Is your enterprise holding on to legacy systems and considering cloud migration? Despite major advances in technology, and constant shifts in customer behaviour and the way staff work, there’s still a lot of legacy systems out there that have been running for decades. Often hosted in on-premise data-centres, enterprises have relied on them for critical business operations. As they age, these systems become more of a challenge to manage, given that parts become out of date, and more prone to issues.
The trend of enterprises migrating all or part of their computing assets to the cloud is full-steam ahead. Worldwide, end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 18.4% in 2021. Cloud services will be the biggest share of global enterprise IT spending by 2024, growing from 9.1% in 2020 to 14.2% – spurred by the covid pandemic amongst other trends.
Key factors influencing legacy to cloud migration
With the global business environment more rapid and dynamic than ever before due to the internet, global connectivity, and smart technology such as AI, enterprises relying on legacy and on premise systems face more challenges and obstacles than their agile competitors.
The way we work is changing, as well are consumer habits. Staying agile to meet employee and customer demands is crucial, and cloud services are the logical and necessary first step towards digitisation of the enterprise. Work from Home, AI powered predictive email typing, user experience for backend systems, emails etc are top of mind for top talent and young talent when evaluating workplaces – many of which can’t be supported by outdated legacy systems.
Geographic expansion and scalability
Enterprises are constantly looking at new markets for growth. With high set up and operational costs to build physical infrastructure, expansion to new markets is longer and more costly than it needs to be. With cloud systems, the resources and infrastructure are virtually accessible right away in just a few clicks.
With “pay as you go” models, enterprises can simply pay for what they use, and eliminate the challenge of capacity planning for on premise systems, and ongoing operation costs for floor space, security, manpower and updates.
When situations arise that require budgets to be re-allocated between capital expense (CAPEX) and operating expense (OPEX), cloud services provide an alternative for converting traditional CAPEX to OPEX.
Internet of Things
The IoT era relies heavily on cloud infrastructure to process, store, and analyse data. Any Enterprise implementing IoT devices will need to rely on cloud services for their deployment plans.
Types of Cloud Deployment Models and Services
When considering cloud services, there’s multiple types and deployment models to consider.
Cloud Deployment Models
- Public Cloud – computing infrastructure located on the premises of the Cloud Service Provider, where resources are shared
- Private Cloud – Dedicated infrastructure, not shared by other organisations
- Hybrid Cloud – A combination of public and private cloud
- Community Cloud – Cloud infrastructure shared by other users of the same industry, or a limited set of organisations
Types of Cloud Services
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – contains the basic building blocks for cloud infrastructure, with users renting the IT infrastructure (physical or virtual) and networking functions
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – provides a framework of on-demand tools for development, testing, delivering of software applications
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – delivering on-demand software applications on a subscription basis, with the cloud service provider managing the cloud infrastructure. Accessible anywhere through a web browser.
- Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) – a sever-less computing concept which allows customers to develop, run, and manage application functionalities when triggered by a certain event
maaiiconnect is a SaaS solution that empowers enterprises with a secure, intelligent and unified platform for communications, customer engagement, and internal collaboration. With maaiiconnect, enterprises can scale at any time, expand quickly, and stay agile during uncertain times.
How to prepare for cloud migration
IT systems are large and complex with lot of interconnected pieces, so the prospects of cloud migration can seem intimidating. When starting the process, begin by understanding the benefits of the new technology and assessing gaps in the existing system.
Break the system down into smaller parts so you can conveniently divide the migration process into three distinct phases, which are:
- Understanding and planning
- Project timeline with key deliverables and stakeholders
- Defined metrics of success
- Workloads to be migrated, and potential alternatives
- Migration tools needed
- Project team roles and responsibilities
- Stakeholder communication strategy
Retirement of decommissioned systems is important. More often than not in legacy systems, some components have no real use as old systems were not decommissioned when new ones were installed, or parts are from certain use-cases that existed 20+ years ago that are no longer needed.
A point to highlight: there is no specific strategy that can be applied across the board to cloud migration. Every strategy needs to be designed on a case-by-case basis.
Cloud migration is a transition that needs to start well ahead of time
Enterprises rely on many legacy systems today for their operations. Keeping these systems running is a challenge because the technology is out of date, and hiring people who have expertise with the systems is difficult.
Cloud migration is also a challenge. Enterprises defer cloud migration usually until a time when the system stops working properly, which is very risky. The best approach for cloud migration is to do a slow transition in stages well ahead of time.