Have you been wondering what benefits there are in moving some of your infrastructure to the cloud? Why are so many businesses talking about it and making the move? This decision can be particularly difficult if you have an environment that is paid for and running smoothly. But let’s explore some of the initial basic questions that come up while considering this question:
- Are any of your business applications mission critical? If so, do you have a disaster recovery or any other kind of mitigation plan?
- Is the underlying OS supporting your mission critical apps being properly maintained and patched?
- What are your on-going IT operational expenses (including hardware and software maintenance, support contracts, and in-house staff)?
- Is your IT staff spending a large amount of time doing routine maintenance and other operational jobs which could be automated (such as patching, upgrading, doing backups, etc.)?
- Does your website or any web applications you have suffer from slow performance due to a bottleneck in your data center Internet connection?
- Can your mission critical applications scale up properly and automatically whenever you have peak demand? And scale down to reduce costs?
This kind of initial assessment can help in realizing if you are a good candidate to migrate your environment. From a business point of view, one should also consider how often you are incurring capital expenses (such as replacing servers or hard drives) that would disappear after migrating to the cloud.
Finally, once the current cost structure is well understood, one can compare that model to an OPEX cloud based cost structure. Amazon Web Services, for example, does an excellent job of publishing their cost structure. These days, most enterprises are realizing that the benefits of moving to the cloud are more obvious than ever and that there are far greater costs in keeping their environment in-house.