By Alexey Zhukovsky,
Delivery Director, Intetics Inc.
The article was originally published on ITProPortal.com
The vast benefits of cloud computing are well-known to most management professionals and C-suite executives. Compared to the cost of designing, deploying, and maintaining on-premises network hardware, organizations both large and small have much more to gain by leveraging a comprehensive cloud solution.
That doesn’t mean that everyone is onboard the cloud computing bandwagon. In fact, as of the beginning of 2018, 37% of workloads still use on-premises systems. Logic Monitor expects this to drop to 27% by 2020.
But the value drivers of cloud computing are real and present clear benefits to almost every organization operating in today’s hyper-connected, digital-first economy. Overall IT agility and digital transformation remain the most important benefits for businesses migrating to public cloud solutions.
Despite these facts, many IT teams still face roadblocks on their way to cloud-based agility and performance. However, these are not intractable problems, and the right approach to migration can make the rewards of adopting best-in-class cloud technology available to any organization.
While IT teams still face roadblocks on their way to cloud-based agility and performance, the benefits of flexible infrastructure, improved cost-effectiveness, and enhanced security are well worth it.
Migrating to Amazon Web Services Boosts Productivity and Performance
As a concept, cloud computing is easy to understand. Instead of using expensive in-house hardware and software to perform business processes, cloud-based organizations use third-party tools hosted on web servers. Cloud service providers take care of running and maintaining these tools, and organizations simply use them from any Internet-connected device they wish.
Economies of scale make this a profitable move for cloud service customers. Cloud migration is the process of moving in-house legacy systems to cloud web servers. For most businesses and enterprises, it’s the most delicate part of the cloud computing equation.
There are multiple reputable cloud service providers on the market. Discussing the specific value of cloud migration requires identifying the right provider first – and for the vast majority of organizations, this discussion is dominated by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
According to an April 2018 report released by the Synergy Research Group, AWS has enjoyed a 33% market share for twelve quarters – even as the cloud computing market nearly tripled in size. Amazon’s cloud infrastructure contributes to the success of brands like Netflix, Samsung, Airbnb, and even Nokia.
For example, Netflix made the move to AWS early on, before its transition from a DVD-by-mail service to a market-dominating streaming platform. The moment that spurred Netflix management to make the migration was a database corruption incident that paralyzed the company for three days – Netflix simply could not meet peak demand and had no way of scaling its relational database infrastructure in a cost-effective way.
Netflix’s migration to AWS took eight years to fully complete – it shut down its last data center in January 2016. There are eight times more Netflix users now than there were at the beginning, yet the company was able to seamlessly deliver content to millions of subscribers all over the world the entire time.
Benefits of AWS Cloud Computing and Storage
Hosting applications, databases, and even legacy systems on AWS offers important productivity benefits. Everyone, from small business owners to huge, complex institutions like the U.S. Federal government, relies on AWS cloud computing to deliver a simple, scalable, and reliable way to manage data and processes efficiently.
These benefits include:
• Accessibility. Cloud-hosted applications and processes are immediately accessible to any authorized user connected to the Internet. Customers can easily implement APIs for both new architectures and legacy workloads alike. AWS Route53 facilitates user requests within the cloud environment, making end-user management easy to maintain.
• Flexibility. On-demand computing and networking infrastructure allows IT teams to generate entire environments in mere minutes. Technicians can choose between operating systems, programming languages, application platforms, and more thanks to next-generation technologies like AWS CloudFormation.
• Cost-Effectiveness. The ability to only pay for data storage and processing that organizations actually use is a significant value generator compared to maintaining expensive on-premises equipment. Migrating existing databases to the cloud is straightforward with Amazon’s Relational Database Service.
• Reliability and Security. Fears about the security of AWS cloud computing are unsubstantiated. Cloud computing is notably more secure than equivalent on-premises solutions, and AWS features state-of-the-art security and business continuity infrastructure. AWS security technologies include AWS IAM and CloudTrail.
• Scalability. AWS-specific technologies like Amazon EC2 make it easy for AWS clients to scale their services up or down according to their needs in real-time. Businesses can migrate any number of IT assets to AWS – from a single business process to their entire IT infrastructure.
Challenges Organizations Face During Cloud Migration
Cloud migration allows businesses to undergo significant transformations – from fragmented organizations with isolated, disparate processes to future-oriented productivity powerhouses.
But for many IT professionals and executive decision-makers, data classification issues and data security concerns can present significant obstacles to migration.
For any established organization, successfully migrating to AWS requires a great deal of bandwidth. Shutting down for a week to migrate an entire enterprise’s collected systems of data to the cloud is simply not feasible.
Not only that, but data needs to be categorized and classified before migration. Without proper data governance, organizations undergoing migration can’t demonstrate that they are treating sensitive data in a manner compliant with HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR, or other regulations.
These are all problems with clear-cut solutions. Businesses that neglect to plan effectively for their AWS migration expose themselves to unnecessary risks that they could easily mitigate. Hiring a reputable cloud migration services company during the initial planning phase is a key factor to migration success.
Take the Scenic Path to Comprehensive Cloud Migration
Engaged leadership and frequent communication with a reputable remote software provider are critical to success during the AWS migration process. From overall migration preparation to specific application migration services, the assistance of an expert migration consultant generates value throughout every phase of migration.
Collaboration with remote software providers drives innovation and ensures optimal operation of migrated IT assets. By harnessing the knowledge and expertise of qualified engineers and migration specialists, organizations enjoy the ability to focus on strategic value-generating initiatives while outsourcing the most challenging parts of the migration process.
Cloud migrations are delicate processes that can strain corporate infrastructure and business practices. Every migration presents unique challenges that stem from the demands of the business environment in question – having world-class transition specialists on-hand to make the move a success is an investment that pays its dividends in the long run.