Cloud computing: What you need to know

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the importance of ‘cloud computing’ in almost all businesses, making it a vital asset for their everyday operations. It is thanks to the cloud that some businesses have been able to keep going during the lockdown, allowing them to operate remotely.

Businesses already operating within the cloud will have the upper hand for digital transformation and ongoing innovation that many organisations will need to embrace in the ‘new-normal’.

A recent study (Cloud 2025: The future of workloads in a cloud-first, post-COVID-19 world) conducted between May and June this year (2020), highlighted that while the full picture is still evolving, Covid-19 has become a powerful catalyst for cloud migration. The study also revealed that 87% of IT decision makers strongly believe that coronavirus is the reason cloud migration will be accelerated, with nearly three quarters of the respondents stating that the next five years will see 95% of workloads being moved to the cloud.

So, if you are still new to the term ‘cloud’, here are some key facts you need to know.

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of transferring data, applications and other business elements to a cloud computing online environment. So, computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking and software will be hosted online (on the cloud) to offer faster innovation and flexible resources.

Different types of cloud computing

There are three main types of cloud computing: public, private and hybrid.

  • Public Cloud – A public cloud is owned and operated by third-party service providers. They will own and manage all the IT infrastructure, including hardware and software. You will have user access to the services and will be able to manage your account using a web browser. 
  • Private Cloud - A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business. This is maintained on a private network and can either be physically located on-site or hosted by a third-party service provider.
  • Hybrid Cloud – A hybrid cloud combines public and private settings, linked together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. This type of set-up can bring greater flexibility to a business with optimised infrastructure, security and compliance.

 The benefits of cloud computing

  • Cost – This is one of the main benefits of moving your business operations to the cloud. There would be no need to invest in the expensive hardware and software as well as no longer worrying about the server’s maintenance. On top of this, you would be saving on your electricity expenditure and recruitment costs, by no longer needing to hire the IT expertise in-house.
  • Scalability - The benefits of cloud computing services include the ability to increase or decrease your resources at a moment’s notice. This would result in your business having access to the right amount of IT resources right when they are needed. Whether you are growing or downsizing, or if a business is operating nationally with a remote workforce, the services will be available right away to match the business requirements. 
  • Productivity – By moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud, you are allowing your in-house team to focus on achieving more important business goals. They would no longer need to spend their time managing the hardware set-up, software patching and other IT management chores.
  • Performance - The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centres, regularly upgraded to the latest generation of hardware and offering several benefits over a single corporate data centre. Performance benefits would also include easier and less expensive data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
  • Security - Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies and controls that strengthen your IT security overall, adding extra peace of mind to your data and IT infrastructure from potential cyber threats.

Should you move to the cloud?

Moving your operations to the cloud requires a well-thought-out strategy: there are choices in the type of migration to perform as well as the type of data that should move. Common elements of a cloud migration strategy include the following:

  • evaluation of performance and security requirements
  • selection of a cloud provider
  • calculation of costs
  • reorganisation deemed necessary 

Depending on the details of the migration, a business may choose to move operations to the cloud without any modifications (a lift-and-shift migration). Operations move directly from local servers to the cloud without any changes. This is essentially a 1-to-1 move done primarily as a short-term fix to save on IT infrastructure costs. In other cases, it might be more beneficial to change the architecture, known as application refactoring or rearchitecting.

A poorly planned migration could affect business performance and lead to higher IT costs, negating some of the main benefits of cloud computing.

If you are thinking of moving to the cloud and would like to learn more on the process involved then contact the Codus team on 0161 763 4529 or via email hello@codus.co.uk 

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