Changes to the technology landscape, the evolution of bad actors, and the pandemic have prompted organizations across multiple verticals to become more concerned about where and how they protect their data. A move to the cloud can provide cost savings, improved efficiency, greater flexibility, scalability, and security for an organization However, migrating their workloads to the cloud environment can feel like a daunting task for many. We’re here to provide the answers to some of your most burning questions on cloud migration.
- What exactly is Cloud Computing?
To fully grasp the concept, it may be useful to compare Cloud Computing to an actual cloud. While physical clouds are made of clusters of water molecules that create balls of white fluff in the sky, the digital cloud is a dense cluster of computer systems working together as one giant computing resource – here on the ground. Traditionally, cloud computing can be made available to you in three ways: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS), and can give your business more bang for your buck. If you’re trying to determine if cloud migration is right for your organization, you should ask these key questions:
a. Does your demand for IT vary throughout the year?
b. Are the costs of your IT impacting your ability to grow as a business?
- What are the benefits of moving to the cloud and how do I prepare my organization for migration?
Migration to the cloud can address a myriad of issues. From cybersecurity threats to cashflow challenges to the need for better business continuity, cloud technology has provided solutions for evolving environments and quickly become one of the leading drivers shaping the digital future – especially in the Caribbean region. While it may seem like a purely technical decision, more importantly, it’s a business decision that requires lots of preparation. First, you will need to:
I) Define Your Strategy: Engage the relevant stakeholders and partners to ensure alignment with your organization’s immediate, intermediate, and long-term goals while considering the impact on various departments across your company network.
II) Discover & Assess: Knowing where you are is just as important as knowing where you want to go. An assessment of your digital estate (including physical and on-prem assets) can provide important insights – specifically dependencies or vulnerabilities – that can help you customize your cloud environment to meet your company’s growth needs. Assessments will also help your teams gauge your organization’s overall readiness.
With the data from your assessments in hand, you can now focus your planning efforts on funding the cost of the cloud migration exercise. Because the cloud is costed as a usage model, you must ensure your choice meets both performance and economic targets. This is where the appropriate Service Level Agreements (SLA) come into play. SLAs function as a blueprint of the provider’s service and can protect your organization's assets and reputation. The agreements set clear and measurable guidelines and will give your team a level of peace of mind that your cloud migration is being managed effectively.
- Will I need to hire more IT staff for the migration process?
The benefit of working with an experienced cloud service provider – like Cloud Carib – is that cloud transition is fully managed. While you won’t have to hire additional IT staff, having some IT expertise in-house is key for a smooth transition.
- How will IT access servers that have been migrated to the cloud?
The tools used are identical to the ones in use today. For example, if you use Windows, you still use RDP (Remote Desktop) to manage your servers. For Linux, you can use the command line (SSH, etc.). In addition, as a managed service provider, we walk you through the entire process to ensure your comfort level. We also provide 24/7/365 support if you do need assistance.
- Is data stored in the cloud more susceptible to ransomware and cybersecurity threats?
From encryption to identity management and physical security, the cloud is equipped to keep your data safe from cyberattacks. In fact, protecting your personal information has become a greater priority for cloud providers as high-profile hacks have become more common. Your ideal cloud provider may have certifications for HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and SOC. Your business continuity plans should also utilize redundant hardware, backup generators, and other measures to prevent downtime while physical data centre locations could employ badge access restrictions, security cameras, and fences for added security.
- How is Cloud Carib different from other cloud service providers like AWS, Azure, or Google?
AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud provide infrastructure (servers, storage, compute, etc.) just like we do. However, that is where they end and where Cloud Carib is just getting started. The "big 3" do not assist you in migration, training, or ongoing support functions. They don't design the solution FOR you. They simply supply the resources you specifically ask for. If you manage to move to their platforms, you need to then consider how you'll secure your data, and how you'll protect it from data loss (think backups and replication).
Cloud Carib, as a managed service provider (as opposed to just an infrastructure provider), helps our customers to migrate their environment in the most efficient way possible, and we then ensure your new environment is safe and secure. That process also includes data residency considerations. As a regionally based company with no legal ties to the United States, we can guarantee that your critical data will never end up in the hands of the US authorities.