“In Slovakia, common virtualization and cloud services are quite often confused,” says Ján Beňadik, an expert at the company Records. “This often leads to a misunderstanding when an organization expects the cloud to be equivalent to the infrastructure it has built at home,” he explains. However, the cloud is something broader, it involves hundreds of services. If the company does not choose them correctly, it may be surprised by an order of magnitude higher price.
Scalability and security
So when does the cloud pay off? “Cloud services are important if I need global availability, for example. They matter if I need service elasticity. And you definitely have to look at them if you want security,” says Milan Paštrnák, an expert on cloud services from Eviden. He mentions the example of a company that became the target of cyber attacks. While it took her 2-3 weeks to come up with a solution to filter out malicious access based on geolocation, it would have been a matter of a few clicks with a cloud-based solution.
Cloud is certainly a suitable solution for companies that need scalability, expect growth, or those that encounter large fluctuations in the need for computing power. It is definitely the way to go when building a company on a green field. However, then the entire architecture must be adapted to this purpose in advance.
Experts will advise
But what if you already have an established business with an existing infrastructure? “One of the worst ways to migrate is to take all the things that run on-premise and transfer them entirely to the cloud infrastructure,” says M. Paštrnák.
It is therefore easiest to consult with experts. “At the first workshop, we will go over his expectations with the customer, make sure he understands what the cloud means and whether he is aware of the challenges that migration can bring in addition to the benefits,” says the company’s expert Records.
The second step is a thorough analysis of the company’s IT environment. It pays to segment it into individual areas and look at where and how the cloud can be beneficial. It is appropriate to divide the environment into functional parts – whether it is e-mail and office tools, accounting, storage or an ERP system.
“The cloud must be used for the things it is supposed to be used for. If the company has a predictable operation from the point of view of computing power and works with volumes of data for which it needs a certain infrastructure, its own operation will probably be cheaper. In other cases, the latter will be incomparably more advantageous – why, for example, run your own servers and databases, when there is a cloud-based office package that can fulfill these needs without worries and conveniently,” says M. Paštrnák.
Economy is important
The third step is a migration proposal with a timetable. For example, the extent to which the cloud solution is integrated with other systems plays a role here – the HR module can, for example, be connected to the attendance system, which in turn can be integrated with the chip system at the entrance to the building. “Everything can be migrated. However, one must also look at the economics of such a step,” says the Eviden expert.
Closely related to this is the last step of the preparatory phase – calculation of total costs for a certain period and comparison with alternatives. “If the cloud is not grasped competently, it can be very expensive. Well, the question is not whether to go to the cloud or not, the answer is definitely yes. Nor is it a question of when, because it was already late yesterday. The question today is what to go with in the cloud,” concludes the expert.