Businesses are innovating for the future. Computing has changed since the introduction of the simple abacus structure and the large massive computing machines inside the corporate icebox. Now some tablets work like desktop computers with drawing pads, mobile phones accessing corporate apps, and business computer systems that need to process this consumer-driven data through its networks to deliver products and services smoothly and without any external hindrances.
Cloud computing is needed to process these complex data systems. In the most practical terms, cloud computing delivers platforms, data storage, operating systems, and system applications via the Internet without the need for internal infrastructure.
How does Cloud Migration Work?
Businesses have mainframe enterprise systems with their on-premises data centers. On the other hand, there is an off-site public cloud system, and there is the tension to get workloads off the on-premise data center or private cloud to the off-premise data center, which is the public cloud. This is called migration. Developers must determine where specific forms of data or workloads will reside, and it is important to understand the characteristics of enterprise workloads and whether they should land on the public or private cloud. Developers can design work apps and manage work traffic flows that will leverage core functions for service management. Cloud migration offers the ability within the platform to open some of the logistics so developers can be more innovative with services.
What is the Cloud?
Cloud computing allows for user-demand access from anywhere worldwide to a unique pool of computer data and networking resources. This includes services that can be functionally provisioned and released and, in addition, servers that can store data applications.
There are five essential characteristics of cloud computing:
- Users gain access to required services without the need for human interaction.
- Users can access services through a wide range of devices connected to the network like tablets, laptop computers, and mobile phones.
- Users can pool resources, network, and share data with other users.
- Users can increase or decrease cloud access and capabilities based on business demand.
- Users’ access to cloud services and specialized resources can be metered and monitored for cost efficiency.
Cloud computing offers three options for cloud deployment- public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
- The Public Cloud
The public cloud is available for the general public. The cloud services provider will operate this cloud through its data centers. The public cloud is primarily for businesses that want the latest technology without having additional capital expenditures. The cost model is pay-at-time of service since there is no need to purchase on-site infrastructure and storage.
- The Private Cloud
A private cloud is for the exclusive use of one organization. With a private cloud, businesses will need to invest in an on-premise data center and internal IT personnel or have a specialized private cloud provider. Private cloud services are the most secure, and the financial investment required can be quite substantial. Normally, Fortune 500 companies, banks, and entities that handle sensitive consumer data will have a private cloud.
The private entity will operate and manage the private cloud through its firewall. In all aspects, the organization will have a data center on-premises. By having a private cloud, an organization would have more control over data accessibility and data security. IT staff will have the ability to develop an agile infrastructure that correlates to the needs of the business while reducing costs.
- The Hybrid Cloud
In some cases, an organizational entity would like a hybrid cloud. Users will be able to access public and private data processing through one managed system. The hybrid cloud option is very secure. Businesses can keep data and internal apps private while still having access to the public cloud, and the cost of these services will be moderate. Businesses will make some investment in on-premise resources while paying for off-premise resources through the pay-as-you-use model.
Types of IT Services
The three different platforms available for public, private, and hybrid cloud systems are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
The SaaS platform is utilized by several companies, and essentially, SaaS is software as a service. The SaaS platform provides cloud consumers on-demand software applications through the Internet by using a web browser. SaaS is maintained by the cloud services provider because this way, the cloud consumer will not need to purchase any additional features or hardware to operate desired software applications. An example of SaaS would be web-based email applications. Multiple email users can access their accounts since the software is hosted on the cloud. SaaS is primarily for business owners to complete software related tasks while everything is managed by the provider.
Platform as a service or PaaS allows users to create their own software with the provided software development tools like the programming languages library. Programmers use PaaS to deploy software applications where the provider controls the data and the apps.
Developers can access APIs and make changes to the software as needed, and in a sense, developers would not have to carry the expense of purchasing and maintaining such an extensive library and infrastructure alone. Likewise, the cloud provider will manage and control the cloud data processes and infrastructure.
IaaS is an infrastructure as a service, and the user will be able to provision computer resources like processing networks and storage without having to manage the cloud infrastructure. System administrators use IaaS to utilize computing resources to access servers, networks, and infrastructure that is inherent online. The cloud provider manages the data, apps, and middleware.
The cloud consumer is essentially outsourcing the responsibility of the cloud infrastructure to an outside provider. The external provider would maintain the equipment and manage operations and maintenance of resources.
An example of IaaS would be a large growing company that lacks sufficient resources to handle the expanded demand for data services. It can take up to two days and up to a week to virtualize a server for an expanding business, and in this situation, the cloud manager can offer hybrid solutions that would correlate with the needs of the business by offering a public server. In essence, the cloud consumer would only pay for necessary services while keeping up with consumer demand.
The Process Behind Cloud Migration
John works at ABC corporation. One day, his boss calls him into his office to discuss network efficiency. The boss wants to increase network capacity while reducing unnecessary costs. Moreover, John must consider external data security threats and governmental regulations.
