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"Simplify the sky-high potential of your business with a clear path to cloud adoption."

What is Cloud Computing, and Why Does it Matter?

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services like storage, processing power, software, and more via the Internet. Instead of managing physical servers on-premises, businesses can leverage the economies of scale and flexibility of cloud platforms. According to research, over 90% of enterprises now use cloud services in some capacity.

This widespread adoption speaks to the immense value cloud platforms provide to modern organisations. Cloud solutions offer businesses scalable resources, potential cost savings, innovative technologies, and more while freeing IT teams from complex infrastructure management. As digital transformation accelerates across every industry, cloud capabilities allow companies to act faster and focus their efforts.

However, transitioning business systems, data assets, and workflows to the cloud requires careful strategy and execution. The following is an overview of key considerations and best practices to help guide organisations through successful cloud adoption.

What Are the Key Benefits Driving Cloud Adoption?

What specific advantages do cloud platforms offer compared to traditional on-premises models?

There are a few core benefits leading businesses to the cloud:

  • Flexibility and Scalability: Cloud infrastructure allows dynamic provisioning of resources to match usage needs. Businesses only pay for what they use, scaling up or down on demand. No longer guessing capacity needs weeks or months in advance. This agility is invaluable for modern business environments.
  • Innovation and New Technologies: Leading cloud providers invest billions in state-of-the-art data centres, hardware, and services. Customers gain access to cutting-edge tech, such as AI, automation, IoT platforms, and more, to power digital initiatives. Businesses can focus less on infrastructure upkeep and more on core strategic priorities.
  • Performance and Reliability: The top cloud platforms provide guaranteed compute and storage performance, resilience measures like automatic failovers, and the ability to deliver content globally. For many businesses, cloud environments offer vastly higher reliability than achievable on-premises.
  • Lower TCO and Shift of Capital Expenditure: While cloud costs are variable, pay-as-you-go models still often cost less than maintaining proprietary data centres. Businesses also shift from high upfront CapEx to more manageable OpEx in the cloud.

Other benefits include business continuity, collaboration tooling, and workforce mobility. However, the above factors represent key cloud value drivers for most organisations exploring migration.

Charting a Course to Cloud Success

Transitioning to the cloud impacts budgets, staff, data flows, security landscapes, and potentially business models. Navigating this requires structured planning and strategic roadmaps.

What are some best practices for cloud migration journeys?

  • Assemble a Cross-Functional Team: Bring together stakeholders from IT, security, compliance, finance, and business units. This group can align on objectives, evaluate workloads and data, address constraints, and communicate timelines.
  • Inventory All Systems and Data: Discover everything currently supporting business processes – servers, software, dependencies, data sets and stores, third-party connections, user access needs, regulatory requirements, and more. Thorough understanding here is crucial.
  • Assess and Prioritise Workloads: Once the inventory is complete, analyse each system and data repository according to functional and non-functional criteria. Assess readiness for cloud transition. Then, classify transition priorities based on value, effort, and constraints.
  • Select Cloud Model(s) and Provider(s): Choose whether to adopt IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS models based on internal capability and appetite. Assess leading cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud across cost, tooling, global infrastructure, and other decision drivers.
  • Create Transition Roadmap: Plot migration waves on product/feature release timelines across months or quarters. Budget appropriately. Build in testing, security, dependencies, integrations, and fallback safeguards at each stage. Share roadmap across the business.

Revisiting team skill sets, processes, tools, and business metrics throughout will help gauge progress and address inevitable surprises. With careful diligence and planning, organisations can migrate to the cloud smoothly and strategically.

Protecting Data and Meeting Standards

We live in an era of rampant cyber threats and complex regulatory obligations around data. Businesses must continue meeting expectations around:

  • Data Security: Encrypting sensitive assets, managing identity/access, detecting threats.
  • Data Sovereignty: Storing data as per geographical restrictions.
  • Compliance: Adhering to relevant industry and cross-industry data regulations.

