7 Business Benefits of Cloud Data Migration

By Shane Barker

Published on March 21, 2024

Business Benefits of Cloud Data Migration

Cloud data migration transfers data, applications, and workloads from on-premises or local data storage systems to cloud-based platforms. 

Any organization serious about scaling and maintaining profitability should be on the cloud. The shift isn't simply about adopting the next big thing. It can revolutionize how your business operates.

The option to migrate data to the cloud has existed since the turn of the century. Despite this, a recent cloud adoption report found that 55% of respondents still use a traditionally managed on-premises infrastructure.

Organizations are slowly waking up to the benefits of being on the cloud–with the same report stating that 48% plan to migrate at least half of their applications to the cloud in the next year. And 20% intend to move all their applications to the cloud.

In this blog, we'll:

  • Cover the reasons on-premise data storage is yesterday's news

  • Explain seven business benefits of transitioning to the cloud

  • Share common challenges in transitioning to the cloud and how to address them

Why it's time to ditch legacy systems

While on-premises solutions have been a longstanding choice, they come with their fair share of drawbacks. Let's explore some key challenges associated with legacy applications:

  • High initial costs: On-premises setups require significant upfront investments in hardware, software, and infrastructure.

  • Limited scalability: Scaling up or down can be slow and costly with on-premises infrastructure.

  • Maintenance burden: Businesses are responsible for maintaining, upgrading, and securing their hardware and software.

  • Data security challenges: Ensuring robust security measures and compliance can be complex and costly.

  • Limited accessibility: Access to data and applications is restricted to the ability to access the corporate network.

  • Disaster recovery complexity: Implementing effective plans can be challenging and expensive.

  • Resource wastage: Hardware must be sufficient for peak processing but often sits idle during periods of low demand, leading to resource inefficiency.

7 benefits of cloud data migration

Without further ado, let's dive into the business benefits of migrating to the cloud.

1. Scale and Adapt at Will

Scalability in cloud data migration is akin to having a dynamic and responsive IT infrastructure. 

It allows businesses to adjust their computing resources, such as storage, processing power, and memory, to match ‌fluctuations in demand or workload. That way, they're always running at peak capacity.

This adaptability is particularly beneficial when a business experiences seasonal spikes in website traffic, sudden surges in data processing requirements, or gradual growth in operations.

With scalability, businesses no longer need to make hefty upfront investments in hardware that may sit idle during quieter periods. Now, you only pay for resources when they need to be used. 

This benefit not only optimizes cost efficiency but also helps with budget allocation.

Scalability removes the constraints of traditional on-premises infrastructure. It means an organization can seamlessly expand its digital capacity in response to evolving business needs, ensuring a consistent user experience and uninterrupted service delivery.

This type of adaptability is crucial, where agility can be the difference between seizing opportunities and falling behind the competition.

2. Only pay for what you use

As already alluded to, cloud migration reduces the need for substantial upfront capital investments in hardware and infrastructure.

Traditional on-premises setups often require significant expenditures for physical servers and data centers. These expenses include purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading.

However, cloud data migration replaces these upfront costs with a more predictable pay-as-you-go model.

Organizations would pay only for the computing resources and storage they use, reducing wastage and making the IT budget more manageable.

For example, a business can dynamically adjust its computing resources to match demand precisely.

This means they no longer have to maintain excess capacity to handle occasional peak workloads, resulting in fewer operational costs and avoiding the inefficiencies of underutilized resources.

It's an approach that empowers businesses to optimize their financial resources without compromising performance.

3. Better security and privacy

The average data breach cost in the USA was under $10 million.

Can any business afford to pay for that? And let's not forget the reputational cost. Cloud computing puts this worry to bed.

Any good cloud computing provider invests in cutting-edge security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and threat detection systems, often surpassing what businesses can independently implement.

Data at rest and in transit is encrypted, rendering it indecipherable to unauthorized parties and bolstering the confidentiality of sensitive information.

Data is duplicated and held in multiple geographically separate data centers. This process protects against data loss due to unforeseen circumstances or technical issues.

User access controls and authentication mechanisms enable fine-grained control over who can access, modify, or delete data–maintaining data integrity.

For example, you can use OAuth, an open standard for authorization, to grant access to your data only to trusted applications and users. OAuth allows you to control who can access your data, what they can do with it, and for how long. 

That way, you can reduce the risk of exposing your sensitive data to malicious actors or third parties.

4. Automatic updates

Automatic updates are vital to software maintenance and security. The cloud will regularly download and install necessary improvements and patches to address security vulnerabilities, software bugs, and performance enhancements.

From a security perspective, automatic updates are crucial in safeguarding against potential threats. When security vulnerabilities are discovered, software developers release patches to fix them.

Users might delay or miss applying these patches without automatic updates, exposing their systems to attacks.

Moreover, automatic updates contribute to the overall stability and performance of software. They often include bug fixes that prevent crashes or glitches, ensuring a smoother user experience.

Automatic updates also enable software providers to deliver new features and improvements seamlessly. Rather than waiting for the next major release, users can benefit from incremental enhancements as they become available.

5. Remote accessibility

Remote accessibility is a standout advantage of cloud migration that fundamentally changes how organizations work. 

It's like having the power to take the entire office with you wherever you go without lugging around stacks of papers or heavy equipment. 

People can work from home, a coffee shop, a different city, or even a different country — all they (and those they are collaborating with) need is an internet connection. 

And the main and most important beneficiaries? The customers.

With cloud-based systems, customer support teams can respond swiftly to inquiries. Why? They can access critical customer data and tools from anywhere. 

