Organisations of all shapes and sizes are feeling the undisputable push towards cloud computing and infrastructure migration, with a few ready to leave physical data centres behind. But for those who aren’t ready, the transition could pose a challenge to IT management, and the organisation as a whole. I’m interested in helping those who are struggling to adapt their platforms to the evolution of technology, and I want to explain the current trend of migration we’re facing, as well as how jumping on board can help business leaders achieve cost-optimisation and better management of infrastructure.
The migration has begun…
There are a number of reasons why business leaders choose to migrate to the cloud. Firstly, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that those who choose not to may not be able to offer their customers a seamless experience, and could therefore lose their competitive advantage. The important thing to remember is that your cloud environment can be moulded after migration has commenced: many teams try to re-architect whole IT infrastructures to fit existing cloud services, without realising that this architecture can be modified further down the line. Customers have already started migrating existing workloads to cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) at various scales, by either migrating entire data centres or substantial portions of their existing infrastructure estate. Cloud IaaS helps reduce complexity by cutting out software, servers, disaster recovery and backups, and its popularity is growing as different sized enterprises look to lower their capital expenditure. However, concerns about application reliability, performance and security risks pose challenges to this market.
Along with cloud IaaS, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) comprise the crucial cloud computing service models, and leverage the service-centric approach which IT developers and CIOs should be channelling.
Current cloud trends
There’s no doubting the fact that migration to the cloud is one of the top current IT trends. The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017 shows that companies have migrated their applications, storage and databases to the cloud more than any other area of IT in the past year. The report found that 95% of IT professionals claimed to have migrated some portion of their infrastructure to the cloud, despite 35% of the same group reporting to have move workloads back on premises. This shows that while the cloud is a tantalising option for most, not all workloads are suited to it. The key take-home message from this is the importance of pre-testing, and considering workload performance and security before making the migration step.
Data collected from the Internet of Things (IoT) and personal devices has grown massively, and is steering businesses to the cloud to enable them to use that data efficiently. Additionally, the cloud can support artificial intelligence, which holds numerous opportunities for a variety of organisations.
Who is migrating?
Cloud migration has moved beyond the early pioneers: mainstream, non-tech centric companies, who are often in the mid-market are following suit, often with the assistance of third party consulting services. Large companies normally have IT departments that can support cloud deployments, and their budgets usually ensure successful cloud adoption. Cloud migrations for smaller organisations are often driven by cost benefits and minimisation of internal resources. Left in no man’s land, mid-market companies have historically been reluctant to leap into the cloud, as cloud computing technologies have traditionally been geared towards more complex business needs. Despite this, mid-market companies are now migrating far more than in the past.
Gartner predicts that this year, public cloud infrastructure revenue will increase by 36.8% worldwide, with cloud adoption strategies influencing over 50% of IT outsourcing (ITO) deals through 2020. The public cloud encompasses basic computing, networking and data storage services, from providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google.
Mid-market organisations frequently require cost-optimisation, better management of infrastructure and apps, and staff reduction for their continued success in the digital revolution: needs which are typically associated with outsourcing. Many companies have been outsourcing their IT for years, in what is known as "traditional" IT outsourcing (ITO). These days, however, businesses have a choice. Do things the ‘traditional’ way, or outsource to a cloud service provider. Both routes provide the benefit of minimising in-house infrastructure management, but outsourcing while migrating to the newer cloud model allows businesses to streamline IT operations through IoT, virtualization and automation. ITO is typically manual, while cloud outsourcing optimises resource use for fluid and flexible system operation.
The cloud is much younger than traditional ITO, but it is seen by experts as more of an evolution of outsourcing rather than a brand new tactic, and simply represents another model of sourcing available to businesses.
How can third parties help?
More often than not, organisations realise the benefits of migrating to the cloud, and might even have a plan in place, but aren’t sure how to implement it. This is where consultation services can help, with the evaluation of migration plans for those who are yet to make the step, as well as those organisations who are in the process of migrating but have run aground. Having a third party available can help your business achieve cost-optimisation, better management of infrastructure, and can help you keep pace with technological advances.
Whether you’re in the midst of cloud migration or are on the cusp of taking the leap, nine.ch, based in Switzerland, offers consulting services which are tailored to every company’s requirements, regardless of their size. We understand that an innovative IT culture requires a new set of service features, and we’re ready to help you make the migration.
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