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What is Cloud Transformation? Types, Benefits & Challenges Explained

July 2, 2024

Table of Contents

    The last decade has shown the entire business world why moving to the cloud is becoming necessary. The rise of remote workspace, constantly changing and evolving technologies, and user’s urge for hyper-personalization in terms of products, services, experiences, and whatnot.

    As per Spacelift, 60% of business data is now stored in the cloud, up from 48% in 2023. Businesses are already gearing up for cloud transformation. Every business has its reason for migrating: some want application modernization, and some want to transition from on-premises data centers to cloud-hosted infrastructure.

    They are moving to the cloud, one way or another. But what good does it bring, and are there any challenges in cloud transformation? These are some questions that won’t leave your mind. This blog has answers for all of them.

    Give it a read and discover what cloud transformation is exactly, along with its various types, challenges, and more.

    What is Cloud Transformation?

    Cloud Transformation

    Cloud transformation is the process of migrating data to cloud environments as per a business’s scaling needs. Cloud transformation includes:

    Data Centralization and Migration

    Users can consolidate data into a centralized platform, migrate data and workflows from old, boring systems and tools, replace incompatible tools, and implement new data management solutions.

    Process Automation and Workflow Management

    You can automate key processes with custom solutions and digitize and streamline workflows.

    Governance and Compliance

    Again, meeting data security standards is important. Define and ensure your cloud environment follows mandatory data governance policies and standards to ensure data security, access controls, compliance, and proper monitoring and auditing practices.

    Organizational Change Management

    Communicating vision and benefits, training employees on new tools and ways of working, and providing ongoing support are equally crucial to driving a data-driven culture.

    Cloud transformation can be implemented in different ways to cater to the needs of an organization. Some of the ways are:

    • Moving specific desktop apps and data to cloud-based platforms.
    • Migrating certain applications and software programs to the cloud.
    • Transforming the entire native-IT infrastructure by shifting it to the cloud.

    Regardless of the approach taken, migrating to cloud computing architecture helps organizations achieve more efficient data sharing and storage, resulting in increased time to time. Cloud transformation also improves organizational scalability and flexibility, which allows rapid scaling of resources. Cloud-based architectures also unify and strengthen network security, centralizing access controls and threat monitoring.

    Types of Cloud Transformation

    Types of Cloud Transformation

    There are three core kinds of cloud transformation:

    1. Application Transformation

    The main objective of Application Transformation is to seamlessly and securely move existing applications to a new cloud architecture. You can achieve this by following multiple approaches; each varied based on the amount of work needed to ensure compatibility between the application being migrated and a cloud environment. Some approaches are:

    • Lift and Shift

    This approach is applied when the migration requires nominal efforts and is hence called “Lift & Shift.” It means moving an application without any changes.

    • Partial Refactoring

    Each application is made differently, which means not every application can be shifted simply. In some cases, certain application components, like the front end, require modernization to become compatible with the new cloud environment.

    • Refactoring (Re-architecting)

    When partial refactoring isn’t enough, or the requirement is to migrate entire processes and workflows, comprehensive refactoring is required. Refactoring or Re-architecting includes re-designing everything from the front end to data storage, middleware, and processing to be compatible with the new hosting environment.

    2. Network Transformation

    The transfer of networking components to the cloud is known as Network transformation. In traditional hub-and-spoke networks (hosted on native data centers), users must be connected to the corporate network through a perimeter-based firewall via VPN. This process was popular once upon a time, but now it’s considered complex and time-consuming.

    Cloud computing offers a quicker, simpler connectivity solution to improve the user experience. Instead of using a VPN, users can access resources directly via an internet connection, which enhances efficiency.

    Software-defined networking (SDN) is one of the technologies that play a crucial role in network transformation. It facilitates the creation and management of dynamic, programmatically efficient network configurations.

    Businesses also have the option to deploy infrastructure components such as virtual desktops through internet connectivity. Additionally, software-defined networking supports complex and scalable multi and hybrid cloud networks, catering to both cloud and on-premises resources.

    3. Security Transformation

    Security Transformation ensures that the security concerns during the cloud migration are addressed throughout the process (before, during, and after the transformation). Different cloud environments have different security requirements and policies that are effective in a traditional on-premise setup but often don’t apply to cloud workloads.

    Some commonly practiced approaches must be implemented to protect data while in transit. These include encrypting data in rest and in transit, backing up data, and establishing recovery strategies to keep businesses running in times of disaster.

    Beyond data security, it is crucial to implement network security policies. For example, you can establish Zero-Trust networking strategies. Since migrating to the cloud, it’s also essential to develop dynamic and continuous threat monitoring and mitigation processes.

    4. Data Management Transformation

    Here, it’s all about migrating your data assets to freshly designed cloud-based environments with the objective of gaining more centralization, accessibility, security, and visibility. Without an expert’s involvement, businesses often struggle to manage data across sources and employees’ assets.

    Cloud transformation of data does a major job in securing data management by implementing strategies like data warehousing, automated pipelines, and deployment of user-friendly tools for interacting with confidential business data.

    Consider aligning your team with a company offering cloud computing consulting services to ensure that your data is transferred securely and stays accessible and portable in cloud environments.

    Cloud Transformation Benefits

    Benefits of Cloud Transformation

    Cloud transformation isn’t only about just cost savings; it opens a world of opportunities for both cloud modernization and business growth:

    • Future-Proof Operations:

    Cloud transformation can increase your business’s capacity for change and improvement, as it ensures your operations remain robust and adaptable for a long time.

    Cloud-based solutions offer good flexibility to address changing requirements and add capabilities, capacity, and functionality. For instance, increasing storage or networking resources can be as simple as selecting an upgrade option when using cloud computing services.