The result? Faster response times. 

Cloud systems make a business more available to its customers than ever before and minimize service disruptions — even in the face of unexpected events.

6. Better disaster recovery and flawless business continuity

Cloud data management is a lifeline for disaster recovery.

The cloud steps in during the unfortunate event of a data catastrophe‌ (due to a natural disaster, a cyberattack, or even a simple human error‌).

When a business stores its data in the cloud, it's not in one place but distributed across multiple data centers in different locations. This means your data is safe and sound elsewhere, even if one data center takes a hit.

But it gets better. Cloud data management also offers automated backup and versioning. It's like having an ever-vigilant assistant who diligently makes copies of the data at regular intervals. So, if the worst happens and your data gets compromised, you can simply roll back to a previous version.

And the best part? Data recovery tools are also remotely accessible. So, while a physical office might be out of commission due to a disaster, the data and recovery capabilities are just a click away.

In this way, cloud data management is an insurance policy against data disasters. It guarantees that an organization's valuable data isn't only securely stored and easily recoverable, no matter what.

7. Access to better insights from data

Cloud data management is like a treasure chest for unlocking the full potential of data.

Imagine your data as puzzle pieces scattered across a room. Before cloud data management, putting that puzzle together was like searching for a needle in a haystack. But now, with the cloud, those puzzle pieces are neatly organized and accessible from anywhere.

The magic lies in its scalability and processing power. Cloud data management can handle massive datasets and crunch numbers at lightning speed, ready to analyze data at a moment's notice.

Organizations can run complex algorithms, perform real-time analytics, and gain insights that were once out of reach.

And thanks to remote accessibility, a team — no matter where they are — can collaborate, access the same data, and run analyses.

The cloud is a playground for advanced analytics tools, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These technologies can uncover hidden patterns, predict future trends, and provide actionable insights.

Overall, the cloud empowers a business to harness the full potential of its data. You can analyze it with unprecedented speed and accuracy. It's the best way to make informed decisions that can drive the business forward securely with scalability on offer as and when needed.

Overcoming common challenges of cloud data migration

The business benefits and the competitive advantage of being on the cloud are too good to turn down. So, why are some businesses slow or resistant to cloud data migration?

Here are three common challenges and concerns and how they can be addressed.

Business interruption during migration

Although business continuity is guaranteed once on the cloud, what about any interruptions during migration?

During the migration to the cloud, there's a potential for interruptions and disruptions to occur. These interruptions can stem from various factors, including technical challenges, data transfer issues, and configuration errors.

Businesses must anticipate and plan for these potential interruptions to minimize their impact. Here are some key considerations:

  • Downtime planning: Businesses should schedule cloud migration during off-peak hours or periods of low activity to reduce the impact on daily operations. They should also communicate with stakeholders and end-users about the expected downtime.

  • Testing and validation: Thorough testing and verification of cloud configurations and applications before and after migration can help identify and address potential issues that could cause interruptions. Ensuring that all systems function as expected in the cloud environment is essential.

Although a cloud provider can help with business interruptions, a complete transition to the cloud might feel risky. In this case, a hybrid data management tool can prove valuable.

Take Nlyte, for instance. Their solution oversees both on-premises infrastructure and cloud resources. It's like having a control tower for your migration journey.

A hybrid cloud can offer dynamic resource allocation, ensuring you have the computing power needed for data transfer, transformation, and validation. Additionally, it'll grant you complete visibility into your data assets, making it easy to identify what should be migrated and how.

Fear of data loss

Understandably, data loss keeps business owners awake at night.

While popular cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) handle securing the underlying physical and network infrastructure that supports workloads and data, you're responsible for securing the workloads and data you deploy in AWS.

This model, the Shared Responsibility Model, is a fundamental part of AWS' operations. So, if you are considering migrating to AWS, ensure an AWS backup strategy is in place.

That way, you can sleep better at night, knowing you have enough data protection and recovery.

Getting stakeholder buy-in for a large-scale cloud transition

It's normal for stakeholders to resist cloud migration due to the typical worries of large-scale changes. In this case, consider a measured migration.

It involves a phased approach rather than a sudden and disruptive cloud migration strategy.

Start by identifying non-critical workloads, applications, or data sets suitable for the cloud. These initial steps can serve as pilot projects, providing valuable learning experiences for the IT team.

More critical workloads are gradually moved to the cloud as confidence and expertise grow. This staged migration allows for adjustments, testing, and optimization, minimizing disruptions and mitigating risks. 

It also guarantees that your organization's cloud strategy aligns with its evolving needs and objectives. Incremental cloud adoption empowers you to reap the benefits of the cloud while maintaining control and adaptability throughout the process.

The result? A successful cloud migration.

It's time to move to the cloud

The advantages of migrating to the cloud are undeniable.

It's not merely a technological shift — it's a fundamental transformation in how your business operates.

Scalability provides optimal resource usage and cost-efficiency while robust security measures protect sensitive data. Automatic updates keep software secure and up-to-date, reducing disruptions for users.

Remote accessibility empowers organizations to work from anywhere, delivering superior customer service. Disaster recovery becomes more reliable, and better data insights drive informed decision-making.

The overwhelming evidence suggests that being on the cloud is no longer an option but a necessity for modern businesses.

It's time to embrace the cloud and unlock its potential for your organization's success. When you’re ready to take the next step, let Alation show you how their solutions can streamline the process. Take a tour or book a demo today.

  • Why it's time to ditch legacy systems
  • 7 benefits of cloud data migration
  • Overcoming common challenges of cloud data migration
  • It's time to move to the cloud
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