Author: Jan Keil is VP of Marketing at Infopulse

It has been more than 10 years since Amazon and Microsoft introduced cloud computing to the commercial world, providing on-demand cloud platforms to help companies manage their workloads. When Netflix decided to go all-in on the cloud in 2008, most companies didn’t even know what cloud was. Nowadays, cloud migration is a stepping stone towards digital transformation for any company that wants to grow and stay competitive.

Apart from obvious benefits, such as flexible scalability, reduced costs, faster deployment, and simple disaster recovery, a move to the cloud provides data access from anywhere. This is now one of the top priorities for enterprises if we consider work-from-home policies imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Let’s look closer into 5 signs that indicate your data centers should be moved to the cloud:

  • Costly maintenance of on-premises infrastructure

Not that long ago, on-premises data warehouses storing data of in-house applications and databases were considered the pillars of information security. While giving an organization full control over its assets, on-premises infrastructure turns out to be a financial burden when it comes to its maintenance. Expenses include not just licensing the software and hardware, but also the cost of service, management, maintenance, and staff training. Those indirect expenditures can pile up, leading to significant TCO debts and dragging down the company’s earnings. 

A cloud data center, offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), eliminates such unnecessary spending. By utilizing cloud storage and processing on a pay-as-you-go basis, companies can redirect their talents and financial resources to improve other facets of the business. 

  • Cumbersome legacy systems and services 

Another factor that holds companies back in their quest for digitization and modernization is legacy systems and solutions, which are still widely used by many enterprises. Legacy IT systems, be they computer systems, software, or technology, may date back to the 1970s. Naturally, they were not designed for quick and adaptable changes. Legacy systems strategies of the past can be described as ‘stop and start’, meaning that changes were incorporated in large chunks followed by long periods of unchanging business. However, in a modern world of constant updates and adaptations, this approach is no longer viable.

Even though legacy systems support most data files and formats and are vital to maintaining workflows, it’s a real hurdle when it comes to updating or integrating the system with novel solutions in terms of money, time, and expertise. Infrastructure migration to the cloud is a reasonable option for adding value to your business’s overall performance and efficiency. 

  • Lack of flexibility and scalability

The lack of flexibility and scalability is a logical consequence of the two previous points, which lead to downtimes, low productivity, and an inability to respond to market challenges. Hosting your data center in the cloud allows you to upscale or downscale computing power in no time and without extra efforts depending on the workload or traffic spikes. 

Flexibility is also a growing trend that is here to stay. Not only in terms of business processes, but also regarding workplace flexibility, cloud allows employees to access data from any place with a web-enabled device. Cloud computing also simplifies collaboration through sharing and real-time co-editing of documents and files online. 

  • Extensive cybersecurity vulnerabilities

According to the recent Accenture research featuring government agencies, 85% of executives claimed that sticking to the legacy technology will threaten their agency’s future. The WannaCry ransomware attack that inflicted damage on a handful of companies in 2017 by exploiting the legacy system’s vulnerabilities is just a testimony to that claim. The idea that data centers are more secure just because they are located on-premises gives businesses the illusion of control, which can cost your company a fortune when typical ransomware attack damages reach up to $5 million. 

As opposed to many offices, where a locked door is considered a top security measure for data centers, cloud service providers build multi-layered security defenses with access control and non-stop monitoring of the cloud infrastructure. So, when it comes to cybersecurity, the cloud is the undisputed winner of this battle. 

  • Complicated/decentralized operational management

Decentralized operational management, when workloads are distributed among several machines, can be a real burden to an organization. If you strive to grow and scale your business, a decentralized network will hold you back. This operational model usually causes information silos – sets of data that can’t be shared across departments. 

Cloud management offers centralized administration of the organizational infrastructure. IT management in the cloud includes all business activities from data integration to disaster recovery. In addition to cutting costs on infrastructure maintenance, using the cloud for operational management allows staff to access and work with data from any place and at any time. 

Are you still hesitating about moving your data center to the cloud?

Then let me demonstrate the benefits of cloud scalability and flexibility, cost efficiency, remote collaboration, disaster recovery, faster deployment, automatic updates, and advanced security in numbers:

According to the 2019 MarketsandMarkets report: 

  • The cloud computing market is projected to grow to $623.3 billion by 2023
  • 96% of companies use at least one cloud service
  • 87% of organizations utilize a hybrid strategy, embracing public and private clouds 

In the digital economy of the data-driven world, cloud migration planning is no longer an option, but a strategic decision of the enterprise that chooses growth, productivity, and competitive edge as its key drivers. 

Jan Keil is VP of Marketing at Infopulse and has an extensive expertise in cloud, security and IT compliance, ICOs and blockchain-related projects. With almost 20 years of experience in the IT industry, Jan is also passionate about cloud-based solutions, digital transformation technologies, data governance and protection. Among the topics Jan Keil has already covered are digital twins, blockchain technology application in different industries, bitcoin evolution and ICOs, IoT, cloud security, etc.