hile the vast majority of companies (98%) had their own on-premise hardware servers in 2019, many have been switching to the cloud to ensure continuity since the pandemic changed up the workplace.

In the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 90% of IT professionals said that their cloud usage was higher than initially planned. “Some of the increase is a result of the extra capacity needed for current cloud-based applications to meet increased demand as online usage grows.” But there are other reasons as well.

Many have migrated their applications to the cloud to reduce costs. Having to purchase and maintain servers is expensive and uses a lot of electricity. Administrators also need to spend time on hardware and backup maintenance. With pay-as-you-go pricing from cloud services, companies only need to pay for the computing power they use.

Emirates is one of the many enterprises that has benefited from migrating to the cloud. After their massive cloud migration, their head of eCommerce, Mobile, and Commercial Passenger Systems, Erick Meunier had this to say, “[We have] increased the transparency of the organization, which is really important right now because the travel business is changing so rapidly due to the pandemic.”

When a company migrates to the cloud, they don’t have to worry about purchasing more equipment when capacity increases. This allows them to have more scalability when there are data load spikes. They don’t have to hire more IT professionals and pay for more infrastructure.

While there are many benefits of migrating to the cloud, it doesn’t come without its challenges. It’s important to assess if it’s right for your organization. Here are 5 things to consider in your application migration approach:

1. Select Your Cloud Environment

While the majority of businesses are now using the cloud in some capacity, there is still confusion over the different kinds of cloud environments that exist. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one cloud fits all’ environment. Organizations must choose one that fits their goals. The four environments to choose from are:

  • Private cloud: It isn’t shared with anyone else. Only you and your employees have access to this environment. But the user usually must manage it themselves, so the user should know the private system.
  • Public cloud: This is the most common option for smaller organizations because it’s subscription-based and more affordable due to the shared environment.
  • Hybrid cloud: This is a mix of public and private clouds. This means businesses can choose which data they want in each environment.
  • Multi-cloud: This is a mix of different public cloud environments in a private community.

In general, public clouds are easy and cost-effective, while private clouds require more maintenance but provide more security. Hybrid lets you choose which data you want more secured, and with multi-cloud, you join a private group of users.

2. Evaluate & Select a Cloud Service Provider

The top three public cloud providers are Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud. Your goals and specific circumstances should dictate which one to select. Here are some key differences:

  • Microsoft Azure: Great for enterprises because it has Windows support. Works great as a hybrid model because they work well with existing infrastructure. As a Microsoft Azure partner, we use this platform extensively with our clients.
  • AWS: Always growing their capabilities but the cost structure can be difficult to understand. It doesn’t focus on private or hybrid clouds but is the most popular public cloud.
  • Google Cloud: Not as popular but becoming more due to their artificial intelligence and deep learning capabilities. They also offer data analytics.

Organizations that have existing servers in place might benefit more from using a private cloud because they already have the expertise to relocate data. It’s also a great option to protect sensitive information, such as credit card details and social security numbers. Many businesses opt to use the hybrid approach because they can store sensitive info in the private cloud and less critical data in the public cloud. If they don’t want to be locked into one vendor, the multi-cloud strategy is attractive.

3. Application Integrations

Your application migration approach should highly consider your apps’ current integrations and dependencies so you can determine whether you want to group apps into the same migration project. If you can connect applications so they can work together as one, you can increase efficiency by eliminating data silos. Before migrating to the cloud, you can also integrate cloud-based apps with legacy systems. It’s important to assess all dependencies and take inventory of servers.

4. Security Concerns

When migrating apps to the cloud (especially the public cloud), organizations have to rely more on providers’ security offerings rather than internal security and control systems. However, that doesn’t mean that security is entirely dependent on the cloud provider. Configuration is often to blame for cloud security issues and that is the responsibility of the user. Organizations should also have clearly defined policies to help prevent breaches.

5. Cloud Migration Planning

Your application migration approach should include planning, costs, and IT resources. You can leverage an internal IT team or hire outsourced services. With an internal IT team, you have full visibility and control over your migration, however, depending on your circumstance, this option can get extremely costly and your resources may lack the experience or expertise needed to carry out such an important project.

Using outsourced services like Cloudscale can help with app migration to ensure security concerns are addressed and everything is well thought through. A partner will have experience working with many different companies for cloud migrations, so they’ll have an in-depth understanding of best practices, possible pitfalls and hurdles to avoid, and more. Working with such a partner can help you ensure that your cloud migration solution is scalable, modern, and flexible.

Is Cloud Migration the Best Option for You?

Given our current landscape, migrating your applications to the cloud is a logical step to take. Legacy systems are simply more costly, harder to scale, and less agile than cloud storage. But before you begin, consider these 5 things in your application migration approach.

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