By Praveen Kumar, GM, Asia Pacific, ASG Technologies
The cloud has evolved into a core component of IT platforms for modern businesses.
IDC (International Data Corp.) estimates that public cloud services and infrastructure spending in the Asia-Pacific region will increase by 47% this year compared to 2018 and increase three-fold by 2023.
However, across the region, cloud readiness varies depending on whether governments have “cloud-first” policies in place with supportive frameworks for digital development, according to the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s Cloud Readiness Index.
With cloud adoption taking off across the region, the questions have shifted from, “Should we migrate to the cloud?” to “What should go to the cloud, and how?” In spite of the benefits cloud computing offers companies, including a scalable model and mobility, IT leaders must still carefully plan the logistics of migration to ensure its success. These three considerations can help put your organization in a position for a successful cloud transition.
Choose your ideal cloud type
An organization’s IT ecosystem can take many forms (i.e. private cloud, public cloud, on-premise, or hybrid cloud); however, it is important to determine the cloud strategy that is best for the business.
Organizations typically look to cost as a deciding factor, but the answer may not be so cut and dried.
For example, weighing the cost of public cloud services against an on-premise option can be like comparing apples to oranges. Hardware may appear less expensive than cloud servers, but there are many costs that are overlooked when running software on-premise. Keep in mind that you are not just paying for hardware. Virtualization software and other systems that run on the hardware, maintenance contracts and upgrades, insurance, heating and cooling bills, and the cost of employees managing the hardware and infrastructure software are all costs to be factored into on-premise options.
Even when these costs are accounted for, the cloud may still be the less expensive option. Cloud services can be purchased as needed, allowing organizations to transition IT investments from capital expenditures to operating expenses.
This approach is often a preferred method of accounting for costs and provides a way to scale infrastructure and cost to address growth and demand spikes. This will also require careful budget management as the business grows.
Evaluate the risks and rewards
If you are still unsure about changing your IT infrastructure, a hybrid cloud environment is a great way to start and has become an increasingly popular option for companies in the region. Cloud research in the region has found that more than half of large companies are using hybrid cloud, which includes a combination of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services and a public cloud.
This provides an ideal opportunity to test different cloud capabilities and benefits, such as:
Security. A hybrid cloud environment allows organizations with concerns about deploying content applications in the cloud to maintain documents that require special security on-premise and move the rest to the cloud to take advantage of vendors’ cloud security expertise.
Scalability. Hybrid cloud gives companies the flexibility to move specific workloads that have variable demand to a cloud environment for efficient scaling where needed, and automation enhances these capabilities as business demands change.
Speed to market. Resources can be deployed and commissioned in an automated process, so companies are no longer limited by their IT footprint.
Business continuity. Companies can replicate critical data to a cloud solution in a different location than the primary systems. This provides insurance in the event of a disaster to minimize downtime and related costs.
Be prepared for cloud adoption challenges
Similar to other digital transformation projects, companies need to be prepared for challenges by defining the business objectives, preparing people and processes, migrating existing content solutions, and bridging legacy systems with a cloud services platform.
These steps will help employees adjust to new technology, account for the necessary lead time when migrating existing repositories and avoid the creation of data silos or data loss.
After weighing the risks and rewards, it is up to IT leaders to decide what content and processes — if any — should be moved to the cloud. Investing in a modern IT platform, even incrementally, will ensure that the organization gets the most value from content today, and in the future.