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How to Make the Move From On-Premise to the Secure Cloud

January 13, 2017

It could very well be a sign of the times. One of the biggest providers of streaming content in history is jettisoning its on-premises infrastructure and heading entirely to the public cloud. Business Cloud News reported in August that Netflix was changing its model of data storage. Up until now, Netflix had been running a hybrid cloud, with most of its public-facing services, as well as its internal processes, deployed on the public cloud and managed through Amazon Web Services, but it had kept its on-premises infrastructure in order to back up its video collection and act as a failover. In fact, according to the article, Netflix was still investing money in its data center infrastructure until recently.

But the sheer size of the enterprise and the need to scale easily has led Netflix to move everything to the public cloud. Now, your client might not be as big as Netflix. They might not have a customer base, nor data or performance requirements, quite on the same scale. But they could very well be coming to the same conclusions that Netflix did about the overall efficacy of their on-premises infrastructure and could be considering moving to the cloud.

So how does a client make the move? Here are a few strategies to keep in mind for any enterprise—Netflix-sized or SMB—when bidding farewell to the in-house data center and moving everything to a secure public cloud.

Decide What Stays and What Goes

An enterprise with no services running on the cloud whatsoever might have to make some hard choices when it comes to applications. The cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) applications that a company can avail itself of may fit the bill perfectly for replacing some of the legacy software installed and managed on-premises. After all, making software that can suit these needs is what cloud developers do.

At the same time, there may be legacy software a business uses that is entirely unique, still useful, and doesn’t have an existing SaaS analogue—or at least not one that is easily migrated to. In such cases re-architecting the software to perform—and even perform better—on a cloud platform will be a necessity.  

Ask the Question: Who Will Manage the Services?

Just as there will be changes in which applications are deployed, a client may also be faced with staffing changes to reflect the differing needs of remote cloud management. Will there be on-site tech pros taking care of the elements of cloud-based infrastructure that require higher-level management? Will services and support be handled by external providers on the cloud end, and if so, which ones? Such choices require careful, thoughtful, and informed consideration and should not be rushed into.

Think About Making Business Better

As it may have already become clear, moving to the cloud isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. It’s a choice that affects an entire enterprise—with implications from staffing to accounting and beyond.

With this in mind, an enterprise can look at a move from on-premises to a secure public cloud as a way to re-evaluate its processes, take stock of how certain software packages are or are not suiting the business’s needs, and streamline both the business’s public offerings and internal operations. It’s rare that an enterprise has a chance to really dig deep into its business practices and take a look at what works and what doesn’t. A move to the cloud is one of those times when it is possible.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything old needs to be abandoned either. But it means that an enterprise would be wise to have serious, detailed conversations about what works, what can be done better, and what new successes the cloud can facilitate.  

What are the most effective strategies that you have seen for moving from on-premise to secure cloud storage?