The Business Case for Moving Your Business’s Applications from On-Prem to the Cloud
AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Dropbox – no matter what industry you’re working in today, you’ve heard of at least one cloud storage/compute provider. Every year, more data moves to the cloud and fewer companies operate their own infrastructure. If you’re considering moving from on-premise to cloud infrastructure, there are some compelling reasons to do so.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the best reasons to move to the cloud and how to make it happen for your company.
Greater Reliability, No Single Point of Failure
Perhaps the number one reason companies move their data to the cloud is for risk reduction.
When you store your data or serve your application from on-premise hardware, you have a single point of failure. If your server goes down, your data goes with it. Until you can restore the server, business grinds to a halt. This kind of weak link can be especially costly for modern service businesses where access to data drives all work.
Moving that data to the cloud introduces redundancy and high availability. No matter which cloud service provider you choose, standard practice is to replicate your data across multiple data centers and even geographic regions. If one copy of your data becomes unavailable, the cloud infrastructure automatically fails over to other copies of your data. This means that all major cloud providers ensure >99.99% availability of your data, often at milliseconds of latency.
In today’s fast-paced, competitive market, reducing data risk has to be a key focus for all companies. With the massive resources of Amazon, Google, or Microsoft, you’d be hard-pressed to build a more reliable, secure data center than the ones they operate.
Faster Response Times, Across the World
Cloud providers also have global infrastructure that is unmatched. If your company operates across the country or around the world, latency matters for data update/retrieval and application compute response times. With global infrastructure, data and compute power can be closer to users worldwide, leading to lower latency.
These cloud providers also allow you to tap into their managed content delivery networks (CDNs) and edge locations that cache frequently requested files and information close to where your users/employees request it.
To implement global infrastructure on your own would take an enormous budget, lots of expertise, and a long timeline. With cloud providers, you can spin up global infrastructure in just a few clicks.
No Need to Maintain Hardware, Fully Managed Solution
The biggest headache of on-premise data storage and application delivery is hardware maintenance and management. This requires budget for both the equipment and headcount to maintain and operate the hardware. In addition, servers take up physical space in your office or a data center that could be used in other ways.
Making the switch to cloud infrastructure means you’ll never have to manage hardware again. Cloud providers foot the bill for equipment, maintenance, and paying the smartest network engineers in the world.
Even though they provide a managed, value-added solution, cloud providers are still often cheaper than operating your own data centers. This is thanks to the economies of scale that come from operating enormous data center campuses with petabytes of storage and tens of thousands of CPUs for compute.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to make the switch from your existing hardware to a cloud provider. Most cloud providers have built-in capabilities to create file gateways for office servers that are easy to set up. These gateways start as a backup of your current file system and can gradually replace your on-premise hardware altogether.
Easier, More Frequent Backups & Deployments
For your web applications, code deployment using cloud services is a breeze. Where you might be used to uploading files to an on-premise server for your web app, cloud providers now virtualize that experience. You can use startup scripts and even integrate with CI/CD pipelines to deploy code seamlessly to the cloud if you’re not already.
Support for standard technologies like Docker makes it even easier to deploy to the cloud. Don’t underestimate the value of easier deployments. For one, making deployment easier takes a load off developers, keeping them happier. Furthermore, easier deployments mean you can get new features to customers more quickly and reliably.
The Cloud Is the Future
As cloud service providers get more sophisticated, they’ll continue to outstrip anything you could do with on-premise hardware. In the age of big data, rising consumer expectations around technology, and multi-platform software, companies can’t afford not to be using the cloud. Making the switch to cloud infrastructure is an investment in your company’s future.
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