Migrating an organization’s infrastructure to the cloud has multiple benefits, including greater flexibility and capacity, cost-efficiency, and access to an ever-expanding, vendor-agnostic application ecosystem. Certainly, the trend is toward cloud migration: IDC predicts that spending on IT infrastructure products for deployment in cloud environments will grow more than 15% year over year in 2017.
But migrating is never simple, especially if you have a large investment in traditional on-premises data infrastructure. As you consider how to migrate your traditional infrastructure management tools to an open cloud infrastructure and consider cloud vendors to execute the transition, ask yourself these eight questions to better understand what to look out for, what to avoid, how to identify risks, and how to mitigate them.
1. Why should our organization migrate to the cloud? The trends and technologies driving digital transformation today—such as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence, and Big Data—are also behind the mass migration to cloud computing. This is because these technologies require huge amounts of data and processing power.
Trying to keep up with this growing demand for capacity would be prohibitively expensive using traditional infrastructure. By contrast, a cloud-based infrastructure is highly flexible and essentially infinitely scalable. If you think public cloud computing is in your organization’s future but you’re not ready to fully migrate, consider on-premises, Cloud at Customer, deployment or private cloud systems that are cloud-ready when you are.
2. What if I have data that must remain on-premises for regulatory compliance? Look for cloud deployment models that allow you to move to a modern cloud operational model without necessarily moving to a public cloud. Your organization can turn to private cloud systems or public cloud behind your firewall with Cloud at Customer to get the same set of capabilities as public cloud deployments. Glintt, a leading multinational IT and consulting company, leverages Oracle Cloud at Customer to make sensitive healthcare data securely available for its customers while complying with data location requirements—and while speeding up time-to-market, boosting performance, and reducing TCO by 18%.
3. How can I assure compatibility between on-premise and cloud deployments? Best-in-class, single-vendor engineered systems are architected, integrated, tested, and optimized to work together alongside their cloud counterparts. Because these systems provide an environment identical to the cloud platform, migration is as seamless as possible. Portuguese media company NOS met its data-consolidation challenges with Oracle Exadata, while using Oracle Cloud at Customer to seamlessly integrate external and internal clouds.
“Oracle Exadata’s high functionality, speed, and remote operation capability resolve our challenges with data consolidation. Our Oracle Databases support all of our most critical applications like CRM, ERP, and middleware. Oracle Cloud Machine is a good solution to glue external and internal clouds,” says Henrique Manuel Zacarias, CIO/ IT Director at NOS.
4. Can private cloud handle Big Data from the Internet of Things (IoT)? You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the smart data insights and rapid time to value you need from Big Data if you use private cloud. Argentina’s Ministerio de Seguridad, for instance, uses Oracle Engineered Systems solutions to help protect the city of Buenos Aires: The system aggregates data including the location of every security resource in the city, 911 calls, and even social media posts, in real time. Just one example of the system’s benefits is that emergency calls are addressed within six seconds, and emergency resources are delivered within three minutes.
5. How will cost structure changes affect our financials? Moving from a capital-intense build-it-yourself model to the pay-as-you-go model of cloud computing requires a shift in approach as well. Because of cloud computing’s flexibility and scalability, costs more closely match usage and can be more predictable and controllable.
6. Does your existing software work with the cloud? Are you running Linux, Microsoft Windows, or Oracle Solaris applications? Your cloud solution should support consolidation for a wide range of mixed workloads. CaixaBI, the leading investment bank in Portugal, consolidates Oracle databases and applications running on Windows and Linux operating systems on Oracle Private Cloud Appliance. As a result, CaixaBI reduced licensing costs by 20% and delivered new banking solutions faster.
7. How can I optimize my apps for the cloud? While the ability to port your current applications to the cloud without modification can streamline the migration process and reduce costs, you should consider rewriting them to take advantage of cloud’s elasticity.
8. Will my data be secure? There was a time when security was a concern when migrating to the cloud, but now security issues have become yet another in favor. Securing on-premise infrastructure means constantly monitoring for breaches, updating software and applying patches. Proper cloud deployment can help you reduce exposure points, lock down data and harden infrastructure. For example, SuiteBox, an IT services startup based in New Zealand, was able to cut its product time-to-market in half while meeting the data security needs of its customers in the financial services industry.
Migrating to the cloud not only saves on infrastructure acquisition and maintenance, it can also unlock opportunities and capabilities by bridging information silos, giving greater access to more people untethered by geography, and leveraging the full value of your data’s organization with massive computing power. The key to a successful cloud migration is planning. As you formulate a strategy, consider not only your ultimate goal, but what type of infrastructure will get you there quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.