According to the latest IDG survey, “2018 Cloud Computing Survey “Seventy-three percent of organizations have at least one application, or a portion of their computing infrastructure already in the cloud – 17% plan to do so within the next 12 months.”
More and more enterprises are moving their applications and data to the cloud to leverage benefits in terms of cost, scalability, accessibility, flexibility, and security. In addition to avoiding the need to build and maintain on-premise IT infrastructure, cloud technologies enable enterprises to avail storage space, and computing resources on demand. However, you must remember that cloud computing, like other technologies, has its pros and cons.
Consistent increase in cloud adoption rate should not be your reason for switching to the cloud. You cannot leverage cloud computing fully without working on its shortcomings. It is always important to choose the right cloud platform and implement an elaborate cloud adoption strategy to address the shortcomings of the cloud. At the same time, you also need to ask many questions before initiating cloud migration.
Here are answers to some of the crucial questions you need to ask before cloud migration.
Question 1: Do the services and solutions provided by the cloud vendor meet my precise service objectives?
The cloud service providers allow you to choose from a wide range of services and solutions. However, every cloud-based service and solution is not designed by targeting a specific business or industry. Hence, you need to define your business goals clearly and check if the cloud platform meets your business needs precisely.
Question 2: Does the cloud platform support Multi-Tenant operations?
You can always bring down cloud computing cost by opting for public cloud. However, you must remember that public cloud, unlike private cloud, does not keep different users on different cloud resources. Some users could be using shared resources. For some business operations, public or shared cloud services are quite useful, but not for all.
Once you figure out which of them is a better solution, it becomes essential to check if the cloud platform supports multi-tenant operations. Also, you must check if the cloud service provider keeps your business element isolated through server instances located across geographic locations.
Question 3: Does the vendor explain components of SLA unambiguously?
The components of service level agreement (SLAs) differ from one cloud service providers to another. Some providers keep the components of SLA simple, while others make the components complex and ambiguous. You must check if the components are defined.
Also, you must not make any assumptions and ask an exact question about specific components of the SLA. Certain service providers can personalize SLA for different clients, which can be helpful when you need tailormade cloud solutions. If you are choosing custom cloud solutions, seeking a custom SLA can be a smart move.
Question 4: Does the cloud service provider support and facilitate automation?
Cloud automation helps you to make your business processes more efficient and cost-effective. However, the level of cloud automation supported by individual vendors differs. Some cloud service providers limit automation to necessary actions, like billing. However, some offer better functions such as add/remove users, change passwords, and more.
The cloud automation will have a direct impact on the cloud migration process as it helps you control your business operations better. It can even save you the time, as you do not have to contact the vendor’s support team for small issues repeatedly.
Question 5: Does the cloud service provider ensures business continuity and disaster recovery?
With your critical applications relying on the cloud, any disruption in the availability can hurt the business. Most cloud service providers promise over 99% uptime, which means a total downtime of 3.65 days in a year, which is considered acceptable for most businesses. Since availability needs may vary for different users and your requirement for uptime can be higher.
You need to check if the vendor is keeping in place a strategy and providing the solutions required to accelerate disaster recovery. It is also important to opt for a provider that implements multiple disaster recovery policies. You can further evaluate the resiliency of the cloud environment by collecting data from neutral sources.
Question 6: How will the cloud activities be monitored and documented?
You cannot take advantage of cloud computing fully without monitoring your activities consistently. Also, you need to implement a number of cloud optimization techniques to improve the quality of cloud-based services.
That is why you need to check if the cloud service provider is allowing you to track the changes occurring in your account and identifying the persons making these changes. The cloud vendor must provide an elaborate audit trial to make it easier for you to track the changes being made to your account on a regular basis.
Question 7: Will the vendor support unexpected changes with the availed service?
After moving your business resources to the cloud, you have to explore ways to meet the sudden or unexpected surge in workload. The requirements for support will keep increasing as you will need upgrades with resources while you store more data in the cloud or add more users.
Likewise, the installation of more software will also increase the workload consistently. The highly scalable nature of cloud computing will help you to accommodate additional workload by availing computing resources on demand. However, you still need to check how the cloud vendor handles a sudden surge in the future.
Question 8: Will the applications and data remain secured in the cloud?
When you decide to adopt cloud computing, it becomes essential to focus on the security of the application, data, and other business elements.
You need to assess the network segmentation and security solutions provided by the cloud vendor. Also, you have to check how the vendor keeps your corporate and customer data secured in rest and transit. It is also important to check how the vendor will monitor your business resources and eliminate chances of security breaches.
Question 9: Does the provider allow customers to test and evaluate cloud platform components?
Each cloud vendor allows you to choose from a variety of services and solutions. However, you must remember that the quality of individual cloud-based products and services differ. You cannot run your applications smoothly and store data securely without selecting the right cloud services and solutions.
It is always important to check if the cloud service provider allows you to evaluate and test the components required for the planned configuration in advance.
Question 10: Does the cloud service provider provide solutions to simplify cloud migration?
You cannot move your applications and data to the cloud successfully without investing in skilled cloud engineers. The cloud engineers will need additional time and resources to move complex application and large volumes of data to the cloud platform. Hence, you need to check if the vendor will help you to simplify and accelerate cloud migration. You even need to ask specific questions to understand the migration process and required migration assistance.
On the whole, you can reap a number of benefits by moving your data and applications to the cloud. However, you must remember that cloud migration is a complex and time-consuming process. You must ask many questions to evaluate the viability of cloud adoption and understand how to simplify cloud migration.