The benefits of cloud migration are well-documented. Despite that, many business leaders remain anxious about moving their legacy systems away from on-premise hardware and into the cloud.
That apprehension is reasonable. Companies that invest a significant amount of capital in their on-premise hardware may be reluctant to commit more funds to a similar deployment despite the obvious advantages of the cloud.
Other organizations may worry that what works in an on-premise situation may function differently in a cloud environment — and they might be right.
But letting uncertainty limit proactive decision-making ultimately puts any business at a competitive disadvantage. If you have questions, a qualified and reputable cloud provider can help guide you toward the answers needed to plan out a smooth migration.
Financial concerns aren’t the only ones preventing companies from fully embracing the cloud. Because regulators have been publicly cracking down on data privacy violations, modern business leaders have a strong incentive to keep sensitive data in-house and away from the cloud.
Questions about data security — particularly in how it’s stored, how and when it’s accessed, how long it’s kept, and whether it’s encrypted — are all real and legitimate concerns. Regulatory and security concerns may prompt leaders to maintain a less aggressive stance when it comes to technological adoption in general and a distrust of the cloud in particular.
But just because your data is no longer limited to your physical workplace doesn’t mean it’s more vulnerable — when it comes to assessing security, it’s the means of access that matters. Comparing data security in the cloud versus on-premise is a matter of comparing your cloud provider and your IT department.
Cloud providers tend to have a more secure IT environment than the organizations they support.
These companies face strict standards, requiring them to either build secure, independently audited data centers or face hefty fines. For example, Amazon Web Services, one of the largest public cloud providers, uses more than 1,800 security controls to keep issues from slipping through the cracks.
Simply put, the technological advances in security and functionality that have been made over the past decade are significant. In light of this, the cloud can be an efficient, scalable, secure, and cost-effective alternative to on-premise servers.
Considerations to Make Before Committing to the Cloud
When moving to the cloud, choose a provider that takes the time to understand your business, keeps up with evolving security practices, and offers customized and scalable solutions for your needs. Use these three questions to find a provider that checks each of those boxes:
1. How is the migration process structured?
The ease of cloud migration largely depends on how much planning occurs ahead of time. Your provider should be able to help you come up with a plan that details specifically how you’ll be transferring data.
Will data and applications need to be compressed before the move, or will virtual servers need to be configured to handle the input and output generated by a large number of applications?
The plan should also include security requirements during the migration. Not only will you want your data moved to a secure final destination, but you’ll also need to ensure any temporary storage locations meet your security standards.
2. How is integration supported?
When you move to a cloud-based infrastructure, virtually every core business process will be affected. Oftentimes, those processes involve outside partners and third-party vendors whose services and support are critical to your business.
Your cloud service provider should help you map out existing systems integrations and show how they will continue to interact in the cloud. Furthermore, this plan should also include any changes or interruptions that are likely to occur during the migration.
3. Will data be locked in?
Vendor lock-in can occur when a customer relies on a product or service that is unique in the marketplace or is incompatible with competitor offerings. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to transfer data from one cloud provider to another to minimize reliance on a single entity.
A good cloud provider will have experience transferring large applications and corresponding data sets, significantly reducing the amount of capital and time you’ll need to invest.
Don’t let your questions about the cloud go unanswered or keep you tied to your legacy systems.
Cloud computing provides leaders with secure access to their business applications on any platform — it’s also able to recover data after a catastrophic event. Likewise, the cloud’s online nature provides enhanced worker mobility, increased storage capabilities, and easy collaboration.
If you’re still utilizing on-premise IT systems, you risk falling behind your competitors. Don’t let that happen. Talk to a cloud service provider and start your migration now.
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