At first glance, the cloud can seem like an inhospitable place, full of mystery costs, downtime and insecurity. But that’s quickly changing as tech decision makers are looking to the cloud for increased speed, innovation and flexibility with app development and deployment and performance and cost savings across the stack.
As with any other major change to infrastructure, caution is wise, but some of the top barriers to cloud migration are less challenges and more opportunities and needn’t stop you from taking the plunge.
Research has shown that as many as 30 percent of senior executives perceive cloud systems to be less secure. After all, its very name implies opacity, but when compared with legacy systems, their worry would be misplaced. By 2020 it’s predicted that cloud IaaS workloads will have 60 percent fewer security incidents than traditional data centres, and the scope for person-in-the-loop errors, such as the accidental introduction of malware or even falling victim to phishing attacks, is greatly diminished.
Careful selection of your cloud partner can also help you get ahead of compliance and data sovereignty issues, which could save you time and money in the future.
When discussing cloud adoption, a talking point which often comes up is one of cost as a significant barrier. A recent survey found that 38 percent of businesses thought the high cost of planning and deployment was a significant impediment when considering a move to cloud services.
There’s a common misconception that the cloud involves a vast outlay with minor return, but with careful planning you could get more for your investment. In the short to medium term, you could accomplish more without having to install new applications or immerse yourself in potentially costly reconfigurations. And, as mentioned, utilising new and ever improving systems could save you money when dealing with data compliance issues, such as the upcoming introduction of the GDPR.
On-premise infrastructure is familiar and tangible, leading to a sense of dependability that may seem distant with cloud systems. Indeed, there is always a risk of commodity hardware failing unexpectedly, but, as has always been the case, the biggest causes of downtime are bugs in application code – which can rear their heads in both legacy and cloud systems.
Though, to be philosophical, occasional setbacks should be seen as inevitable in any walk of life, and planned for, so that when they do arise, you have flexible actions-on in place to attenuate the fallout from downtime or data loss.
Although you and your IT team may be a little hesitant to embrace change, moving to a reliable cloud infrastructure with the SLA to guarantee uptime should be reason enough to make the jump to the cloud.
The cloud can seem daunting and impenetrable without complicated retraining and systemic change and many organisations eschew the cloud because they fear they don’t have the necessary skills in-house.
IT departments may also feel removed from their systems, with diminished authority. Like end-users with far more responsibility on their collective plate, but an accomplished IT team will dial-in the skills required to get on top of their new charge quickly, and time and money spent on training seldom goes to waste.
In tech terms, things rarely go smoothly when old meets new and the idea of overhauling your data-centre may seem monolithic as a result, but with carefully selected strategy you should prosper rather than suffer.
Hybrid solutions will be invaluable immediately, allowing you to move parts of your infrastructure to the cloud – perhaps to try out the efficiencies it offers before plunging fully into a cloud-only set-up while keeping your critical infrastructure on-premise.
Your relationship with vendors will also make the move from on-premise to the cloud a much smoother process. Choosing vendors that can help you move from on-premise, through to hybrid and then into the cloud, while always understanding your objectives can make a immeasurable difference to reassure it’s right for your organisation.