With the rise in remote work over the past year, companies are looking for ways that their employees can work and access data no matter where they are. Moving data centers to the cloud is the best way to achieve this because workers can access the information as long as they have an internet connection. Additionally, it’s much easier to add more cloud space than it is on-premises space because you don’t have to purchase any extra hardware.
However, cloud migration can be a time-consuming and expensive process, which means persuading executives to see the benefits can be a challenge. The value of the cloud doesn’t lie in savings alone. Over time, migrating to the cloud can actually save companies money on on-premises server space, operating costs, and software licensing. Because some on-premise data center costs are hidden, it can be difficult to balance those long-term savings with the upfront costs of cloud migration.
If you’re looking to get your company data and applications onto the cloud, we’ve put together a list of best practices for effective cloud control and cost management to help you reduce the risk for your C-level team.
- Plan cloud migrations ahead
- Take stock of your data and apps
- Use reserved instances whenever possible
- Hire a cloud specialist
- Employ cloud cost management tools
- Making your final pitch
Cloud migrations are a large undertaking, but planning ahead can make a big difference when it comes to the budget and timeline. Make sure you clarify what each person on your migration team is responsible for and set deadlines for each project phase to keep things moving along. You’ll also need to decide which cloud migration approach you want to take and whether you’ll be setting up a single cloud or multicloud network.
Additionally, if there are applications you want to move, see if your providers offer cloud-based options. They may allow you to switch your license over to the cloud for little or no extra charge, and then you won’t have to migrate those apps.
Also read: Data Storage in Multicloud: Best Practices
Before you begin your cloud migration, you should take stock of all of the data and applications on your network. If you have applications or data that are no longer relevant to your company, go ahead and get rid of those to prevent wasting resources on their migration.
You’ll also need to consider all of the applications and data you have and decide what needs to be on the cloud and what can stay where it is. You don’t want to waste time migrating an application only to find out it needs to stay on-premises. Some data may need to stay on your in-house servers to comply with regulatory requirements.
Also read: It’s Now or Never to Shift to Real-Time Apps
When you purchase server space from a cloud provider, you can either buy reserved instances or on-demand instances. These “instances”, simply put, refer to a collection of data or one copy of a software license on the cloud server. Instances are used to help partition data and provide a visual of what’s in your cloud. With reserved instances, you’re committing to using a certain amount of server space and prepay for them. Because of this, cloud providers often offer a steep discount for reserved instances. However, you don’t want to pay for server space you don’t need, so estimate conservatively since you can always add more space later.
While hiring to save money might sound counterintuitive, a cloud specialist is well-versed in many of the challenges that can arise with cloud migrations and can help you avoid them or at least solve them faster. A cloud migration specialist doesn’t have to be a new employee; in fact, there are companies, like erwin, that specialize in helping companies migrate their assets to the cloud, and they’re generally cheaper than salary and benefits for a new employee.
Also read: Top Companies for Cloud Migration Services
Similar to hiring a cloud specialist, there are cloud cost management tools you can use to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to for your cloud services. Cloud management software like ParkMyCloud or Zesty will monitor the amount of cloud space you’re using and the computing power your network demands. Depending on the tool’s features, you may get an alert when you’re paying for more space than you need, or the system may be able to automatically scale back the number of instances you’re using. The reporting features alert your team to wasted spending and highlight any redundancies in your cloud.
Once you have the necessary information, you’re ready to make your final pitch to your executive team. Be ready to explain the advantages of migrating to the cloud and what you’re missing out on by keeping your data on-premises. Layout your plan for the cloud migration and show them where you can cut costs by dropping extraneous applications and using reserved instances where you can. Come prepared with the names of cloud migration companies and cloud cost management tools that can provide your team with the features they need, keep your migration on schedule, and keep costs as low as possible.
Read next: Best Cloud Migration Tools