By: Sheena Prema- Cloud Proposition Design Manager at Six Degrees
With cloud adoption on the rise, more organisations than ever are realising the benefits of transitioning to the cloud. In this article we’ll take you through five of the key benefits that come with cloud migration – along with the different ways you can get there.
Cloud computing is seeing an inexorable rise, as organisations throughout the UK – and indeed the world – continue to transition more and more of their services online. Gartner recently forecast worldwide public cloud end-user spending to grow 18% to total $304.9 billion in 2021, as cloud migration trends accelerated as a result of hybrid working brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
But why exactly are organisations migrating away from on-premises infrastructures to the cloud in their thousands? In this article we’ll take you through five benefits of cloud migration, followed by an overview of the methods organisations can use to migrate to the cloud in a manner that is best for them.
Five Benefits of Cloud Migration
There are a great many benefits of cloud migration, and where an organisation focuses its cloud ROI ambitions will dictate how it prioritises meeting these benefits. However, there are some cloud migration benefits that are pretty universal. Here are five of the key cloud migration benefits organisations seek to realise:
- Elasticity and scalability. With cloud, organisations only pay for the cloud resources that they use. This means that as organisations’ requirements evolve, they can instantly alter resource requirements on demand. As most cloud providers are on global platforms, organisations can enhance performance by running workloads closer to where users or customers are. This on-demand business model benefits future IT infrastructure and resource allocation, and also enables organisations to deploy applications quickly by adopting new technological capabilities, enabling organisations to take services to market faster, increasing revenue growth.
- Cost optimisation. Migrating to the cloud can be more cost-effective than the continued maintenance and management of a legacy on-premises infrastructure. Moreover, when evaluating an organisation’s current workloads, a cloud readiness assessment can help to evaluate workloads that are redundant or which can be merged, ensuring more optimised costs in the future.
- Backup, recovery and failover. Cloud migration enables organisations to improve their disaster recovery and business continuity provisions by offering built-in, one-click backup and recovery capabilities. Rather than relying on secondary data centres connected through links that are often left redundant until called into use, cloud environments enable the deployment of sophisticated disaster recovery tools that can recover data and functionality in minutes – not hours or days.
- Remote collaboration and mobility. There’s no getting around it – hybrid working is here to stay. With hybrid working comes more complex user requirements and the need to provide ubiquitous experiences while ensuring performance, stability and security at all times. Cloud migration makes this significantly more straightforward, as the latest cloud-native applications can be deployed and managed using the most appropriate delivery methods.
- Enhanced cyber security and compliance. Cloud environments elevate organisations’ cyber security and compliance postures by meeting data protection, security and statutory requirements and storing valuable data and information in a central location. The major hyperscale cloud providers like Microsoft deliver robust cyber security throughout their public cloud platforms, and by partnering with a secure cloud provider like Six Degrees organisations can enhance this further through industry-leading consultancy and managed security services.
The Six Rs of Cloud Migration
The cloud is the direction of travel for a great many organisations, all of which are looking to reap the benefits of a successful cloud migration. However, there are a number of routes to the cloud, all of which bring their own benefits depending on the organisation’s specific circumstances.
Many people refer to the six Rs of cloud migration: retain, replace, rebuild, rehost, replatform, and refactor. Let’s take a look at these one at a time:
- Retain. Before an organisation chooses to take a scorched earth approach to its on-premises estate, it’s important to remember that it can always choose to do nothing – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If your workloads are not suitable for the cloud, this could be the best approach for you.
- Replace. Perhaps an organisation has reached the end of the line with an application, and it has identified a commercial off the shelf (COTS) product that will do the same job. There are certainly advantages to the replace approach: there is less administrative overhead involved in deploying and managing a COTS product; COTS products often come with enhanced mobility, flexibility and features; and COTS products often come regulatory compliance-ready for organisations operating in compliance-heavy verticals like public sector and finance.
- Rebuild. The rebuild approach is a relatively drastic one: the organisation creates an entirely new solution from scratch on a new platform. The rebuild approach enables an organisation to modernise its workloads achieving full cloud benefits, deploy the new workload from the ground up to be in-line with requirements and SLAs, and gives users the ability to create workflows themselves, which allows the organisation to focus on what it does best, unburdening work from non-essential stakeholders.
- Rehost. Commonly known as ‘lift and shift’, the rehost approach uses migration tools to replicate a workload in a cloud environment without redesign. The rehost approach enables organisations to achieve cost savings by moving away from physical infrastructure, move from a CAPEX to an OPEX model, and achieve some limited cloud benefits.
- Replatform. Replatform is sometimes known colloquially as ‘tinker, lift and shift’. And it does exactly that – a minimal rework of a workload to work in a cloud environment, while leaving the core architecture unchanged. Replatforming your workload will deliver infrastructure and software cost savings, and – like rehosting – will enable you to transition to an OPEX model.
- Refactor. The refactor approach involves reworking cloud components to leverage cloud capabilities, re-writing and decoupling to take a workload in its entirety and break it down into smaller pieces. Each piece is then entirely modular and easier to evolve and support, while posing less risk of breaking the whole workload.
The Cloud Explained
Deciding the best route cloud migration for your organisation to take requires careful consideration of a wide variety of factors: the workload, the market, your objectives, and the future you see for your organisation’s evolution. That’s a lot to consider. Get it right, however, and you’ll reap benefits that will set your organisation in good stead to thrive in 2021 and beyond.
About the Author
Sheena Prema is Cloud Proposition Design Manager at Six Degrees, a leading secure cloud-led managed service provider that works as a collaborative technology partner to organisations making a digital transition. For more information, visit https://www.6dg.co.uk/