Migrating to the Cloud is not a new concept and by no means a declining one. Migrating to the Cloud means different things for different people, whether they are in Finance, business users or in the hands on IT Technical teams. However, the drivers to migration are fundamentally the same but will hold different levels of value to the different teams or business areas.
Let’s look at natural evolution of IT as one of the main drivers, which is more important to the IT Technical teams than it would be to the Business Finance Teams. IT Teams have the desire to remain focused and up to date and speed with the latest and greatest trends, techniques and processes to streamline and improve their everyday tasks and duties which in turn serves the ever more demanding business needs. Migrating IT infrastructure to a cloud IaaS is a natural step for businesses that are looking to outsource IT functions and processes. Finance teams just want to ensure that IT is working in the most cost effective and secure manner and if that means evolving the way in which IT is managed and operated so that the business can focus on core activities then so be it.
Naturally evolving the way in which a business strategically positions itself in the market can be its differentiator to competition.
Operational expenditure verses Capital expenditure is another of the main drivers for migration. Finance and Businesses are enjoying the idea of moving away from the expensive and cumbersome process of buying and managing hardware to the cleaner and predictable operating expense model, which for many, means a monthly manageable cost which allows Finance teams to improve the accuracy of budgeting and forecasting. Gone are the days when you need to worry about hardware deprecation and the expense of employing highly skilled engineers or consultants to ensure the hardware and software is kept up to date and managed. Many successful companies are moving to the outsource model both in terms of employee resource and services which in turn delivers a further migration driver of cost savings. Companies pass on the overhead and pain of hardware replacement to the cloud providers, allowing them to plan for the future more successfully and efficiency.
The integrated approach to service and system designs is another prime driver. Successful companies are excelling at the use of the cloud operating systems, which provide the common platform for application integration of services, data, security, identity and management. This integration approach brings with it benefits of the evolving middleware software that enables easier management of software stacks with flexibility to deliver changes more frequently and faster. At Tech Data, we see the integrated approach as being one of the main drivers and as such developed TALOS, a tool which enables businesses to automate configuration changes and application deployments across both commercial and open source middleware platforms. The TALOS tool helps companies move towards improving performance, efficiency and lower costs by automating deployment of the full software development lifecycle.
In the past Businesses of all sizes have had challenges and difficulties over the management of hardware and infrastructure to cope with peak demands. For example, retailers have several peaks and troughs throughout the financial year, something that has always been an expensive challenge for those managing their own hardware, therefore migrating to the cloud and the drive for scalability is becoming increasingly important as the markets become more competitive. The flexibility and agile nature of the cloud services means businesses no longer need to overcome such challenges resulting in both time and cost savings.
The speed of which companies and their IT departments need to react to changes in the market, is for some, the most important driver in moving into a Cloud IaaS. Historically, the time taken to purchase, install, configure services and systems has always been recorded in weeks or months to fruition, now a days, we are looking at cloud service providers spinning up services in a matter of hours instead, hence the belief that speed is one of the prime drivers. Align the speed driver with flexibility of the cloud providers to make requested changes faster then it’s a successful combination to businesses that want and need to react quickly to market and trend changes.
There are obviously more drivers to cloud migration out there being discussed and used by businesses, but one of the most popular and sometimes controversial drivers is that of Security. Cloud Providers have been claiming for a while now that the Cloud is more secure than on premise infrastructure, the main basis to this claim is that Cloud providers have more skilled and specialised resources available to them with a greater attention to Security and combined with economies of scale, makes this statement more believable for businesses and companies to digest. Tech Data and our Business Partners are seeing increased demands in specialised security skills around the Cloud which supports the statement around its importance.
Low risk migration is a key driver to be considered, Tech Data believe there are 3 important things to consider in accelerating low risk migration to the cloud. The first being improved cost savings and easier management, the second, the ability to deploy frequently and faster without costly configuration errors. Finally, the need to have better visibility into your infrastructure. The Tech Data team and business partners can help businesses successfully succeed in low risk migration and deliver all three aforementioned drivers.
As I stated at the start of this blog, the reasons and drivers for any one business or company to migrate to the cloud is very different to another’s, however, once a decision to move has been made then the same rules will apply around ensuring that the move is planned thoroughly, costs identified are as accurately as is possible and then once migrated, the service needs to be monitored to ensure the return on investment is delivered.