July 06, 2022

Migrating to the cloud? Here's what you need to know

When migrating to the cloud, strategic decision-making will ensure a successful return on investment (ROI). There has been a trend towards accelerated cloud adoption among South African enterprises. By aligning cloud migration strategies to business goals, IT leaders can make informed decisions on the best approach for their business.

Decisions around cloud migration include whether to outsource the cloud migration to a third-party, such as SEACOM Business, or if it makes better sense to deal with migration in-house. IT leaders also need to consider whether to completely rebuild their legacy architecture in the cloud environment, or if an incremental move is better with just a few applications and processes migrating at a time.

An effective cloud migration strategy causes minimal disruption to daily operations, employees and customers. The new cloud environment should integrate well with legacy systems and third-party applications. Large organisations need enterprise-grade cloud solutions, such as Microsoft Azure, to enjoy scalable, configurable and high performing cloud-based services.

Identify operational benefit of cloud migration

Part of any financial analysis for cloud migration needs to include the operational benefit that the cloud environment will bring to the organisation. Will an improvement to the digital architecture speed up operations, support a remote work culture, offer data-driven insights and lower networking costs?

Improvements to digital infrastructure certainly benefit large enterprises looking to future-proof their business networks, with a scalable and flexible solution that can adapt and grow over time.

Issues to consider related to cloud migration

When evaluating how cloud migration adds value to an organisation, it is important to consider how the cloud will be used in the long-run. Are all workloads moving to the cloud or is the cloud just going to be used for data recovery? What is the size of the data sets being migrated? If large data sets are moved at once, will this affect daily operations? If small sets of data are moved, will cloud migration take excessively long?

Cyber security is a high priority for businesses, especially considering the high rate of cyber attacks on South African networks and devices. Businesses need to identify a cloud security strategy for the migration process and after migration.

Advanced data encryption of large data sets will protect digital assets during migration, but it may also make data retrieval more challenging in the short term. Effective cloud migration security ensures that data is still accessible to the users or systems that need it, while being secure and meeting compliance laws.

Align business goals with migrating to the cloud

Digital transformation strategies need to align with corporate objectives. If key values for your organisation are innovation and agility, then a cloud environment can go a long way to bring these values to life via enhanced remote collaboration and quickly scalable capacity.

In today’s data-centric age, business models rely on data insights about their markets, products or services, customers and human resources. Data informs decision-making and ensures that businesses set appropriate and realistic goals.

Data analysis also gives insight into performance and operations, helping to iron out inefficiencies and prevent security breaches. The cloud environment supports a data-driven environment, with high speed processing that happens in real-time, drawing from multiple sources in various geographical locations.

Determine cloud migration method

There are three main cloud methods used by large enterprises. The most comprehensive is to redesign the existing architecture and rebuild the entire business system in the cloud environment. This involves a total rehaul of existing architecture, with major code changes.

It can be costly and take time to deploy, but in the long run, businesses benefit from a system that is fully cloud-native, easy to monitor and manage. This cloud migration method works well for businesses where existing networking solutions and IT infrastructure no longer meet business needs.

The second method for migrating to the cloud is to re-host existing architecture. Also known as “lift and shift,” this method involves moving data and applications to the cloud server. It is easy to do, but requires compatibility with the legacy system and the cloud environment.

The third method used for cloud migration is to re-fact, or “lift, tinker and shift.” Taking place step-by-step, software is developed and repurposed for the cloud environment. The core architecture doesn’t change, but adjustments are made to improve cloud-based tools.

Decide whether to outsource cloud migration to a third-party

South Africa has a shortage of ICT experts, particularly those proficient in cloud migration. For businesses to train up skill professionals takes time and there is always the risk of attrition. By outsourcing cloud migration to a third-party B2B provider, like SEACOM Business, organisations can free up internal resources, save costs and reduce risk.

Cloud providers take care of the deployment, maintenance and upgrades to your business network. SEACOM Business offers a managed service in which performance is consistently monitored to reduce network latency and improve the digital experience for employees and customers.

SEACOM Business offers 24/7 technical support for customers with a range of value-added services related to cloud migration and cloud protection. Flexible payment models ensure that businesses only pay for what they use, scaling up or down as needed. For more information or to get a quote for cloud solutions, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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