During the past twenty years, so much has changed in the IT office. Two decades ago, we were still using dial-up modems. Now, the entire world wide web is at our fingertips, and our world of IT is more efficient but complicated too.
A few significant IT trends have also developed during this time. One of the most important is the cloud that has also become a common buzzword in business. Like many buzzwords, there is a lot of excitement and confusion surrounding the term.
So, what exactly is the cloud? It is an IT environment that abstracts, pools, and shares scalable resources across a network. Clouds are usually created to enable cloud computing, which is the delivery of on-demand computing services—from applications to storage and processing power. During the past decade, cloud computing has matured on several fronts. We can observe more companies shifting strategies as the pressure to move to cloud services increases.
According to a report by Research and Markets, the global cloud computing market is expected to grow to $832.1 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 17.5 percent. A finding by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) states that the spending on the public cloud in eight major APAC economies—Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—is growing at a quicker rate than in the United States and Western Europe. APAC businesses are expected to spend 10 percent of their IT budgets on the cloud by 2023. In another report by BCG, the findings highlighted that Singapore has a highly penetrated public cloud market in the APAC region and is expected to grow at 20 percent CAGR to $3.5 billion by 2023. Additionally, the cloud computing market in Malaysia is expected to be worth $3.7 billion in 2024, growing at a compounded rate of 13 percent from 2020. In a Deloitte’s survey of more than 500 IT leaders and executives, most mentioned that the top drivers for cloud migration are security, data modernization, and cost.
Now seems like a good time to switch to the cloud if you have been considering it. However, before you decide to migrate your IT infrastructure to the cloud, you will need to build a solid business case. Let’s take a look at some examples. In 2008, the American media service Netflix had a problem: its back-end client architecture was failing them badly. A fatal incident happened when the company pushed a piece of firmware to the disk array and it corrupted Netflix’s database. It took three days for the company to recover. It was then that the management team decided to move to the cloud as it provides a low-cost, flexible way to ensure reliable IT resources compared to the company’s existing infrastructure.
Another example is featured in a case study from AWS regarding Swire Coca-Cola, a division of the Hong Kong- and London-based diversified conglomerate.
It faced a challenge when its IT legacy architecture could not be scaled and adjusted quickly in response to rapid changes in the market. As Swire Coca-Cola required scalability and flexibility, it made the decision to close its three on-premises data centers and migrated all its business systems to the cloud.
From these examples, you should consider two important factors when building your business case.
First, you need to understand what your existing infrastructure actually costs. Some of these include the costs of running data centers, leased lines, servers, and details of specifications like CPUs, cores and RAM, plus the cost of storage. You’ll also need to calculate the cost of applications. You can dump them, rehost in the cloud, rebuild for the cloud, or buy a Software as a Service package. Each option will have different cost implications. Additionally, you will need to factor in the personnel costs of maintaining your existing infrastructure costs and the potential downsides, which include the risk of being locked into one vendor for your tech infrastructure. In most cases, infrastructure savings can be the most significant part of a business case in terms of cost savings.
Second, you need to decide which cloud system is best for your organization. There are mainly three options: on-premises cloud, hosted cloud, and hybrid cloud.
This choice depends on the needs and goals of your company as determined in your business case. Each system has its benefits, and is uniquely implemented and deployed to ensure the best fit for every organization.
By adopting this system, you are hosting a cloud environment internally. You need to have your own data center to host your cloud server. In terms of security, you will have complete control, and at the same time you can configure your servers accordingly. You take full responsibility for costs, such as hardware, software licensing, and maintenance. You also need to have an internal team of IT experts who can manage and secure your company’s data. Your system administrator needs to ensure that security patches and updates are installed on time. To avoid any lapses that put your system at risk, consider an all-in-one alert management solution so that you can keep your system up and running.
For this option, you will choose a cloud provider that offers cloud servers hosted in their data centers. You will have an external team of experts that will manage the platform for you. You will be able to save money by only paying for the software and not the infrastructure that runs these systems. Even though this is a managed service, it doesn’t mean the service provider is handling the security for you. You need to ensure that you’re up to date on all security patches.You can consider deploying a comprehensive UEM solution to control, access, secure, and patch all your enterprise endpoints and assets from a central console.
This will be a mix between on-premises and hosted cloud. On top of your existing servers in-house, you can use a hosted cloud software to manage your data and disperse your information among other locations. This is recommended for organizations looking into adding applications or mobility to their current on-premises system. It is recommended that you deploy an all-in-one performance monitoring solution to monitor your public and private cloud, and accomplish log management.
Cloud migration is great for fast-growing start-ups looking to scale up quickly. For established organizations, it will depend on your business strategy and also whether changing your existing infrastructure makes financial sense. Moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud won’t be a simple decision to make, so ensure that you consider these variables before rushing to the cloud.