    Furthermore, deploying applications on the cloud provides more portable and movable solutions. Virtual machines and containerized applications are some examples that can easily be transferred to a new cloud host.

    So, if you are shifting your operations from on-premises to cloud due to growing business needs, the related cost and risk of service interruptions are comparatively low.

    • Enhanced Agility:

    Cloud transformation definitely enhances your business’s agility by enabling it to respond quickly and easily to constantly arising challenges. IT teams get faster solution deployment, bug fixes, changes, patches, and much more through this.

    It facilitates agility on several levels. For instance, having all necessary data centralized in one location streamlines the creativity, planning, and implementation of solutions. Additionally, deploying solutions becomes quicker when end users already have access to the virtual machines, nodes, or droplets where these solutions are being deployed.

    • Cost-Effective:

    Leaders often have this misconception that transitioning from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud is very costly. But in reality, it’s the exact opposite; it is very cost-effective due to lower overheads.

    When you have local networks, you have to bear the cost of infrastructure, which includes purchasing and maintaining servers, hardware, and associated software. In contrast, cloud service providers majorly offer services on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis with fixed and regular costs, which enables companies to pay only for consumed resources. Thanks to economies of scale, vendors can offer lower overheads.

    • Scalable Solutions:

    When it comes to the cloud, the scope of scalability is on both horizontal and vertical sides. On the vertical side, the cloud is a more cost-effective solution, allowing storage capacity, users, and performance enhancements.

    Horizontal scalability is often defined as the addition of new functionality and capabilities to your transforming cloud processes. While on-premises might not sound great, it’s simpler with cloud solutions, considering infrastructure isn’t a hard limitation.

    Furthermore, cloud computing offers an added advantage to downward scalability, which small and medium organizations mostly prefer. These organizations have budget constraints, making it difficult for them to incur the front-loaded costs of on-premises solutions. With cloud solutions, it’s easier to downgrade to a more suitable option if the initial setup exceeds your needs.

    • Data Security:

    Organizations have too many concerns about on-premises data storage. Threats like data theft, phishing, and malware will linger while considering cloud migration. However, on-premises data is comparatively less prone to attacks than data stored on the cloud.

    Cloud environments employ encryption and multiple layers of security, shielding your data from unauthorized access. Additionally, cloud hosting provides secure data backup options, which reduce the chances of downtime in case of system failures.

    • Improved Prototyping:

    When an organization undergoes cloud transformation, it becomes necessary to adapt modernized business processes quickly. Cloud platforms enable users to develop, test, and deploy applications across different channels and mediums without needing complex infrastructure setups.

    It is suggested that computing resources, platforms, and infrastructures be evaluated while looking for cloud transformation services. This prior evaluation will help you in investing unnecessary IT resources by testing software and tools that best integrate with their applications before transitioning to cloud environments.

    Read Also: On-Premises vs Cloud: Differences & How to Choose the Right Infrastructure

    Challenges Associated with Cloud Transformation

    Key Challenges in Cloud Transformation

    While cloud transformation is capable of offering numerous benefits in terms of scalability, cost-efficiency, and flexibility, there are also some potential downsides that organizations should consider:

    • Lack of Expertise:

    Cloud services are here to keep businesses alive and ahead in the market with technological advancements. However, organizations with inadequate training or lack of exposure might find themselves fixed and vulnerable.

    With the right cloud consulting services, you can get experienced cloud professionals who can devise a cloud transformation strategy for you and develop the cloud platform according to your requirements, eliminating loopholes in the process.

    • Data Security:

    Data can literally make or break any organization. Regardless of where your data is living, cybersecurity is a non-comprisable element. Cloud providers ensure that security and regulatory protocols are incubated, but again, customers are responsible for keeping their data and systems safe.

    Expert advice: Design a cybersecurity strategy to maintain a shield over the data and minimize the risk of data breaches during times of vulnerability.

    Here’s how to protect your data against cyberattacks:

    • Compliance Challenges:

    Migrating your data over the cloud calls for keeping up with the latest compliance regulations, as a one-minute data breach can cost you millions. Compliance guidelines like PCI DSS, GDPR, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation are there to protect customer data, help companies avoid cyberattacks, ensure your IT teams understand security compliance in the cloud and follow regulations.

    • Migration Process:

    The migration process is supposed to be seamless and error-free. Well, this is what businesses expect. However, over half of them find it more challenging than expected in real life because of several complexities, such as unexpected costs from poor budget planning and delays due to a lack of expertise.

    Some of the issues include downtime from incompatibility between legacy software and cloud services.

    A Cloud consultant can help navigate these challenges by anticipating problems and developing solutions to overcome obstacles, ensuring a smoother transformation.

    Transform Your Business with Cloud Transformation

    Final Take

    Sure, transitioning to the cloud might initially feel like taking a leap of faith, but the potential benefits can unlock endless doors to success for your business.

    But hold on! The first and foremost thing is to be prepared. A company’s readiness is the map to a successful cloud migration. In most cases, the right guidance will help you in making the right decisions and perform cloud transformation without any setbacks.

    How does the transition to a cloud that’s swift, secure, and cost-effective with data governance sound? That’s what you will get by collaborating with experts like Cyntexa. Our industry-leading cloud computing consulting services are here to be your guide. Our cloud experts will accelerate your cloud implementation, reduce disruption, optimize costs, and simplify data governance.

    It’s time to move past the on-premise burden and embrace a brighter future powered by the cloud’s capabilities.

    Don’t wait! Sign up for a consultation call today and see how Cyntexa can be your partner in cloud transformation!

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