How (and Why) to Switch to the Cloud

By Swetha Sekhar
January 29, 2024
6 min read

The cloud -- a collection of remote data servers that are managed by a company and leased out for others’ use. There has been plenty of discussion about it and all of its capabilities for a while now, and many discuss the benefits of the service. From better data management and access, to less in-house IT management, there are many reasons why a business or company might want to switch to cloud storage and computing. But how do you switch from traditional to the cloud? And what role does environmentalism play in the change?

How to Switch

Switching from traditional data and app management to the cloud is done through a process known as cloud migration, which is a blanket term for moving a company’s data, applications, and workload to the cloud or between cloud platforms. This allows that data to be accessed from anywhere instead of being tied to on-site servers and computers. Two examples of large cloud services are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Each cloud services company has their own process for cloud migration, but there are guides on each of their websites to make the process easier. After making the switch, employees will have to be trained on the new platform, which can be made easier with services such as Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) that consolidate resources to make the transition smoother. 

Depending on a business’s needs, cloud migration can be done with different methods.

  • Rehosting - Also known as the lift-and-shift method, this is one of the fastest methods since it’s directly copying everything; multiple servers can be transferred completely in under two months. However, some key cloud features such as continuous data integration and delivery and automatic data recovery can’t be used. 
  • Replatforming - This is essentially the same as rehosting, but applications are added to a relational database which optimizes everything for the cloud before all of the data is copied into the cloud. Replatforming is pretty fast, though not as fast as rehosting due to this extra step. 
  • Refactoring - After basic data is copied over, every application is rebuilt in the cloud environment from scratch. This is the longest process, but gives companies access to all of the best features of the cloud, including continuous data integration (in which instead of data being updated at a certain time, it is being continuously updated whenever the child databases providing the data are updated) and automatic data recovery (which uses continual backups made from cloud software to automatically restore old data if for some reason everything is gone). Companies that complete this cloud transition are able to move faster after the fact. 
  • Retaining - Some applications are moved to the cloud, and others stay on the premises. This method is also known as the hybrid model because it uses both traditional and cloud computing and storage. 

Why Switch?

In addition to providing a company with more access to data, more data management tools, a simpler and cheaper IT infrastructure, faster app deployment, enhanced security, and other benefits, switching to the cloud is also better for the environment. 

When companies maintain their own servers, they set up extra equipment in anticipation of usage spikes, which means that the equipment present is being underutilized. As electricity is still going to those underused servers, and electricity is made with fossil fuels and natural gas, maximizing efficiency for servers is a good way to cut down on environmental impact. Cloud companies maintain one large set of servers, so there is space for the extra equipment in case it is needed, but it doesn’t go underused since they can move processing around to maximize efficiency. Customers using the service use 77% fewer servers, 84% less power, and reduce carbon emissions by 88% by using the cloud. This is one key example of how changing business models to be more environmentally-friendly is profitable to companies, society, and the planet, and satisfies the triple bottom line.

See how changing to the cloud can help your business, request a demo from Ecolytics today!

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