Leadership dictated it. Finance justified it. Vendors made on-prem/private cloud options less appealing. However you (or your IT department!) feel about it, you’re moving to the cloud. Fear not! You’ll like the benefits the cloud has to offer—and if you know how your core business applications will port to the cloud, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.
You know the reasons to make the move: OpEx rather than CapEx, modern development frameworks, infinite marketplace pluggability, scale up/scale down with demand, churn & burn test/dev. But do you know how it’s actually going to change your business?
The answer is: not much! All it means is that you used to run your core business applications on one set of servers—that you may or may not have owned—and now you’re going to run them on a different set of servers. See? That wasn’t so bad.
Think about when you move house: you have all the same stuff you’ve ever had, you’re just putting it somewhere else. When you’re moving to the cloud, your planning should include the same kinds of questions to make the transition smoother and faster:
- Does all my stuff fit in the house? = Do I have enough disk storage?
You can always expand storage if you realize that you need more space than expected. Just like there’s a storage facility within a mile of most American homes, any cloud provider will be happy to grant you more disk space – it just may cost more, especially at the last minute.
- Do people know where to find me? = Do I have a DNS plan?
This is one of the easiest adjustments to make on the fly, because you can always update contact info. Bless USPS, our alma maters who find our new addresses to ask for donations before our moms know where we live, and most especially, simple DNS TTL capabilities for URL/internet change of address inside of an hour.
- Do I have enough insurance? = Do I have robust DR and BCP plans?
You can always up your insurance, but it’s important to have it in place before an emergency—and your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan are exactly the same. Your agent is waiting to expand your insurance coverage with bated breath, and cloud awaits you with a breadth of DR capabilities like you’ve never seen with on-prem/private cloud.
- Are there plugs where I need them to be for my appliances = Can I still integrate with what I need?
This is where complexity comes in. Sometimes, we need a floor outlet for that fancy floor lamp that’s too precious to give up. The TV needs to go on that specific wall to work with the furniture, but there’s no outlet there. The luxuries and comforts in your home make it optimal rather than passable, and you want to know that you can carry those forward in your new environs. These are the same as those business integrations that make your work life easier and that have to work with the underlying infrastructure of your new digs.
Maintaining integrations through the transition to cloud can be the scariest proposition for any business—and it may be the one that has your IT department or executive team most concerned. You may even be putting off needed improvements or new integrations until you know exactly how your new cloud functionality works.
This is the point where it matters what systems you’ve chosen to build upon and integrate with. Just as hard-wired home systems won’t go with you when you move to a new home, neither will hard-wired auxiliary business systems go with you into the cloud. You need a flexible approach that moves with you, and in the tech space, that flexibility is granted by APIs built around your business processes but designed to be portable.
If you choose to delve into more detail on what makes systems portable to the cloud, make sure you know what the move means to the data flows and systems around your core business application. That’s where you’ll b