For those businesses that are still running their servers on-premise, it might be useful to have a re-cap of the challenges that face you on migrating over to the cloud and the advantages that the migration would bring. Presumably, if you’ve not done the migration already, there must be an over-arching issue(s) that is/are preventing the move. Costs? A lack of in-house skills and resources? Security fears? Reticence on behalf of senior management?
For all the downsides to migration, there are definite upsides too, so determining which is ultimately going to win out, takes some thought.
Security in the cloud is probably the most common topic. Just how secure is your data? How do we know that we won’t experience data loss of any kind? That the hosting company won’t be susceptible to attacks?
Whilst there’s no disguising the fact that you are sharing all your company’s sensitive information with a third-party cloud computing service provider, that provider, (assuming you are with a reputable organisation) will have systems and compliances in place to protect your assets and your privacy from harm.
What aspects of security do cloud hosting companies offer:
Support – A security solution that provides constant real-time support, including live monitoring, is a business necessity. Your web assets, whether they’re a suite of applications or a business website, are always on and need that 24/7 support on offer.
Threat management systems – Dedicated and experienced security analysts ensure that security is deployed over your access ports, devices, and applications. A cloud security solution must include matured processes, visibility, tracking, 24/7/365 monitoring, and industry-leading technology to provide a proactive and responsive threat management system via a centralised management hub. To minimise risk, threats like DDoS (denial of service) attacks can be thwarted with active monitoring and traffic disbursement.
Regulatory compliance – Industries such as financial institutions and ecommerce, have more industry and governmental regulations than others. A cloud hosting company will have an infrastructure that supports regulatory compliance and protects consumers’ personal and financial data.
Data security – A robust cloud security solution manages the entire data lifecycle – from creation to end of life. Critical data will be protected with encryption, strong passwords, and multi-factor authentication. Backups will be tested to verify data veracity. Internal and external discipline policies will be defined to limit access to data.
A cloud hosting company will have the resources and expertise that are put into security that far exceed anything that your company will be able to offer.
Migration costs: If you’ve already got your servers on-premise and they run smoothly then why pay extra to migrate to the cloud?
An initial review of the outlay may make the project look like a showstopper, but consider what other aspects of time and cost efficiencies you’re saving on.
- Cost efficiencies – the lack of physical servers will either give you back office space to be used for other purposes or handed back to the landlord meaning lower rent
- Time efficiencies – security checks are completed by the hosting service, you don’t have to do anything, which again free up team time
- Time efficiencies – because it is compliant, and the data is consolidated, there will be time savings for the team, leading to
- Time AND Cost efficiencies – Enhanced collaboration will enable the team to work far more efficiently (and which they’ll really appreciate) .
Projects costs: Alternatively, you could be concerned about project costs; that the migration goes over time and over budget. In this case, a robust project roadmap that defines the objectives and goals as well as the day-to-day planning is a first step to reigning these costs in.
Another aspect is employing a professional company to do the migration for you – although an extra outlay, it will be a cost saving in the long term as they will manage the whole project from end to end, be beholden to a specific timeframe and their expertise will ensure it runs smoothly with as little disruption to you and the day to day running of the business as possible.
Reticence of management team:
A fear of or hesitancy to change is a common obstacle. A project like this is a big undertaking, management concerns about a ‘lack of control’ or ‘vendor lock-in’ (both of which are lazy excuses) combined with some or all of the above might arise.
As time progresses, to not be hosted in the cloud would deem your business ‘old fashioned’ and ‘behind the times’ not that this should be the deciding factor, but a clear understanding relayed to your team, of why your company has decided not to migrate would be required.
The advantages of cloud hosting are clear and to be able to grow your company, become more efficient by using automated systems and therefore serve your customers and your team more effectively should be the management’s priorities.