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The facts and myths around cloud migration

The days of basic data storage and retrieval are gone, as we move into the age of using information to make more-informed business decisions.
Read time 4min 40sec

In a series of two articles, I will outline the benefits of cloud migration, while debunking common myths associated with a move to the cloud.

I think defining cloud migration is a good place to start. So, what is it?

According to Forbes, cloud migration is the process of moving digital operations into the cloud and usually refers to transferring from on-premises data centres, or legacy infrastructures, to the cloud.

Remembering that although approximately 98% of companies are said to be running on-premises hardware servers to maintain IT infrastructure, the arrival of COVID-19 brought drastic changes to that statistic.

There are also different cloud deployment models which dictate how software is made available, as well as who can access data and in what way. Public cloud, for example, makes digital assets available − either free or on a subscription basis − publicly over the Internet. Google, Facebook and LinkedIn are familiar examples.

Private cloud is just that – private and proprietary to one company, where access is only available to authorised users. The final deployment model can include a hybrid cloud approach – which is a mixture of on-premises infrastructure, plus public and private cloud.

Why consider a move to the cloud?

The days of basic data storage and retrieval are behind us – this is not even the age of information, it is the age of using information to make more-informed decisions to grow the business and best support customers.

Distributed cloud models support expanded service availability and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

According to Gartner, cloud computing is firmly established as the new normal for enterprise IT across all industries, and it continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of IT spend. Obviously, the greater the spend, the greater the need for businesses to ensure they have invested wisely. Therefore, cost optimisation is crucial.

Gartner also notes the presence of in-house cloud skills will be a key indicator of enterprise agility, including the ability to distribute cloud services where customers want to consume them, on-premises and on the edge.

Last year, the research house predicted four factors would impact cloud adoption, namely:

  • Cost optimisation will drive cloud adoption.
  • Multicloud will reduce vendor lock-in.
  • Insufficient cloud IaaS skills will delay migrations.
  • Distributed cloud will support expanded service availability.

Cost optimisation is confirmed a major driver of drive cloud adoption through 2024, as nearly all legacy applications are expected to be migrated to a public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Moreover, the research firm adds that cloud providers will continue to strengthen their native optimisation capabilities to help organisations select the most cost-effective architecture that can deliver the required performance.

Distributed cloud models support expanded service availability and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Gartner also notes that multi-cloud strategies will reduce vendor dependency for two-thirds of businesses through to 2024, with the inhibitors to cloud migration – such as insufficient cloud/IaaS skills – delaying projects by two years or more.

Don’t let fiction hold you back

Businesses today rely on full process control, visibility into those processes and automation tools that empower employees with immediate access to information, when and where they need it.

To achieve these goals, many organisations are implementing content services platforms equipped with intelligent automation capabilities, because they are flexible and agile to grow with a business, regardless of emerging trends – such as supporting a remote workforce.

As software applications multiply across the organisation and solutions become more complex and widespread, correspondingly an increased strain is put on IT staff tasked with supporting and expanding each platform. We call this growth of software applications, IT sprawl, and the strain it puts on IT departments is precisely why the future of content services is in the cloud.

Investing in cloud-delivered applications takes immense strain off in-house staff and puts the responsibility of software maintenance and upgrades into the hands of experts who know the platform best. That’s the real value.

Moreover, from a business growth perspective, adopting cloud-based solutions brings limitless opportunities and is quick to deploy.

In a 2020 report, Gartner highlighted the positive aspects of cloud adoption:

Cost reduction: Cloud vendors offer pay-as-you-go pricing, meaning you only pay for the computing power used, thus negating capital outlay on expensive server equipment and ongoing maintenance costs – the vendor is responsible for the latter.

Scalability: Having workloads in the cloud, you can quickly respond to peak demands and lower capacity when it’s necessary. All of this is achieved automatically.

Security: Reliable cloud providers regularly upgrade their services following the latest industry compliance standards to such a degree that Gartner predicts that up to 99% of cloud security failures through 2025 will be the customer’s fault.

Reliability: Cloud migration is also a reliable step for reducing downtime and lowering data loss risk in the future. Most cloud vendor service-level agreements guarantee 99% uptime and they bear both the cost, and the responsibility, for backup and disaster recovery.

Availability: Cloud computing facilitates access to applications from anywhere in the world at any time.

Despite these positives there will always be the ‘naysayers’ and I will address some of the myths around cloud adoption in my next article.

Monique Williams

Southern Africa regional sales manager for Hyland Software.

Monique Williams is the South Africa Country Manager for Hyland Software, where she is responsible for sales on Hyland's Content Services platform.

She has in excess of 20 years' experience in the information technology sector and holds an Honours Degree in Marketing Management and a Bachelor of Social Science in General Psychology, Industrial and Organisational Psychology, from the University of Cape Town.

Williams has worked for Hyland Software for over a decade and in that time, has been partner manager for UK and Scandinavia, and business development manager in South Africa. Her duties in her current role include generating revenue for Hyland Software by establishing and leading the execution of a plan to market, as well as managing existing and newly recruited partners in Southern Africa. Since being appointed to this role, she has increased sales revenue and has achieved year-on-year growth of a minimum of 30%.

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