Starting your first cloud journey can be challenging and overwhelming when you are still new to cloud technology. But with the right guidance, you can start your cloud journey with a smooth transition, without having to worry about the mistakes throughout the process. First, let us start with the definition of cloud journey, also known as cloud migration. The process migrates your business operations to a remote facility (data centers), which is typically managed by an external cloud provider and can be accessed through the internet. Moving your business to cloud is a huge upgrade, but it is a time-consuming process which is impossible to complete in days, weeks or sometimes months. You need proper planning to transform your existing IT infrastructure to achieve your cloud vision.

To have a seamless transition to cloud-based infrastructure for your business, you first need to understand some basic concepts revolving around cloud technology:

IaaS, PaaS and SaaS

There are three main categories of cloud services offerings: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). 

IaaS cloud model is the closest to a remote data center for business users. In IaaS cloud model, the cloud service provider will supply a virtual server instance and storage, as well as application programming interfaces (APIs) that will let you migrate your workloads to a virtual machine (VM). You will have an allocated storage capacity based on your business requirements. You will have full control to start, stop, access, and configure the VM and storage as desired.  

For PaaS cloud model, you do not have to worry about installing and managing the operating systems, software updates, storage, and infrastructure. By using the PaaS offering, you have the freedom to focus on the software development process.  

While for the SaaS cloud model, your cloud service provider will manage all potential technical issues, such as data, middleware, servers, and storage, resulting in streamlined maintenance and support for the business.

Cloud Deployment Models

Image from https://thymos.engineering/blog/public-and-private-cloud-comparison-how-to-choose-a-cloud-platform-and-when-to-use-both

The cloud deployment model belongs to three categories: private, public and hybrid cloud. Private cloud services are delivered from a business’s data center to internal users. With a private cloud, your business has full control over the cloud-based infrastructure. Private cloud is a viable choice when security and privacy is a major concern for your business requirements. This model offers the versatility and convenience of the cloud, while preserving the management, control, and security which is a customary practice at local data centers.

Next, is the public cloud which is usually hosted by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP) over the internet. Public cloud services may be free or offered through a variety of subscription or on-demand pricing schemes, including a pay-per-usage model based on the CPU cycles, storage, or bandwidth they consume. You can consider adopting the public cloud when your business requirements do not have a strict data policy because public cloud is a multi-tenant cloud model that is shared with multiple business organizations over the public Internet.

Lastly, is the hybrid cloud model which is the mixture of on-premises (private cloud and third-party) and public cloud, allowing data and applications to be shared between them. Some businesses require certain types of data to be stored on-premises while allowing less sensitive data to be stored on the cloud. In this kind of hybrid cloud architecture, organizations can gain the flexibility of the public cloud for less regulated computing tasks, while still meeting their business’s requirements, security, and compliance.

Advantages of Cloud Services

Migrating to cloud-based infrastructure can be complex, costly, and carries substantial risk. However, there are quite several solid reasons why migrating your business to cloud is an absolute yes: 

  1. Scalability  

By migrating to cloud-based infrastructure, scaling your resources to support larger workloads and more users is an instant process, much more easily than on-premises infrastructure. In a traditional IT environment, businesses had to purchase additional equipment and licenses before they could proceed to scale up their services which is time consuming and costs a lot of money. 

  1. Cost Efficiency  

In a traditional IT environment, capital expenditure (CapEx) is a major concern for small businesses as high upfront cost for one-time purchase for fixed assets (such as physical servers and network equipment) to host on premise IT infrastructure. The fixed assets will also become obsolete when new technology comes out. With adoption of cloud-based infrastructure, you only pay for what you use. Operating expenditure (OpEx) is the way to go as it adopts a pay-per-use and subscription model which will reduce the IT spendings that can be used for other purposes. 

  1. Performance 

Migrating to cloud-based infrastructure can enhance your end-user experiences. Applications and websites hosted in the cloud environment can be easily scaled up or down to serve more users or higher throughput, and can run in geographical locations near to end-users, to reduce network latency. 

  1. Digital Experience 

With cloud-based infrastructure, technical matters and operations are handed over to the experts. Businesses do not have to worry about maintenance, which can be a hassle. This will improve the digital experience of the users, whether their are the employees or customers. All users can access cloud services and data from anywhere, which contributes to digital transformation, enables an improved experience for customers, and provides employees with modern, flexible tools for their daily usage. 

Concisely, you first need to understand your business requirements before considering migrating to cloud-based infrastructure. A well-designed plan for your business’s migration needs to be prepared earlier on and revised for a successful cloud migration. 


Written by Syazwan |  Technical Solution & Architecture Consultant