure, a company will have more enterprise control over their systems but this decreases significantly once they make that leap to a cloud platform. Choosing a cloud partner that offers the close or better policies regarding security and control will ideal. It is also very important to make sure that their certifications regarding disaster recovery, security and breaches are up to date.
- Cloud Migration Plan: After all the necessary evaluations, if you have chosen the cloud provider that will meet your needs, then you will have to define your migration strategy. It is not advisable to move everything all at once but to plan out a gradual process of migrating your data and applications based on how critical or large they are. A well thought of plan will reduce issues and lapses associated with the change.
- After Migration Evaluation: Once you have considered all the above, you will need to decide what will happen to all the on-premise hardware that will be unused after the move to a cloud platform has been accomplished. You can possibly use the equipment for other purposes, sell them or lease them out to other companies.