The pandemic was a real turning point for many organizations in the shift toward more remote work and cloud-based applications. In fact, 40% of businesses pushed up their cloud adoption plans as a direct result of the pandemic, according to a MariaDB survey.
But what drove this shift?
The short answer: The need for businesses to be more agile, grow at scale, and keep up with the high demand for technology adaptability.
Investments in the cloud will total $332.3 billion this year, according to Gartner, which is a 23.1% jump over 2020. In the survey, Gartner said, “Emerging technologies such as containerization, virtualization, and edge computing are becoming more mainstream and driving additional cloud spending.”
What are the consistent benefits of public cloud environments?
The primary impact of moving your compute, analytics, storage, and networking out of a physical, in-house data center and moving them to a public cloud option, such as Microsoft Azure, is shifting the burden of management and upkeep from the individual user or company to the cloud provider. This means that:
- Ongoing maintenance shifts from in-house IT teams to the cloud provider. Problems are addressed quickly, vulnerabilities are identified and fixed, and ongoing security testing helps address security concerns.
- The data is secured, as backups are regularly performed and data is always stored in multiple locations so that it’s accessible.
- Patches are installed regularly for any vulnerabilities found, which means your data is protected from cyberattacks.
The cloud serves as the glue between technologies that IT leaders want to use as each business faces more complex challenges and identifies applications to help solve some of these issues. Running applications through the cloud significantly reduces the day-to-day maintenance of on-site servers, and a public cloud option better serves a business by opening the options for management of an organization’s technology infrastructure based on the needs of the business to a managed services provider (MSP).
What are the benefits of cloud migration?
Whether it’s a matter of scalability, enhancing cybersecurity protections, or advancing business initiatives, migrating to more cloud-based infrastructure opens businesses up to be more scalable, efficient, and secure environments. This is one of the main benefits of implementing a cloud strategy: the shift from reactive to proactive.
What should my business consider before migrating to the cloud?
Whether your business is migrating from an on-site data center or from a private cloud provider, the shift to a public cloud service comes with some considerations that business leaders should discuss:
Growth at scale. Working in the cloud and adding capabilities can be as simple as increasing your computing capabilities instead of adding more hardware to your internal data center or investing in more private cloud storage (and potentially opening yourself up to more fees from your MSP). For public cloud users, there is no limit on the amount of growth that your business requires, which creates more opportunities in the long run.
Business value. Shifting to the public cloud with a managed services agreement can mean that your IT capabilities grow with the addition of additional service representatives, which means that ongoing support requests can be handled externally while you’re able to focus on more strategic action. And that’s not the only piece of the puzzle. Thinking about your business with a long-term lens into how you want to see growth in the next three, five, or 10+ years means you can build on the technology investments you made instead of replacing data center hardware or having to shell out significant money to grow capacity in a private cloud. This elevates the value that technology brings to your business.
Recovery and response. No one wants to be the victim of a breach or cyberattack, but the reality isn’t “if” your business will be, but “when.” Preparedness is now the name of the game, and the ability to recover quickly with little to no downtime is essential for businesses – especially in the fresh produce or agriculture sector. A public cloud helps protect your data – and providers like Microsoft Azure not only allow your data to be easily recovered, but provide not one, but TWO options for backup if a data center goes down. This means you can be sure the data is there in the event of an attack or natural disaster.
Data autonomy. This consideration is aimed at businesses who work with a private cloud provider and MSP to have their data stored and applications maintained. The issue here? The data isn’t readily available to you when you want to make a shift or change MSPs – and this can cost you a lot in the long run. With a public cloud option like Microsoft Azure, your data is your own and you can make the change from one MSP to another when you decide to. With that, this migration to Azure is the last one you’ll ever make.
No-lock contracts. When shifting to a public cloud option through an MSP, there’s a lot of work that goes into ensuring the new environment is an ideal fit for the business. Most MSPs, as a result, lock clients into a long-term contract aimed at recouping some of the costs associated. But it’s important to consider the alternative: a no-lock contract agreement. In this kind of agreement, when you migrate to a public cloud option, you’re better able to manage your data. And when your service provider no longer meets your expectations, you have the freedom to move to another one. With a long-term contract in place, you wouldn’t be able to make a move that’s best for your business without paying a large fee.
What else do I need to know?
ZAG provides its Microsoft Azure clients with an entirely new environment that considers the specific needs of the organization, the applications being implemented, and the goals of the organization. Essentially, the benefit is an environment that addresses all the client’s needs with the support capabilities to match.
The first step toward shifting toward public cloud-based infrastructure for your business is having a discussion on whether this makes sense for your business. Consider the level of support your environment needs, the kinds of applications that need to be shifted to the cloud, and the overall value that can be gained.
But you don’t need to have this conversation alone! ZAG can help you determine whether this option is the right fit for your organization.