Today’s small business owners want, no, need on-demand access to data, greater flexibility, and the ability to work when and how they like in order to compete with larger organization.
Concerns around price, security, and fear of change have historically held them back from making changes to their IT operating environments to achieve these necessities. However, now more than ever, businesses are looking to the cloud as a means to better manage, secure, and support their IT infrastructures. In fact, because of the benefits the cloud can deliver, worldwide spending on cloud services is growing exponentially faster than for general IT solutions.
Why is this? First and foremost, the cloud is a way for enterprises to cost-effectively upgrade their IT infrastructure as compared to the price tag of refreshing in-house hardware and software. On top of that, cloud providers offer best-in-class IT infrastructure, so enterprises avoid the security risks that accompany aging infrastructure. Additionally, the cloud is inherently flexible, meaning it will allow enterprises to easily scale up solutions that forward their business models and scale down ones that don’t.
However, a move to the cloud is not as simple as eliminating your physical network infrastructure and software and moving it all to a hosting company. Indeed, as more organizations investigate hosted cloud environments, they are discovering that making the right choices can be complex. This is because not every aspect of your business can be easily and/or effectively moved into the cloud. Certain workloads are better suited to on-premise environments than others, which can run more productively in the cloud. So you must do your homework to ensure that the hosted services — and the cloud provider — that you choose can deliver the benefits you are after.
We think it’s best to start the process by knowing the basic types of cloud workloads: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS)—IaaS for developers, Software as a Service (SaaS), and Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Services. In our experience, the method of cloud migration with the most long-term success is replacing on-premises workloads with their equivalent of the above cloud-provided versions. Knowing the ins and outs of this exchange is quite specialized, and we typically recommend that small businesses work with an MSP to develop a cloud migration strategy, which will help them make this shift smoothly and effectively.
“It’s an architectural shift,” says Bobby Patrick, chief marketing officer for HPE Cloud at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Whether on- or off-premises, you’re trying to create an IT environment with a significantly lower operating cost structure and significantly higher development and power. If you don’t accomplish that, then you’re not successful, regardless of what technology you use.”