Moving to the cloud seems like a no brainer when you consider the benefits that the cloud has to offer. Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) & Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offer huge benefits to organisations through cost, configuration & time spent managing in-house applications & infrastructure. It makes sense to use a SaaS system to manage your HR, Sales & financial headaches instead of trying to keep your in-house system up to date with the latest technologies. It’s the same for your infrastructure. Unless you like standing in a cold room surrounded by steel & cables, why would you spend all your resources time & energy buying & maintaining servers? You simply use the power & scalability of the cloud infrastructure to create your networks & servers. You don’t have to worry about security, patches or upgrades. That’s all done for you.
So, when you look at these positives, you must be asking yourself, why isn’t everybody jumping to the cloud?
The cloud is ideal for new businesses who are essentially “born in the cloud”. For middle aged & older businesses, there are a few challenges that need to be addressed before moving to the cloud:
1. Is there a business need right now?
Many companies want to remove the headache of managing their systems & infrastructure in house. Deciding which systems are ready before moving to the cloud is key. Do you have the resources to upgrade the software so that it can continue to integrate with existing systems? Do you need to be able to scale these systems during busy periods? Is the cost of keeping these systems on servers getting too much? If the answer is yes to these questions then you know that the cloud is right for you.
2. What cloud architecture do you require?
Most businesses will need their systems to run in a secure environment where they can integrate with other systems in-house. The cloud IaaS allows you to create a virtual private network which is essentially an extension of your in-house network. Administrators can quickly provision new servers or upgrade existing servers in the cloud as required. There is no more upgrading, patching or security headaches. Everything is managed so you don’t have to.
3. Is my data secure?
Some organisations need to keep their data secure & in certain locations due to data protection laws. This can be a barrier when moving to the cloud. Microsoft Azure has data centres in locations around the globe. For Irish companies, their West EU datacentres are in Dublin which satisfies Irish data protection laws, to a point. Visit the Microsoft Azure Trust Center for more information around certification, etc. As we are a Microsoft Partner, we’ve been able to get a representative & legal documentation ensuring the security of data on Azure in the past. This is an example of how seriously Microsoft take their security. We have covered hybrid models where data is stored in-house & securely exposed to cloud applications where necessary. This is the preferred option for a lot of businesses these days as it resolves the security headaches while reaping the benefits of cloud & mobile technology.
4. Are my systems too “legacy” for the cloud?
Legacy systems are an issue when moving to the cloud. The cloud only supports the later server & software versions which can be a barrier for some organisations. At Engine Lab Software, we specialise in upgrading system software to be cloud ready. This can often require entire system rewrites or implementing the hybrid model as discussed here. With our expert software & cloud knowledge we have been at the forefront of cloud system migration in Ireland, helping organisations become cloud ready.
5. Do I have the resources?
As we’ve highlighted, organisations need the right resources when moving systems to the cloud. Data migration is a big challenge when moving systems to more scalable platforms such as Salesforce, Dynamics, etc. Data has to be migrated in a way to ensure 100% integrity. Data integration systems & api integration capabilities may be required to move your data to the cloud. Software systems may need to be upgraded or rewritten which requires very skilled development teams that are difficult to source.
Engine Lab Software are here to help you when moving to the cloud. We provide a Software Systems Migration Service (SSMS) which assesses your IT systems for “cloud readiness”. We will advise you which systems can be moved to the cloud & what solutions can be delivered to suit your business.
If you’re serious about moving your systems to the cloud, the very first thing you will want to do is give Engine Lab Software a call at +353 (0)43 33 36798 or email John@EngineLab.ie. We’re here to help you get the best out of the cloud.