Looking Up To Cloud In The Year 2020: Year Of Business Transformation

Cloud migration has myriad benefits and can prove to be a panacea for businesses that are gearing up for a new normal of distributed work flows and ‘work from home’.

Cloud Computing

The unprecedented challenges that COVID – 19 has given birth to has led organizations across the world to look up to the cloud for some relief or guidance on the way forward. No, they are not praying. Instead, they are looking to leverage cloud technology which, with its promise of scalability, mobility and security seem like the perfect panacea for many of their ailments. From accelerating modern businesses to the rapid response to Covid 19 which enabled millions of people to work remotely, cloud technology is helping transform organisations across the world. At no other point in time has there ever been such a need for the instant availability of IT resources enabled by the cloud than during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Focus and increased reliance on cloud

While the benefits of migrating to cloud have been well recognised by businesses and IT leaders across the world, the current pandemic is acting as a catalyst for its widespread adoption. According to a recently published report by Korean investment bank, Mirae Asset, the pandemic is clearly serving to accelerate cloud adoption in Asia. The report estimated that China’s public cloud spending would grow 58% in 2020 to $19 billion, as the rapid shift to online business platforms makes demand for cloud-based technology stronger than ever before. Further, according to a new study by LogicMonitor's Cloud 2025, 87% of global IT decision makers agree that COVID-19 pandemic will push organizations to accelerate cloud migrations. However, in their rush to migrate to cloud and leverage its myriad benefits, organisations must not lose sight of their overall operational and risk strategy. By focusing on a few key aspects of cloud migration, organisations can optimally leverage the benefits of cloud technology and avoid the pitfalls.

  • A planned migration

Many companies, in their haste to migrate to the cloud, simply adopt a ‘lift and shift’ approach. While this is certainly a cheaper and quicker alternative, for many organisations, it might not be the best route. Thus, in order to determine the best approach for cloud migration, companies must undertake a comprehensive strategic planning exercise. Any journey, if not planned judiciously, can be a difficult one. Companies that fail to create a cloud migration plan, face the risk of not reaching the cloud on time and running over-budget. Given the speed and scale of what’s involved, migrations can inevitably ‘go wrong’ in several places. In terms of cloud migration challenges, migrating from a monolithic legacy system to a highly distributed system can be an exhaustive undertaking — like demolishing a building brick by brick. Therefore, it is important that companies create a holistic plan for cloud migration focusing on key aspects like purpose, current infrastructure and risks.

  • Data migration

Moving around data and abandoning traditions will inevitably raise concerns about security and compliance. Cloud networking / infrastructure often seems simple at first. However, developers need to build guardrails for usage while also finding and closing any vulnerabilities hackers could exploit. When data is being moved from on premise servers to a cloud, its vulnerability to cyberattacks and leakages increase.  Therefore, extreme care needs to be taken and adequate security measures need to be implemented to reduce the probability of data leakage or breach. It is also essential that data migration is done under the supervision of experts. Another aspect that organisations must consider during data migration is network or service outage. Downtime is considered to be one of the most crucial and commonly faced issues during cloud migration. Thus, it is important that organisations arrange for adequate data back up or allocate alternate resources to run the applications till the migration is complete.

  • Bringing together the right skills
  • Partnerships: Forging relevant partnerships and seeking guidance can help organisations migrate successfully to the cloud and leverage cloud effectively. Partnerships could be forged for overall planning and strategising, for IT implementation or regulatory compliance. For example, cloud migration might expose an organisation to regulatory risks as data moves from their premises to servers housed in different geographies. Organisations migrating to cloud need to be cognisant of the various regulatory requirements that might be applicable to them and accordingly ensure compliance.
  • Human Resource: At its core, cloud migration involves moving away from monolithic applications and operational silos to a highly distributed and dynamic environment. This means that the old approaches to managing IT systems may no longer be productive in a cloud environment. Existing IT will need to upskill or organisations can also hire new talent that can manage the cloud platforms as well as the microservices, APIs, SaaS systems, etc. Another thing to understand is that for many organisations technology is not necessarily their core expertise. Thus, it becomes imperative that they partner with the relevant service providers for a smooth migration to cloud.

Cloud migration has myriad benefits and can prove to be a panacea for businesses that are gearing up for a new normal of distributed work flows and ‘work from home.’ However, in order to effectively leverage the benefits of cloud, companies need to be aware of the challenges of implementing a cloud strategy and accordingly chalk out a migration plan. 


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