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ASG Perspectives

Blog > March 2019 > 3 Things to Consider Before Moving Your Content to the Cloud

3 Things to Consider Before Moving Your Content to the Cloud

Cloud is now a core component of the modern IT platform. In fact, 77 percent of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of their enterprise computing infrastructure in the cloud, according to the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing Study. With cloud adoption taking off, your IT questions have likely shifted from “Should I go cloud?” to “How should I go cloud?” Or equally important, “What should go to the cloud?” Yet even with so many clear benefits, your business should consider a few logistics before hopping on the cloud bandwagon. Take these three steps to determine how you can successfully move your content to the cloud.

Choose Your Cloud Flavor

With cloud entering the mix, your IT ecosystem can take many forms—private cloud, public cloud, on-premises or hybrid cloud—but it’s important to know which is best for your business. Organizations look to cost as a deciding factor, though the answer may not be so clear. Weighing the cost of cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), against an on-premises option can be like comparing apples to oranges. The price tag for hardware may seem less expensive than that of cloud servers, but there are many costs that are overlooked when running software on-premises. Keep in mind that you aren’t just paying for hardware—you’re also paying for:

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  • Virtualization software and the other pieces that run on the hardware, such as the database, load balance and operating system
  • Maintenance contracts and future upgrades
  • Hardware insurance
  • Heating and cooling bills
  • Human costs—employees must manage the hardware and infrastructure software
 
When these costs are accounted for, cloud may well be the less expensive option. Cloud services can be purchased as needed, which allows you to transition your IT investments from CapEx to OpEx. This approach is often a preferred way to account for costs and provide a way to scale infrastructure and cost in a linear manner to meet growth and demand spikes. However, you also need to manage budgets carefully since scaling to meet growing demand will also increase costs.

Evaluate the Risk and Reward  

If you are still unsure about changing your IT infrastructure, a hybrid cloud environment is a great way to start. Hybrid cloud includes a combination of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services and a public cloud. It also provides the ideal opportunity to “test the waters” before moving all or most of your content to the cloud. With a hybrid cloud environment, you can test different cloud capabilities and benefits, such as:

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  • Security. Many organizations still have concerns about the secure deployment of their content applications in the cloud. Yet cloud can be a superior option for security. The risk of outages is low, and cloud providers such as AWS offer comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs) and have established expertise in security around their offering. With a hybrid cloud environment, you can maintain documents that require special security on-premises and move the rest to the cloud to take advantage of vendors’ cloud security expertise.
  • Scalability. Scaling on IT infrastructure can be extremely expensive and often drives costs up in large incremental steps. With hybrid cloud, you can move specific workloads that have variable demand to a cloud environment for efficient scaling where you need it. In fact, with improved automation rules on the cloud, you can scale resources up and down as business demands change—and invest in Content Services Platforms that auto-scale alongside cloud capacity.
  • Speed to market. If your IT infrastructure is working close to capacity, spinning up a new environment to test, prototype and launch new products is a challenge. Hybrid cloud allows resources to be deployed and commissioned in an automated process, so companies are no longer limited by their IT footprint.
  • Business continuity. Hybrid cloud solutions allow you to replicate your critical data to a cloud solution in a different location than the primary systems. This provides data insurance in the event of a disaster—natural or technological—to minimize downtime and related costs.
 
Plan for Cloud Adoption Challenges

With all the benefits of the cloud, there are still a few growing pains that you should prepare for during the adoption process. Before moving your content, it’s crucial to strategize with these challenges in mind:

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  • Defining business objectives. You need an end-to-end strategy from the outset. The adoption process is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to different types of content, so you must assess your entire application portfolio before planning implementation.
  • Preparing people and processes. Despite reaping the benefits of cloud, it will take business users some time to adjust to new technology. And, moving applications must be done with a clear understanding of impacts to data and data flows (ASG Data Intelligence can help with this). Change management will be crucial during and after the adoption period.
  • Migrating existing content solutions. Given most organizations are not looking to build a new solution from scratch, you will need to migrate existing repositories and possibly enormous volumes of data to the cloud. It is important to account for necessary lead time. Your business’s network is architected for its normal traffic and activity, not to migrate a 100 thousand- or billion-document repository.
  • Bridging legacy systems and cloud applications. Many of your current systems may not be cloud-ready. To avoid creating data siloes or losing information along the way, you can deploy Content Services Platforms such as Mobius, which work in the cloud, on-premises and in hybrid cloud environments.
 
After weighing the risks and rewards, it’s up to you to decide what content and processes—if any—should be moved to the cloud. Investing in a modern IT platform, even incrementally, will ensure you get the most value from your content today and in the future.

To learn how ASG’s Content Services Platform, Mobius, can help you maximize cloud computing capabilities, including content and data security, availability and auto-scaling, visit this product page or read this blog.
 
 
 
Posted: 3/6/2019 2:15:16 PM by Rob Perry