Over the past few years, cloud technology has rapidly become the standard for most organizations. If your IT consultants have been telling you that it’s time to make the switch, you may be wondering exactly why you should.
The reality is that there any many benefits (and a few risks) associated with migrating to the cloud. We’ve put together this list to help you make an informed decision about whether the cloud is the right destination for our organization.
Benefits of Transitioning to the Cloud
Many businesses are limited by the capacity of their existing infrastructure. You may experience peak times when your IT experts struggle to keep systems running smoothly, and other slow times when you feel as if you are too heavily invested in IT systems that are not being utilized at their full capacity.
The cloud is the ideal answer because it offers all the capacity you need, when you need it, on a pay-as-you-go basis. This on-demand capacity means that you won’t waste money on infrastructure during slow times, and you’ll have all the capacity you need when business picks up.
That’s a huge change from the way business used to be done, which saw companies buying new (and expensive!) servers to accommodate increased traffic and then watching them sit idle when traffic was down.
With the cloud, you get a truly scalable option that allows you to ramp up or down computing power, storage, and bandwidth at any time and to only pay for what you use.
- Cost Savings
As you can imagine, that scalability leads to the second benefit of moving to the cloud – reduced costs. Particularly in the long term, organizations can realize significant savings by moving to the cloud.
The primary reason for that is that they don’t need to make upfront investments in on-premise hardware. Traditional servers are a substantial investment and need to be replaced every 3-5 years. There is also the added cost of powering and monitoring internal equipment. Just think about the energy required to cool the server room in your company, particularly during peak summer months. You also don’t have to pay someone to maintain your hardware.
With the cloud, you pay a fixed monthly cost for what you use and not a penny more.
- Employee Collaboration
The pandemic has taught us the true value of being able to collaborate with colleagues in other places. The cloud is one of the most effective technologies companies can leverage for collaboration.
Since documents and files can be accessed simultaneously via the internet, employees can work together from varied locations and still update in real-time, increasing efficiency. As more companies focus on the benefits of collaboration, the cloud is making it easier for employees to work together and produce solutions more quickly.
- Increased Flexibility
Speaking of post-pandemic lessons, flexibility is a tremendous benefit that many of the employees you want to attract and retain are seeking – and even demanding. Thanks to cloud technology, your employees can work remotely and travel to whatever location they want and be just as connected. That’s a huge benefit for folks who don’t want to sit in an office 9-5.
The cloud allows your team to work from anywhere (and at any time) provided they have a device and an internet connection. That freedom is a tremendous perk for employees and a tremendous hiring advantage for the companies that can offer it.
There is a misconception that the cloud isn’t as secure as on-site servers. In reality, migrating to the cloud actually increases security for most organizations.
Why? Because cloud providers must ensure that they maintain the highest security standards for the clients they serve – and they have teams in place to manage that. Cybersecurity is a top priority for reputable cloud providers, and they embrace the latest digital safeguards as well as some high-tech physical measures.
Just look at the data centers used by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google – which are among the top cloud providers in the world. They are essentially fortresses protected by the most intelligent and savvy cybersecurity experts. These organizations’ vast resources allow them to leverage that IT expertise to continually improve security measures to keep customers’ data safe.
- Disaster Recovery
Our sixth benefit of migrating to the cloud is the ease of disaster recovery. Since cloud technology allows businesses unparalleled ability to back their data, experts are unanimous in saying that cloud backups are safer than internal backups.
Cloud-based backups secure data in high-tech data centers run by some of the largest organizations in the world. These entities employ teams of IT experts 24/7 solely to keep your data secure. That security prevents data loss.
That means that regardless of whether you are the victim of a cyberattack, a natural disaster, or even corrupt software, a cloud-based backup will be ready to assist in your disaster recovery efforts and get you back on your feet much more quickly.
Once you weigh all the above factors, you might be asking why every organization has not yet migrated to the cloud? There are some additional considerations and some risks that can be associated with a move. Here are three of the most commonly cited for not making the jump.
Challenges of Transitioning to the Cloud
Business today moves at an incredible pace – and that pace is only getting faster. Many businesses simply cannot afford to lose any speed, and that can be an issue when it comes to the cloud.
Some organizations utilize software or databases that demand an exceptional amount of horsepower that far exceeds the average. In those cases, the cloud might test your employees’ patience or harm their ability to function at the highest levels.
If you are concerned about speed, work with a cloud provider who will allow you to test its capabilities with your software before you begin migration. We highly advocate the concept of “try it before you buy it” for those organizations that need additional support. However, the vast majority of businesses running typical applications won’t realize a loss of speed.
- Legal Restrictions
Before they migrate to the cloud, organizations must understand whether or not they are subject to any legal restrictions that might prevent them from doing so. For example, some government contractors, might not be permitted by law to store data in the cloud.
Be aware that legal restrictions are different from compliance regulations, such as PHIPA and PCI. Most cloud service providers have received certifications to handle confidential information of this type and will meet (and in many cases, exceed) compliance and privacy standards.
Unfortunately, some industries and organizations are simply prohibited from migrating to the cloud, no matter how much security and compliance protection it offers. That’s why it’s essential to understand your organization’s legal requirements before you commit to a move.
- Lack of Knowledge
The final and critical challenge of moving to the cloud is whether your organization has the expertise to manage a successful migration. it doesn’t matter how wonderful the benefits are if your migration is not executed successfully.
While your IT team might have decades of experience with your physical hardware, they might be out of their element when it comes to cloud technology. Or you may simply lack an internal IT team. In either case, you’ll have to bring in the proper experts so that your cloud migration isn’t compromised.
There are many different ways in which you can acquire the right expertise. That might entail training your existing IT team, enlarging or even creating your IT team, or hiring an outside MSP. No matter which direction you opt for, make certain that you have a knowledgeable, experienced team that will give you what you need to succeed in the cloud.
On-Site vs. In The Cloud
Ultimately, your decision should entail what is best for your organization’s unique needs. If it doesn’t make sense for your business to migrate, don’t feel as if you need to. Your team should weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for your organization.
Still, have questions? we’re here to help! Reach out to us with any questions. We can give you valuable information such as different migration strategies, and tips on how to begin the migration process.