Cloud computing is all the rage these days, and when done right, moving to the cloud can save your organization a great deal. Not only can the move save your organization money, it can also save you time, and is (should be) hassle-free.
But if done improperly, moving to the cloud could wind up costing you more money, more time, and more of a hassle. Below are 5 topics for consideration when thinking about making a move to the cloud and how to have a good experience.
1: Are the public cloud giants the best option? Well, that all depends on your specific business, and the industry you are in. But, with breaches, downtime, and security/compliance issues, your business may thrive more in a virtual private cloud (VPC) or other cloud solution, rather than a public cloud giant.
Compliance. Certain industries have compliance regulations that they must follow. Included on the list are: CJIS compliance for government agencies, HIPAA compliance for healthcare agencies and PCI DSS compliance for those that collect payments. It is critical in these industries that your organization works with a cloud provider that meets the requirements of your industry. With public cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS, achieving full compliance can be difficult, if not impossible.
Breaches. In today’s world, we hear about breaches nearly every day; government, commercial, healthcare, they’re all being hit. But when you are a cloud provider, servicing and housing millions of user’s data, it’s especially not good when the story is about you. In March 2018, Google discovered a bug in the application program interface (API) for Google+ that affected an estimated 500,000 people. What makes it worse is that Google did not inform the public until October 2018. This is just one example of a breach that affected a public cloud giant, and its users.
Downtime. In September 2018, Microsoft Azure went down due to a “severe weather event, including lighting strikes” according to the company. And as everyone knows, time is money, so for every minute your business is down, it’s losing money. While downtime is incredibly frustrating, it does happen. What matters is that you partner with a provider that you trust to get your business back up and running in an amount of time that you find acceptable. Thoroughly vetting this process before deciding on a provider is highly encouraged.
2: Repatriation. We are seeing a lot of public cloud repatriation these days (or as we lovingly call it, the “Hotel California Effect”), and it looks we are going to continue to see it for some time. If you select a public cloud giant, proceed with caution. Uploading your data is typically free, but if and when you want your data back, they may charge you thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars to do so. Many small and medium-sized businesses are now transitioning out of the public cloud, but what’s surprising is that large companies are doing the same. Companies such as Dropbox, which began using Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2007 and was built in the cloud, moved more than 600 petabytes of data out of the public cloud and switched to a hybrid cloud solution. That move proved to be the right choice for Dropbox as it offered them faster performance, a lower cost, and potentially saved them millions of dollars in future repatriation fees by moving their data out sooner rather than later.
Additionally, the public cloud doesn’t offer your business the same control over resource utilization as a private or virtual private cloud (VPC) does. This is another reason why many companies are making the switch.
3: Will you save money in the cloud? While it is possible to spend more on a cloud solution than you would managing/housing all the data internally (especially with public cloud providers that change their rates frequently), it is typically more cost-effective to make the move. With a predictable cloud provider, your business can benefit from built-in redundancy and disaster recovery solutions. This is a cost-benefit as there is no up-front equipment cost, and you can scale up or back as needed, without having to worry about wasted infrastructure or buying additional hardware. Also, with data in the cloud, it’s possible that your business could see savings in utility costs as there would no longer be a need to run equipment 24/7/365 (which hikes up the bill significantly).
4: Your internal IT team can make your business more profitable. When you move your data to a cloud provider that you can trust, your team can focus their time on things that will help your business be more profitable. A lot of time is spent (for a standard IT operations team) on managing and monitoring backups and disaster recovery (DR) applications. These tasks can be mundane, and extremely time consuming. But if your business outsources those lower-level workloads, the internal IT staff can focus on more pressing and business-critical tasks. And those items could include: creating a new product, improving upon the current product, solving how to deliver the product to clients faster, or how to support the customer more effectively. All of which help make your organization more profitable; but only if your staff has the time to spend on it.
5: The cloud transforms IT from a capital expense (CapEx) to an operating expense (OpEx). When you move your business’s data to the cloud, IT shifts from being considered a CapEx to an OpEx, which means that IT is now considered more like a utility. There is no need to make large investments into equipment and the space to house it- your cloud provider does it all. Furthermore, there is no need to purchase costly software or pay licensing fees. With a predictable provider you will pay a set amount for a specific service(s).
If you’re considering moving all (or some) of your business’s data to the cloud, consider DSM, Florida’s predictable cloud provider. Our cloud offerings are designed for business, healthcare, and government, meeting compliance standards and exceeding industry standards for uptime and recovery. Interested in learning more? Speak with one of our IT experts today.