August 4, 2022

Why is Cloud Migration Essential for Enterprises?

As companies around the world seek to take their operations digital, there’s an intense push toward enterprise application modernization, including cloud migration. While the trend of cloud migration and modernization has been growing for years, the pandemic significantly accelerated digital adoption.

With more companies forced to remote-only workplaces, they sought solutions to increase agility and support their growing needs.

Where SMBs frequently use cloud-based software—or at least could make a simpler, more efficient shift—it was more common for pre-pandemic enterprises to rely on on-premise solutions. In addition to needing to ensure employees had access to all the tools they needed to do their jobs, they also had to have reliable and secure access to important data.

Enter cloud migration. While enterprise application modernization incorporates additional strategies, cloud migration is among the most significant, allowing companies to scale rapidly, deploy updates to the workforce anywhere, and reduce data silos while enabling efficient access to essential information.

In this post, we’ll explore cloud migration, unpack what is, and why it’s vital for today’s enterprise organizations.

What is cloud migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving some—or all—of a company’s data and infrastructure to the cloud. The infrastructure is provided by a platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and others.

Cloud migration often happens as enterprises adapt from past legacy systems. In some instances, migration can be triggered when organizations need to reduce capital expenditure (CAPEX) or minimize the undifferentiated heavy lifting that results from on-premise infrastructure.

To that end, successful enterprise modernization strategies require evaluating each system and application to prioritize which should be modernized first.

Enterprise platform modernization

Cloud migration may take place alongside enterprise platform modernization and management. A holistic approach to updating legacy systems can help corporations streamline business processes, improve programs, and leverage innovative platforms that transform the way companies conduct work. It also helps organizations stay competitive and productive, even as consumer demands rapidly change and corporate technologies become increasingly advanced.

Platform modernization also provides better options for employees who are responsible for managing day-to-day business operations. For example, excelling at change and minimizing time to value are crucial to a corporate culture that wants to prioritize product growth and adaptability.

Why is cloud migration important for enterprise systems?

Cloud migration should be a top priority for today’s enterprise organizations. Leaders and decision makers must focus on migration strategies in conjunction with growth goals, future planning, and big-picture ideas.

This process can help better define the core of your business and allow enterprises to maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly advancing marketplace. Below are some of the top reasons why cloud migration is the future of business growth, innovation, and development.

Provides flexibility to scale

Many modern enterprises are scaling at a rapid rate, and current systems have to keep pace. Corporations must be able to collect and organize their real-time data, analyze it, and generate insights that lead to better decision making .

Sustainable growth requires systems that adapt to modern user needs while offering the replacement of manual or outdated processes. The benefit of a modern system implies increased flexibility and adaptability based on the level of service and size of your business. In addition to scaling up as you grow, cloud migration also allows you to increase the number of users as needed for special projects and then scale back as needs dictate.

Affords an additional layer of security

To remain secure, organizations must be able to support their applications by deploying critical updates and security patches. This step can be challenging in an age of ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, which have increased by 200% since 2020.

Cloud platforms support iterative product development which allows them to deliver higher security to users and companies alike. Best of all, fast iterations enable fast fixes. Moreover, because these solutions invest heavily in other measures, including intelligent threat analysis and strong physical measures, enterprises can more easily support all of their products and users. While security in the cloud remains a shared responsibility, with each customer’s obligation to protect essential data, having the support and security of a cloud solution lends a great deal of trustworthiness. Trust may be hard-won, but it’s all too easy to lose in the face of a data breach, let alone ensuring a PR nightmare.

Offers infrastructure maintainability

Cloud platforms also provide better handling when compared to in-house or on-premise data systems. The cloud is constantly evolving and changing. Infrastructure is better handled by cloud providers. In addition to supporting a more robust customer experience, you’ll be able to deploy CX and UX updates more easily and free your employees to more strategic priorities—a design principle known as undifferentiated heavy lifting. This concept means that a cloud provider should perform operational duties like racking, stacking, and server maintenance. In the case of digital products, you can prioritize solving customer and operational problems, minimizing time to value, and improving the user experience with each subsequent release.

Considerations with enterprise cloud migration

Cloud migration provides noteworthy benefits to modern businesses, but careful planning is still necessary at each stage of implementation. When you grasp what your current problems are and what the purpose of your modernization process is, the rest of the roadmap becomes clear.

Ask the following questions internally and to external stakeholders prior to any cloud migration strategy or major planning session.

Financial Considerations

What are the financial considerations that must be made pre-migration? When it comes to developing digital products that are self-funding, consider two sides of the equation: costs and revenue. When deciding on a cloud migration strategy, factors should include:

Revenue Opportunities

Because cloud migration enables improved scalability and agility, several revenue growth implications result from modernization.

New Clients vs. Lost Clients
By improving the customer experience, you can also enhance your reputation and increase loyalty. To that end, companies that don’t prioritize modernization or CX are more likely to lose customers to more agile competitors.

Greater Agility
When you’re more easily able to identify opportunities for improvement—and, in turn, solve for actual customer needs—you can more effectively shift with the changing marketplace. As above, you can build your customer loyalty.

Minimize Time to Value
With a cloud-based platform that allows you to quickly deploy updates—from security patches to UX improvements and new releases—you can focus on continuous improvement and iteration that serves as a competitive advantage.

Cost Considerations

While there are some product development costs, your costs should not outweigh your revenue long term. The cost of maintaining on-premise applications must be considered across the following areas:

Internal vs. External Costs
Cloud migration—and all enterprise application modernization—requires a significant investment in time and resources. If you have sufficient internal resources, will utilizing them mean sacrificing client initiatives or projects? Will your cloud migration remain their priority? Or are you better served to work with an external team whose entire focus is successful cloud migration strategy implementation?

Self-hosted (Private) vs. Shared Cloud (Public) Options
Even when only a portion of your infrastructure is self-hosted, the sheer quantity of on-premise solutions can reduce the in-house cost load for your company.

Licensing, Operation, Routine Maintenance and Upkeep Costs, and Extra Fees
Many on-premise legacy applications have fixed numbers of licenses and require on-site maintenance. There comes a point when the level of in-house support and maintenance outweighs any benefits of keeping your legacy applications. While cloud migration does come with a cost, the resulting agility, scalability, and ability to deploy solutions and updates to your team—regardless of location—make it an easier decision.

External Partners

If you choose to work with external partners and digital product consultants, remember that the most important factor is trust. What process takes place when you need to add or remove a partner or explore alternative product options? These expectations should be clearly communicated before participating in a new migration initiative.

Adequate training

Sweeping migrations and platform updates require the right training in advance of making major changes. By ensuring that all team members are on the same page, you’ll be taking a responsible route to transformation. A solid training strategy can also positively affect the culture of an organization looking to move forward and scale.

Data migration

Considering a possible migration is very important. When talking about cloud migration specifically, data is most often migrated to leverage the benefits of the cloud.

Concluding thoughts

If you’re struggling to manage your data because of legacy applications and processes, cloud migration can provide a path forward.

Once you’re ready to start or enhance your current cloud migration processes, contact 3Pillar Global today. Our team of experts knows what it takes to make the modernization process successful for you and your enterprise team.

Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.

FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.