Time To Move To The Cloud
Ancient cultures all over the world relied on the phases of the moon and the stars in the night sky to time the planting of seeds and harvesting of crops. We have all heard and used the analogy of “when the moon and stars align” to refer to the best timing to start a new event or activity.
As a cloud company, we often get asked about the best time to move to the cloud. Some customers are looking for a specific event or trigger to make the move. Others wait for explicit direction from management. Unfortunately, that event doesn’t always happen, or even exist. Meanwhile, the competition gets better every day, costs keep going up, and customers expect more. So, when is the best time to move to the cloud? When your business needs it.
Embarking on a cloud strategy is not a trivial thing. With cloud, you will change your technology, how you operate, and how you purchase and manage IT. You will eventually deliver IT differently. You will do this to make IT delivery faster, more efficient, and less expensive. But, like any other activity that requires time and effort, you need focus to be successful.
All that said, asking the cloud timing question slightly differently will yield a more direct answer. What are the most common business or IT events that companies time cloud deployment around? Here are some real-world examples:
Hardware or software end of life (EOL), maintenance expiration, or platform upgrade. For many companies that own or lease their hardware and software, the end of life, end of supported life, maintenance renewal, or upgrade requirement of those products makes for a logical time to move to the cloud. Why? Because in most situations, you will need to do a migration to a new platform. This is often a planned event that includes downtime. Migrating to the cloud instead provides an excellent (planned) opportunity to make IT changes.
Data center migration or a new data center. At some point, growing companies will need to address the question of their data center real estate/footprint. Storage arrays, servers and other IT hardware needs room to grow – and appropriate power, cooling, and floorspace. Making a physical move to a bigger data center to accommodate a growing capacity or performance requirement requires significant effort, cost, or both. This is another logical time to pursue a new cloud strategy.
Your business is going global. Similar to above, but worth calling out separately, your business is growing in a new geography and you need to support that business through IT, locally. At this point, you may be considering a cloud service provider which already has an established location, security and compliance competency, and other localized expertise. Finding, purchasing/leasing, staffing, and deploying IT in a new data center is an extremely effort intensive event, and another perfect time to move to the cloud.
Disaster recovery. There is almost no better time to move to the cloud than when you need to deploy a disaster recovery (DR) solution. DR is effectively a second production environment. It protects your existing On-Premises environment with a second copy of applications and data. You get the benefit of protecting your business, while also having the ability to test/trial cloud in a controlled way. And, it makes sense to locate the second protection site in a different geographic location. Providers (like iland) can make this very easy for you. Doing it yourself? Not so much.
Confidence in IT management including security and compliance. Cloud isn’t just about application hosting, DR, or business expansion. With cloud often comes a team of experts dedicated to securing your environment and ensuring regulatory compliance. These are skills that are costly to find and maintain. The economies of scale make moving to the cloud for increased security or compliance needs, a smart move.
iland has been helping customers move to the cloud for over a decade. Our Secure Cloud portfolio includes application hosting, data protection including Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Backup as a Service (BaaS), and Object Storage for long term retention of data. Already in 2019, iland has picked up a few awards – including Veeam and Zerto Partner of the Year, CRN Magazine 5-Star Rating, and our fourth time (in a row) as “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for DRaaS.
For those customers that don’t want to wait for that event to move to the cloud (as above), we have developed a complete planning, migration, and support portfolio. The goal is simple – give customers the assistance they need to move to the cloud with confidence, no matter the timing.
Sponsored by iLand
By Steve Prentice
Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.