Many major companies have migrated their data to cloud services. According to Flexera, businesses ran 50% of all data and workflows in the public cloud in 2021. Why is this trend gaining momentum? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of moving to cloud and discuss ways to do so with minimal risks and expenses.
Data storage and processing methods
Your data can be stored either locally (on your hard drives or servers) or on storage devices that are accessed online (cloud or web services). Unlike local hardware, storing data in virtual environments enables you to use additional software and computing power. These kinds of data and corporate software don’t require you to be in the office—you can work with them from anywhere in the world if you have access to the Internet.
Why move to the cloud?
Storing data in the cloud provides with numerous advantages and more opportunities. Let’s take a look at the benefits of moving to the cloud.
Cost savings – When used properly, cloud technology enables businesses to save up to 50% of costs and storage. You don’t need to buy, host, or maintain servers. The services provided by hosting companies cost less than renting a local server. However, keep in mind that the effect of these cost savings won’t be immediate. To enjoy the best result, we recommend consulting experienced cloud architects and planning staff training from the get-go.
Flexibility – Cloud services let you experiment and implement new software, approaches, and technology relatively easily. If you use local servers to integrate something new, you’ll need to install new software and maybe even upgrade your hardware. And if your experiment fails, you’ll need to decide what to do with the equipment—use it for some other purposes in your company, lease it out, or sell it. It’s a far from ideal scenario.
Cloud technology lets you access the required hardware and software within minutes and use it for as long as you like.
Remote work – If your data is stored in the cloud, your team can work from anywhere in the world. That has several advantages for you:
- You can hire people globally, not just in your city. Perhaps your project requires someone with a rare specialty. Hire them online!
- Save costs: if your team works remotely, you don’t have to spend money on renting an office, equipment, maintenance, and utility bills.
- Your business will be working under any circumstances: the number of remote workers has grown significantly in recent years. In particular, many people were restricted in their ability to move due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working online is the optimal solution to this problem.
Safety – Data gets encrypted when stored in the cloud. That means it’s safer than other hosting solutions. Another advantage of cloud technology is that these services have regular updates and the software is more modern than that of hosting companies.
Scalability – Manufacturers aren’t always able to assess the scale of their business from the beginning. Goals may change, requiring you to make appropriate changes to data storage and processing models.
Cloud services help you adapt storage and processing to the needs of your project and select the most suitable software and payment model. As your business grows, you can start using new services and tools, i.e., data analysis or CRM.
Fail-safety – If you’re serious about your business, the reliability and sustainability of your project will be essential to you. No one is guaranteed to avoid contingencies, such as malfunctions of computers or servers storing your data. Unless you have made a backup, your project, at the very least, will be put on hold for a while and you’ll suffer losses as a result.
If you keep this backup on a physical storage device, you’ll constantly need to pay for the resource. Cloud services enable you to cut costs and rent data storage space only when you use it. As soon as you put your business in order, you can opt out of the service.
Convenient analytics – Many cloud services provide access to modern analytical tools and the opportunity to quickly process and share data. In addition, you don’t need to worry about updating software, as you would if you stored data on physical devices.
Eco-friendliness – With cloud services, you consume less energy since you don’t use physical storage devices. Energy savings translate to cost savings.
What to consider during migration into cloud?
As with any innovation, migrating to the cloud requires certain efforts. If you decide to start using cloud services, keep in mind that this transition will take some time for you and your team. You’ll need to reconfigure the workflow and let your employees get used to new methods and interfaces.
New data architecture – Once you’ve successfully and safely migrated your data to the cloud, this may no longer look the way you’re used to. You may need to accustom yourself to a new interface, storage methodology, and the way you access the data. Migrating to the cloud may require some preparations on your part, such as sorting and classifying your data to make sure it matches the structure of the cloud service.
You may have less control over the data – If you share the data with a third party, you’ll inevitably lose some degree of control over it. Now the data must be accessed in the cloud rather than on a server.
Technical support may not always respond promptly – Should your employee or you require assistance from your cloud provider, there’s a possibility that you won’t get an answer immediately. The speed and level of tech support depend on the service provider, your preferred package, or even different time zones. That may affect your business.
Risk of data loss – That applies to both the existing and new data and can happen for the following reasons:
- Poor compatibility of certain software and the resulting problems with data import
- Migrating your data without backing it up
How to migrate to the cloud as comfortably as possible
No matter how prepared you are, you won’t be able to migrate to the cloud within a day—it takes a while and requires you to reorganize your business processes. Try working out a step-by-step migration plan. Perhaps you’ll opt for a hybrid model and leave some data on the local servers. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and you’ll need to find the model that suits your project best.
We recommend asking yourself these questions before migrating to the cloud:
- What tasks will I be able to solve using the cloud? Evaluate your needs and those of your clients. Think about the specific issues that you’ll be able to solve by migrating to the cloud. Find out how compatible the cloud resources are with your hardware and software. That will help you better prepare your data and prevent possible losses.
- What exactly will I store in the cloud? Perhaps you don’t have to send all your data at once to the cloud provider. You can leave important processes and data that don’t take up large space on your computers or servers, e.g., emails and some applications. Also, we don’t recommend sharing critical documents and data with third parties. It’s safer to keep them on your storage devices.
- What can I do with my budget? The budget dictates the choice of service and migration planning. If you launched your project recently, it might be more viable to start by migrating only a small part of your data. The flexibility of cloud technology enables you to change your subscription terms at any time.
- How much time can I spend on migration? If you’re short on time, we recommend migrating only the all-important data first to make sure you don’t lose or mangle anything in a hurry. Don’t forget that your team needs time to get used to the new system and architecture as well. Introduce changes gradually to avoid compromising your team’s effectiveness.
- Can I handle the migration on my own, or do I need to get help from professionals? If your team doesn’t have an experienced DevOps engineer who can ensure cloud integration and set up the network, you’d better look for a qualified specialist first.
When used properly, cloud services are a convenient modern tool that will help you save costs, use less equipment, provide your team with access to data from anywhere in the world, and receive accurate analytical reports. Cloud technology is flexible: it lets you scale your business easily and offers more options for recovering lost data and enhancing security.