Parting the Clouds to Find the Right Path
A recent IDC survey found that 58% of businesses intend to use Web-based, on-demand computing services – both public services and private clouds – for more than two applications. In a similar survey IDC conducted 14 months ago, just 24% of respondents expressed interest in cloud migration.
This story talked about businesses moving databases online. But the big takeaway came when the article rightly described the effort involved in shifting databases to the cloud as “an ordeal.”
“Immense files can hog so much network bandwidth that companies often copy databases to massive storage devices to be shipped physically to cloud data centers. Often, companies must rewrite the software that analyzes their data to work with a cloud service. Then they need to test that work before rolling it out.”
And that’s on a good day.
OK, I’m obviously being facetious, but you get the point. The cloud migration is building momentum. But the process can be time-consuming and difficult. What’s more, if not mapped out properly, the project can turn out to be messy and expensive.
This depends where the client sits in the business food chain. Big companies with large internal IT departments should be able to handle cloud migrations on their own, especially if they choose to install a private cloud setup.
Most small and medium-sized companies, though, don’t enjoy that same luxury. For those cases, it makes little sense to move everything immediately to the cloud or to host a specialized database in a cloud-based virtual private server.
Many businesses understandably may not feel comfortable rushing to migrate their entire infrastructure to the cloud and so, a hybrid solution would be more appropriate, especially if they want elements of on-premise infrastructure along with software-as-a-service solutions.
This is where an experienced Managed Service Provider can guide clients toward a cloud solution that fits their particular needs. IT departments will obviously have qualms before signing off on such a dramatic change. So after making a business case assessment of the company’s current infrastructure, the MSP will need to be ready with answers.
The last thing IT wants is to spend even larger amounts of money just to achieve the same result. Before migrating to the cloud, companies need to understand why a recurring charge model offers a more predictable cost structure in terms of infrastructure, applications, and management.
What about security? This is a chief concern in any cloud migration and the client needs to know who will provide protection and what defenses will be in place in case of a cybersecurity breach.
Lastly, rightly or not, there’s a deeply-rooted belief that premise-based applications allow for greater customization and control. MSPs need to explain why it’s just the opposite with a hybrid design cloud approach, which is highly customizable.
This content is underwritten by VMware — and is editorially independent. It is produced in accordance with conventional standards of business journalism.
Charles Cooper is an award-winning freelance author who writes about business and technology. During his 30-plus year career, he has worked as an executive editor at several leading tech publications including CNET, ZDNet, PC Week and Computer Shopper.