Failure here poses immense brand, financial, and legal risks. The good news is leading cloud providers offer best-in-class security capabilities and compliance tooling superior to most on-premises environments. The key is understanding shared responsibility models and configuring cloud security appropriately to your risk profile.

Top cloud vendors also maintain the highest internationally recognised standards, like ISO 27001, offer consulting services, and provide security tools fine-tuned to regulatory needs in sectors like healthcare and finance. With proper diligence during the transition, the cloud can actually improve data protection and compliance postures for many businesses.

Optimising Cloud Costs

One last crucial consideration during cloud migrations is cost management.

How can your business maximise value while minimising cloud expenses?

A few proven tactics:

  • Implementing Reserved Instances: For stable, predictable workloads – opting for 1 or 3-year compute/database reservations can offer meaningful discounts over pay-as-you-go pricing.
  • The Right-size Resources: Continuously optimise virtual machine sizes, storage volumes, and resource allocations based on data and usage analytics. Avoid over-provisioning that drives up monthly costs.
  • Automating Resource Scaling: Configure auto-scaling groups for applications capable of programmatically scaling up or down based on utilisation signals – optimising costs.
  • Choosing Regions Judiciously: Compute costs can vary across different geographic cloud regions. Place workloads optimally based on business delivery needs and pricing differentials.
  • Monitoring Usage and Spend: Leverage native cloud console cost reporting or deploy third-party tools to gain visibility into expenditures and identify waste.

With some diligence around the above areas, companies can maximise cloud ROI over the long term and streamline spending as environments mature.

In Closing

Migrating business systems and data to the cloud allows companies to become more agile, innovative, and operationally efficient. But crafting comprehensive cloud adoption strategies across architecture, security, access management, integrations, roadmaps, and cost control is crucial for success.

The good news is robust cloud platforms and services make the lift easier than ever today. If defining your cloud future seems daunting, do not hesitate to contact our migration experts to learn how we can guide your organisation’s journey with proven managed services and solutions.

The time for cloud is now. Let us discuss how Flywheel can help you capitalise on this business transformation opportunity.


What are the key steps in planning a transition to cloud services?

Assembling a transition team, inventorying systems/data, assessing/prioritising workloads, selecting cloud models, creating a migration roadmap timeline, and planning security/compliance/cost management up front represent the pivotal points for strategic cloud adoption.

How can businesses ensure their cloud migration is secure?

Working with your cloud provider to implement identity and access controls, data encryption, network security rules, appropriate compliance certifications, trusted hardware, hardened OS images, SIEM monitoring, backup configurations, and business continuity protections based on risk tolerance levels.

What are the most common challenges faced during migration?

Underestimating legacy platform dependencies and integration complexities pose huge operational transition challenges. Similarly, inaccurate data/traffic projections, unanticipated surge costs, and lack of cloud architecture skills hamper many businesses initially. Other hurdles include cultural resistance within the organisation and difficulty right-sizing cloud resources appropriately over time.

How do businesses manage costs effectively when moving to the cloud?

Right-sizing resources according to data usage analytics, implementing Reserved Instance capacity plans for stable workloads to reduce hourly/daily rates, automating manual scaling processes, optimising cloud regions to needs and prices, assigning accountability via chargeback models, and monitoring expenditure regularly.

What should companies do post-migration to optimise cloud services?

Continuously tune architecture and resource allocations based on performance and cost benchmarking. Take advantage of emerging managed services, cloud provider tooling/support, and optimise for cloud-native development using pipelines, infrastructure-as-code, microservices patterns, developing staff skills and shared responsibility, and more.

Are you looking to migrate business systems to the cloud but do not know where to start?

Schedule a free consultation with our Cloud Transition Team to discuss your environment, objectives, and questions in more detail.

We can provide implementation plans tailored to your needs, priorities, and constraints – guiding you through technical, security, access, integration, and cost considerations every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more!