The employees of ABC corporation want the latest and greatest in software for their desktop computers. Each employee wants to access email from the exchange service provider on their personal mobile phones. As a bonus, employees prefer to access corporate software on their personal computers at home. John must analyze the situation and come up with a feasible plan.
John contacts the IT department to determine the availability for the private corporate servers to handle the increased demand for data workloads and APIs at an acceptable cost for over 100 employees. A representative from the IT department would then contact the outside cloud provider to develop and implement a migration plan. The cloud provider and the IT specialist will have a workshop. The IT specialist would need to answer a few questions about the needs of the business so that the cloud provider can implement a plan. Some of these questions include:
- How complex is the data?
- Are business applications cloud-ready?
- How important are governmental regulations?
- What service plan would the business need?
- What considerations must be made if the cloud provider changes?
- What is the fee for downtime?
With the provided information, the cloud provider would do an assessment of business needs, design the migration plan, and handle the implementation for a seamless transition. Once the migration is completed, the cloud provider would handle systems management. This allows John and the IT department to have access to the latest hardware features and servers. In-house data center capabilities will increase, and the data capacity workflow would be transmitted to other avenues.
The Importance of Having Business Applications Hosted in the Cloud
It is expedient to have business applications at least partially hosted in the cloud, and this benefits the business by reducing costs, streamlines processes, and providing flexibility. This works great for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud businesses by integrating core business functions.
Employees and consumers will be able to access data services globally. As demand increases for business services, the infrastructure needed to process additional transactions will be ready for immediate implementation.
Say, for example, an organization would like to use a purely public cloud system. Each of the IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS platforms would provide various options and availability. For IaaS, the cloud provider would provide the data center, and the organization would maintain its own platform and applications. With PaaS, the organization would manage applications, and the cloud provider would then manage the platform and the data center. With SaaS, the cloud provider would handle the applications, the platform, and the data center off-premises.
The Benefits of Cloud Migration
Cloud services and solutions assist enterprises by collecting and connecting interchangeable data in a world filled with digital mediums. Essentially, cloud computing offers six major benefits for enterprises willing to adopt new technology. The six major benefits are:
- Security: Mitigate risks with continuous security updates.
- Elasticity: Meet the demands of a fluctuating work environment.
- Innovation: Simplify the role of the IT department by adopting new technological advancements.
- Affordability: Pay for the services that you really need.
- Agility: React quickly to a changing marketplace.
- Availability: Obtain cloud system access worldwide anytime on any device.
How Cloud Migration Boosts Business Productivity
Markets are competitive, and organizations must adapt to changes in the marketplace. Cloud migration benefits organizations by providing agility and flexibility. Services are adapted and scaled according to the business marketplace expediently. An organization can evolve within the marketplace by the quick implementation of new ideas and correlating infrastructures.
- Technological Innovation
Technology is rapidly advancing, and consumer tastes are changing, and in order to stay competitive, many companies are processing mergers and acquisitions with their respective attorneys.
Say, for instance, an organization decides to merge with another company to reduce costs and have access to broader markets. By having a single cloud provider, a company can seamlessly and securely transition data services via a single platform.
- Hybrid Technology
Organizations are taking advantage of the agility of services by using hybrid technology for on-premise and off-premise cloud availability to support present and future applications while enhancing IT services.
- Security Threats
The Internet age has brought about the persistent presence of constant cyberattacks. Hackers are intercepting systems and disposing of sensitive data to willing customers. Just the presence of cloud encryption security can save a company substantial amounts of time and money. Hybrid cloud systems offer embedded security controls to maximize the highest level of consumer protection.
Trends in Cloud Migration Services
Global cloud computing has boasted $200 billion in sales for 2019, and the growth trend is not slowing down. It is difficult to discover businesses that do not partially rely on cloud services for local area networks, applications software, databases, and IP applications. Cloud-based systems offer complete data packages for the business consumer.
Looking towards the future, 80% of organizations will use some sort of cloud-based data system by 2025. Enterprises will use multi-cloud strategic services, and global cloud expenditures will reach 70% of the budget for IT services by 2020.
IaaS investment will reach $72.4 billion in sales by 2020. SaaS will grow 18% with financial revenues exceeding $20 billion per quarter. PaaS investment growth will exceed 56% by 2020.
Trends for current technology show that 28% of companies prefer hybrid cloud services. During 2020, most enterprises will upload 41% of data services to the public cloud. Hybrid cloud usage will decrease by 6%. Many of these trends will be effective since 99% of exposed security threats will be detected and eliminated by 2020.
The SAP cloud platform integrates the IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS models to give businesses the flexibility to complete cloud transformation and migration to shape future market conditions. Organizations do not need to navigate this rough terrain alone because the cloud provider will create, manage, implement, and complete the cloud migration journey that will be unique and specific for business needs.