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The pressing need for cloud migration has been gaining momentum recently, with Forbes reporting that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.

Catalysts Behind Cloud Migration

Scalability is a leading factor that is driving enterprises to cloud technologies as agility and flexibility are fundamental to modern DevOps teams. Legacy systems, in-house tools, and hand-coded SQL scripts are inefficient and limiting. Whereas, DevOps teams need to produce regular software updates, cloud-native frameworks are best suited to support automated and continuous deployment strategies.

With the frequent need to provide ‘care and feeding’ for on-premises legacy infrastructure, businesses are facing significant budgetary challenges. In a market where ROI is of crucial importance, Gartner predicts that by 2024, decisions about moving legacy systems to the cloud will be driven by cost optimization concerns. According to another survey by OpsRamp, cost optimization is the primary reason for 47% of enterprises' cloud migrations. Cloud technology enables simplified scalability, allowing businesses to grow without making significant changes to the infrastructure.

It’s also worth pointing out that technological trends like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), as Forbes reports, will serve as catalysts driving cloud adoption in 2020 according 67% of IT professionals.

From Legacy Systems to Cloud Usage

While legacy systems pave the way for later developments, the continued reliance upon legacy systems can have a crippling effect on businesses.

Legacy Systems

Legacy systems pose considerable risks due to being outdated. They are no longer supported by the vendor, leaving businesses to contend with issues on their own, or pay exorbitant fees for help. These systems also do not benefit from new features and functionality, or security updates and patches, leaving them and the business susceptible to security and data privacy breaches.

A recent study reported that, on average, 60-80% of IT budgets are spent on maintaining legacy applications. Unable to deliver performance or scalability, and with escalating maintenance costs, continuing to use legacy systems can be especially burdensome.

Just as importantly, legacy systems that are platform-dependent, and do not have mobile capabilities limit business opportunities in the always-on digital economy. Cloud-based and particularly SaaS environments overcome these limits and eclipse on-premises systems in the process.

Cloud Usage

Public clouds offer increased resilience, scalability, flexibility, speed, and agility on a pay-as-you-go basis with little or no startup capital investment required. It is available to virtually anyone, anytime, anywhere—and uniquely suited for workloads experiencing an exponential growth curve. While Forbes reported 66% of IT professionals’ concern in adopting cloud technologies was security, the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 makes compliance with privacy and security mandatory. The following sections elaborate on the environment and types of cloud computing technologies that are on the market.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS offers the most flexibility where customers are responsible for everything above the hypervisor layer.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS builds on top of IaaS where, in addition to the infrastructure, the CSP (Cloud Service Provider) assumes responsibility for the OS and middleware/runtime environment.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the least flexible service type where the CSP assumes responsibility for all aspects of the infrastructure and customers are only responsible for bringing and securing their data.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud incorporates a certain degree of workload mobility, coordination, and management across two or more cloud environments. Hybrid clouds encompass a model for extending a private cloud environment with one of the existing public clouds to form an amalgamation of public clouds and private clouds. It lends businesses the flexibility to choose optimally between clouds for workloads based on technical and business requirements.

Multi-cloud

Multi-cloud refers to an infrastructure where multiple clouds are used simultaneously regardless of their type, including physical infrastructure. Unlike a hybrid cloud, where the different clouds can work cooperatively, multi-clouds are operated and managed independently.

According to Michael Warrilow, a Gartner analyst, “most organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy out of a desire to avoid vendor lock-in or to take advantage of best-of-breed solutions… We expect that most large organizations will continue to willfully pursue this approach.”

The First Step to Cloud Migration

Data migration from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud entails many moving parts. Migrating databases, for example, can quickly become a significant and sophisticated undertaking, taking months, even with professional expertise. This underscores the importance of ensuring that IT staff are trained and equipped to build and manage cloud environments in a manner consistent with cloud adoption and well-architected frameworks.

Business and technology service providers tend to practice the “lift and shift” approach to data migration. This has been the preferred mode of data migration over modernization or code refactoring. It has created a market where service providers do not train people enough to develop cloud-native skills, thereby businesses are facing challenges and risks in their cloud adoption strategies. Conquering this workforce shortage requires seeking professional service providers with a firm grounding.

Next Steps

In Part-2 of this blog, we’ll dive deeper into cloud migration and its role in the digital landscape. But the first step is to enable the cloud potential. Rest assured that migrating your workloads to the cloud is the first step to laying the groundwork for digital business.

About Pyramid Consulting:

Pyramid Consulting is a proud partner with Microsoft, AWS, Lansweeper, Corent, and UnifyCloud only to name a few. Pyramid Consulting delivers to its clients the value of these partnerships to ensure their cloud assessment, strategy, and migration efforts run smoothly and efficiently. If you are looking to achieve cloud-based digital transformation, reach out to us for our consulting team's expert assistance.

Willie Robinson

About the author

Willie Robinson

Practice Director, Platform & Cloud

Willie is a senior IT leader with 20+ years of experience. Over half of Willie's career has been in customer-facing senior consulting roles at Microsoft, NetApp and EMC, architecting, designing and deploying IT infrastructure solutions for organizations from SMBs to multinational conglomerates; state & local government agencies, U.S. military and other federal/DoD organizations; K12 public schools, public and private colleges and universities. Prior to becoming a "road warrior", Willie also held "in-house" IT management, engineering, LAN & systems administration, operations and support roles in the financial, media, technology and healthcare industries.

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