What you should consider before moving to cloud

Elias AtieAzure, ConsultingLeave a Comment

It’s 2022 – the last time you purchased new hardware for the organisation was 7 years ago and things are starting to go end-of-life. You start scoping out your options for hardware renewal by talking to vendors, distributors and trusted IT partners. You continually hear back from them:

  • Why don’t you just move it to cloud?
  • Have you considering hosting it in cloud?
  • Do you really want to refresh physical hardware
  • Do you realise how much cheaper cloud options are?

You’re probably sick of hearing it by now so let’s go through a few things you should consider before you even think about moving all your infrastructure cloud. Before customers go down the journey of moving things to cloud, it is important for them to understand the why and the how of the exercise. So let’s do that…

  • Why are you moving to cloud
    It’s important to understand why you’re either being pushed to move into the cloud or why you are considering moving into the cloud. The very common reason we hear is that it is budget driven. Whether you are comparing the cost of refreshing 10 physical nodes or a single physical node, I urge you to compare the cost of the nodes over a maximum of 5 years. When you consider those costs, make sure to include things such as
    • Licensing
    • Maintenance costs of physical nodes
    • Electricity costs
    • Rack hire costs
    • Vendor support costs


When then comparing with the cost of cloud, make sure you also consider things like:

  • Licensing in cloud, as it can be a little different
  • Hiring of cloud engineers and the increased costs of employees
  • Cost of backups and DR in cloud services


Maybe your environment is ever-expanding or dynamic in nature – this makes the most sense when hosted on a cloud platform as customers can scale up and scale down when necessary whereas hardware costs are generally fixed.

On the other hand, you could have been running the same environment for the past 10 years where most the services are static – in many cases, this makes the most sense to run on-premises where you can determine the cost and are unlikely to have to expand on a whim.
 

  • How you are going to get there
    This question is two fold – how are you going to get there, as in, how will you connect to the cloud environment network-wise, and secondly, how will you transition your environment to the cloud in the first instance.

    During the discovery and scoping phase, it’s crucial to ask yourself these questions as the answers may sometimes stop a project dead in its tracks.

    If an organisation has budget to stand-up a cloud service and projects the operating costs of the environment over the next 7 years, but doesn’t consider the cost in getting these services into the cloud platform, this is the type of issue that can pull the plug on a project on day 1. It’s important to understand transition costs from the get-go, including the setup, and building of a new platform which has good practice governance and compliance controls configured from the get-go.

    For smaller organisations who may not be hosted in data centers, it is important to understand how you will connect to the cloud platform whether you are a staff member or whether you are connecting two hosting environments together. At times, organisations will find that the connectivity required to get into the platform is just not available where they are or proves to be too costly. Obviously, this all depends on the type of service that you are going to host and whether your customers and employees actually need routed access into those environments.
     
  • Security
    Cybersecurity is top of my mind for most organisations at the moment and if isn’t, then it’s only a matter of time before it is. Before considering your move into any type of cloud platform, it is absolutely crucial to understand how you will secure that platform before you’ve even begun the transition.

    Many platforms offer many security features and options that allow organisations to be just as secure, if not more secure than on-premises services, although, organisations should understand how those security features and elements look inside that cloud platform.
     

Make sure you explore all your options whether they are refreshing a whole host of hardware elements or moving your whole organisation into cloud. We’ve found that some customers can completely decommission their hardware and utilise a whole host of SaaS services to host their environment – leaving them with more time and money to add value to their organisation where it counts. On the other hand, sometimes a good consultant will really show that purchasing hardware is the best way to keep the organisation ticking and moving to the cloud may just be not required.

Either way, do your due diligence and if you get stuck, reach out.

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