We’re all familiar with the cloud. The cornerstone of modern data storage, the cloud’s promise of security, scalability and cost-effectiveness has taken the world by storm. For everyday people and the most well-known companies across the globe, the benefits of cloud adoption are clear. And with an estimated 175 zettabytes of data — or 175 trillion gigabytes — expected to be stored in the cloud by 2025, there are no signs of slowing down.
But what exactly is the cloud? In this article, learn how the cloud works and why companies rely on it for safe data storage. Read on to discover the benefits of migrating to the cloud, potential challenges you may face and helpful tips for a successful transition.
What Is the Cloud?
The cloud refers to an extensive network of servers and data centers throughout the world, which are easily accessible over the Internet. Instead of having to invest in physical infrastructure like local computers and servers, businesses can store and access data remotely.
There are many benefits to using the cloud, including flexible access, scalability, cost-savings, security and streamlined collaboration. Furthermore, public, private, hybrid and community clouds make it possible to deploy a variety of storage solutions that align with specific business objectives.
5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud
Businesses that embrace cloud technology have seen countless advantages. Let’s delve into five key reasons why moving to the cloud can empower you to thrive in a competitive market.
- Easy to ScaleMost cloud providers offer pay-as-you-go pricing, which makes it easy for businesses to allocate and adjust resources based on their needs. This flexibility, in conjunction with the presence of data centers located throughout the world, empowers businesses to expand their reach quickly and without needing to invest in their own infrastructure. The ability to remain agile enables businesses to adapt to demand and market changes, which can give them an edge in outpacing competitors.
- Enhanced Security
Cloud service providers invest significant resources into maintaining and updating security frameworks. Continuously improving security measures ensures businesses can enjoy the benefits of the cloud without worrying about potential cyber attacks or threats to their data. Offloading the burden of security management onto cloud companies enables businesses to focus on their core operations with peace of mind in knowing their data is protected.Additionally, stored data in the cloud is encrypted. This means the data is transformed into an unreadable format that can only be deciphered with the right decryption key. If an unauthorized person accesses encrypted data, it’s essentially useless — offering businesses yet another layer of protection.
- Better Collaboration
Migrating to the cloud enables companies to foster collaboration among their teams in many different ways. Cloud-based data and applications enable widespread teams to work together simultaneously by providing access to up-to-date documents and files.The global nature of the cloud also makes remote training more convenient and efficient. Offering online access to training materials and resources eliminates the need for physical meetings, saving time and helping reduce costs.
- Cost Reduction
One of the most impactful reasons to move to the cloud is the reduction of business costs. By centralizing data storage and computing resources in the cloud, businesses can eliminate the cost of physical IT infrastructure and the associated expenses like electricity, hardware upgrades, cooling and maintenance personnel.Additionally, pay-as-you-go pricing is standard in the cloud. Businesses don’t have to commit to long-term contracts and can easily scale resources up or down to meet demand.To optimize cost-efficiency, make sure to monitor cloud usage and resource consumption. This will help you identify unnecessary expenditures and use resources effectively.
- Risk Mitigation
Cloud providers store data in more than one location. This practice is known as redundancy, which allows companies to access and recover data in the case of an emergency. Another key to mitigating risks is fault tolerance, which enables companies to function if systems or components fail by seamlessly shifting tasks and resources to an alternative location.Thanks to robust backup and recovery mechanisms in the cloud, businesses can continue operations without interruption and prevent data loss caused by unpredictable events like hardware failures or natural disasters.
Potential Challenges to Consider
While there are many benefits to using the cloud, there are also challenges that may arise. Here are potential difficulties you may encounter during your data migration and what you can do to prepare for and prevent them.
Migration Can Take Time
Embracing new technology can be time-consuming. Product upgrades and slow cloud-provider support can throw off your schedule and impact operations. If your business is planning to migrate to the cloud, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Planning ahead will help ensure the process goes smoothly.
Data Loss Is Possible
There is an inherent risk in trusting a cloud provider with your data. Problems may arise during the import process, resulting in gaps in data or unforeseen reasons it may not be accessible. Back up your data before the migration process and ensure your cloud provider offers redundancy to help prevent data loss.
Less Control of Data
Storing data in the cloud limits your ability to control it. When data is no longer on company-owned services, the third party becomes responsible for storage, fault tolerance and redundancy assurance. Familiarize yourself with your cloud provider’s practices so you’re prepared to handle unforeseen issues that may affect your business and be out of your hands.
Additional Expertise Is Required
Migrating data to the cloud often means technical help will likely need to be outsourced, which can result in delays when addressing technical issues. To avoid frustration and prevent potential challenges, experts at Secur-Serv can help do the heavy lifting and ensure a smooth cloud migration.
Tips for Migrating to the Cloud
Before moving to the cloud, it’s important to plan ahead. Here are some important things to consider as you lay the foundation for a seamless transition.
Assess Your Current Environment
Analyze existing infrastructure, applications and data to ensure your current server software is compatible with your new cloud environment. Understanding the requirements of these systems will help you identify potential gaps or challenges that may occur. You’ll also want to consider your industry’s regulations to make sure your transition complies with the necessary requirements.
Assessing your infrastructure and requirements will also help determine the cloud environment that best aligns with your business objectives. Public, private, hybrid and community cloud options are possible depending on what best aligns with your needs.
Choose the Right Cloud Service
There are several factors to consider when deciding on a cloud provider. First and foremost, you’ll want to take your budget and anticipated growth into account. This will help you identify a solution that can accommodate your needs.
Equally important is finding a certified team you trust to manage your data and cloud environment. If selecting the most suitable solution feels daunting, or you’re interested in streamlining the decision-making process, consider seeking assistance. Cloud experts at Secur-Serv can offer valuable guidance in helping you find the most suitable solution for your business.
Consider Security Requirements
Moving to the cloud requires transferring sensitive information. Make sure your cloud provider complies with your organization’s regulations and staff are equipped to handle sensitive information.
You’ll also want to assess the types of data you plan to move to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities. Implementing robust encryption protocols and multi-factor authentication will help safeguard your data and restrict unauthorized access in transit and at rest in the cloud.
Prepare Your Staff
Adequately preparing staff is essential for a successful transition to the cloud. Help familiarize your teams with your new cloud environment by offering comprehensive training sessions and encouraging them to ask questions or raise concerns. It’s also important to explain the reasons for cloud migration, including benefits, opportunities and potential impact on job roles.
Providing easy access to support and resources will help team members address challenges that may arise. And open communication throughout the migration process will help foster a positive attitude throughout the cloud adoption period.
For more on preparing a successful move to the cloud, check out these tips from cloud expert Dave Koopmans.
Plan Your Cloud Migration with Secur-Serv
Cloud migration is the future. With benefits like scalability, cost-efficiency and increased security, it’s not hard to see why companies move to the cloud. However, to fully maximize the advantages of cloud adoption and ensure a successful transition, preparation is paramount.
For help creating an actionable plan to transition your infrastructure, applications and workloads to the cloud, experts at Secur-Serv can help you find the right cloud provider, mitigate security and compliance risks and ensure a safe migration.