What do you think when you consider cloud migrations? For the majority of businesses, while they recognise the benefits, moving to the cloud from an on-premise system is often a rather daunting thought. Your systems are no longer physically on-site which may make you feel uncomfortable.
Yes, it’s true your data will be hosted by a third party. But that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all control or it’s any less secure. These are two of the biggest misconceptions of the cloud.
If anything, the cloud is arguably more secure than an on-prem system because:
- You will always be on the latest software versions
- The company hosting your data will employ high-quality security experts to monitor your critical information round-the-clock
- And more!
This is what I discuss with my colleagues Steve and Rebecca in episode seven of ColumbusCast - what’s stopping businesses from moving to the cloud and how they can overcome these feelings.
Why are businesses hesitant to transition to the cloud?
While most businesses tend to know and understand the benefits of the cloud, they can still be apprehensive about the transition. Particularly if it’s involving an ERP system.
- Data sovereignty
- Data governance and access
- Data security
- The fear that if your data is in the cloud, you can’t ‘get it back’
- The feeling of losing control - as you can’t see your data and it’s no longer on your premises in a server room, it can be difficult to feel comfortable
However, well-known cloud providers - such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon - employ thousands of high-quality security experts to watch your data round-the-clock. You’ll also benefit from automatic functional and technical updates.
That means in most cases, the cloud can be even more secure than the on-prem alternative.
What’s driving businesses to the cloud?
But despite their apprehensions, businesses still consider cloud transitions due to:
- Applications and systems reaching end of life
- The need to achieve evergreen business systems and apps
- The need to access information at any time or place - it’s easier to do this if your apps are cloud-based rather than on-prem
Where do you start with a cloud transition?
At Columbus, we’d always start with the design. We typically have a half-day workshop with our customers to discuss:
- Customer requirements
- Customer’s existing infrastructure and networking
- Customer expectations in terms of recovery point objectives in the case of a disaster
We’d also examine the tools that are easily accessible to everybody - for example, the Azure Total Cost of Ownership calculator. If we’re migrating a database, we might use the Azure SQL Calculator to ensure we’ve sized things and estimated costs correctly. Some other considerations include:
- Which model we’re choosing - pay-as-you-go or a reserved instance
- Opportunities to further streamline the workload
Once all of that has been set up, we’d run pilot tests to ensure everything is working as it should. It’s a continuous improvement process - we’ll keep reviewing the test at every stage and continuously implement improvements.
As customers become more comfortable with the cloud and the project progress, we can slowly migrate more and more elements across. It’s important to remember it may not necessarily be an ERP system that we’re migrating over. It could be a standalone SQL box.
It’s all about a slow and steady migration; it doesn’t have to be one ‘big bang’ ERP system migration.
Slow and steady wins the race
In this episode, you’ll also hear Rebecca, Steve and I talk about different cloud migration strategies, such as lift-and-shift and how businesses can choose the right one for their needs.
I also mention some of the main challenges we’ve experienced in the past when it comes to cloud migrations. For example, testing is something businesses sometimes try to avoid doing. However, it’s still a brand new system even if it may look like your old one. There will be new functionalities and they need to be tested.
Want to hear even more tips and tricks? Whether you’re a techie or not, this episode is jampacked with advice about cloud transitions. Scroll up to listen to the episode via Podbean or search for ‘ColumbusCast’ in your podcast app.
Our ultimate guide to cloud transitions
If you want to learn even more about cloud transitions, download our step-by-step guide. We cover the steps to take when you’re migrating from legacy to the cloud.