The cloud has evolved from an oft-misunderstood aspect of data storage to the backbone of the mobile web. Migrating to the cloud can help your finance company achieve scalability, take advantage of greater flexibility, and improve cost efficiency. Many organizations are realizing the benefits of cloud migration.
However, migrating to the cloud is a complex process the demands detailed planning and careful consideration. Crafting a solid cloud migration plan early in the process will prepare you for success.
Here, we’ll cover important cloud migration strategies to help you understand some of the benefits and challenges of migrating to the cloud.
Benefits of The Cloud
While migrating to the cloud can be a complex process, the benefits to your finance company are well worth the work. The cloud is incredibly agile and can help your company achieve scalability.
Instead of investing in extraneous hardware to handle isolated upticks in traffic, you can achieve your goals with a smaller overall environment that can be scaled up during peak use.
Another key benefit of a well-executed cloud migration plan is cost efficiency. You won’t need to invest in costly hardware, including the costs associated with housing, maintaining, and updating your hardware. What’s more, you won’t need to invest as many resources into a full IT staff. You’ll save time, money, space, and resources for investment into other areas of your business.
Making Room For Improvement
Making the move to the cloud is actually a benefit in and of itself. That’s because moving to the cloud allows your firm to modernize its processes. For example, if you move from one home to another if forces you to do a little house cleaning. You get rid of the things you no longer need, you acquire new items to replace old or broken ones, and you place them into a new, clean environment.
The same process occurs when you migrate to the cloud—your cloud migration plan will help you eliminate the outdated IT systems you may currently be using and replace them with up-to-date systems that will help your finance company meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Create A Plan
There are many challenges associated with migrating to the cloud—unforeseen costs, holes in security, software issues, interoperability, and even system crashes can occur. A well-planned cloud migration approach will help your finance company avoid these challenges and successfully migrate to the cloud.
Preparing to migrate is the most important step in the process. The more pre-migration work you do the smoother the transition. Creating a cloud migration plan not only gives you a roadmap for success, it also helps you prepare for difficult challenges.
Your strategy should include an expense plan that factors in unexpected costs, potential impacts to your organization, and potential impacts to your staff. What’s more, your strategy should be flexible enough to handle unforeseen changes and challenges.
Your planning strategy should include input from all areas of your firm—management, staff, and IT support to achieve the best possible results. Your migration plan should include:
- Cost evaluation
- Cloud compatibility
- Cloud environment choices
- Consultation with cloud migration specialists
Evaluate The Cost
While cloud migration provides cost efficiency by reducing hardware and IT staffing costs, there are aspects of cloud computing that may not provide cost savings.
Migrating applications that rely on legacy enterprise hardware can be cost prohibitive and could eat into a cost savings for your company.
There are a number of costs and cost-saving benefits associated with cloud migration. Does your company already have a large investment in servers and other hardware? If so, it may not be as cost effective to migrate to the cloud.
For example, if your company has invested tens of thousands of dollars into costly servers, budgeted for housing those servers, and hired staff to maintain and update them, your cloud migration may not feasibly recuperate those costs.
Will It Work In The Cloud
Before you begin migrating your applications to the cloud you need to determine if the cloud environment is right for you. If you operate a relatively new company that utilizes an up-to-date, modern operating system this shouldn’t be an issue.
For older applications, migrating to the cloud might not make sense. If you operate a legacy operating system, testing your applications on the cloud before you begin to migrate is a good way to learn if your applications are compatible with cloud operation.
You also need to consider the applications portability. Does your application have an Active Directory dependency? Does your application require access to an on-site SQL server database? If so, these dependencies may complicate your cloud migration approach.
A necessary step in your cloud migration plan is to determine the functionality of your applications in the cloud environment. Testing before migration is the smart way to determine functionality before the complex migration process begins.
Public, Private, or Hybrid Cloud
One of the key benefits of migrating to the cloud is the flexibility and agility it provides to your company. That’s because the cloud isn’t an all or nothing proposition. You have the freedom to move aspects of your organization to the cloud while retaining some data processing and storage in-house. What’s more, there are public, private, and hybrid options you can choose from to best meet the needs of your firm.
Public cloud options, like those provided by Google, Microsoft, or Amazon (AWS), give users virtually unlimited scalability and the reliability of established titans of tech.
That’s because all hardware, software, and other infrastructure is operated by the public cloud provider.
What’s more, all maintenance and updates are carried out by the service provider, meaning you get to take advantage of the most modern technology without the associated upgrade costs.
The public cloud offers cost efficiency for small firms in other ways as well. The pay for usage model allows for greater financial flexibility for finance companies. This is an attractive payment structure for enterprises that experience extremes in traffic and don’t want to pay for peak services when they aren’t being used.
However, the public cloud has limitations and drawbacks. Control of the environment rests with the service provider, meaning there are limits to your management capabilities. Large, public clouds are utilized by many other enterprises, meaning there are multiple tenants using the same servers and bandwidth.
Highly regulated services, like financial companies, may not want to migrate their entire database and infrastructure to the public cloud for this reason.
Private cloud options offer greater control for your organization. Whereas public clouds utilize shared hardware to service a wide range of clients, private clouds utilize dedicated hardware and software for each client. The private cloud can be located on-site and managed by your IT staff or it can be hosted by a third-party provider.
Unlike the public cloud, security, updates, monitoring, and other tech associated responsibilities and costs of the private cloud remain with your organization.
However, this makes it easier to customize the cloud to meet the specific needs of your company. The private cloud offers greater flexibility, increased security, and more control.
Due to increased cloud environment control, private cloud migration may be more beneficial for financial companies. Along with the increased control comes increased demands. You may need to hire additional staff and prioritize resources for private cloud management.
The hybrid cloud model provides the “best of both worlds” for your finance company. A hybrid cloud environment combines elements of the private cloud with the public cloud to give you the benefits of both models.
The hybrid cloud allows you to take advantage of the cost benefits and scalability of the public cloud while still maintaining control over sensitive data in the private cloud. This is a great option for financial companies.
You can house and process sensitive, financial data in the controlled and secure private cloud environment. But you can still take advantage of the public cloud for your low-security needs like email and other high volume computing.
Consult With A Cloud Migration Expert
No cloud migration plan is complete without advice from a cloud migration expert. Cloud migration is a complex process that is fraught with complications and unforeseen challenges. A cloud migration expert can help you prepare to migrate your computing to the cloud.
An expert will help you determine the most effective cloud migration approach for your finance company. They can help you understand the cost benefits, make compatibility determinations, and help you understand the best environment for your data storage and processing.
Even if you employ an IT staff, a dedicated cloud migration specialist will help you prepare for the complex migration process.
Plan For Success
Migrating to the cloud can be an incredible benefit for your company. It provides agility and flexibility, allows for scalability, and can even provide cost-saving benefits. However, migrating to the cloud can be a complex process with many unforeseen challenges. Ensure you have a great cloud migration plan before you begin.