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To Cloud, or Not to Cloud?

Updated on October 19, 2013

So, you have been tasked the responsibility to assess an develop a cloud migration strategy. And, you have no clue if you should say, "To Cloud, Or Not to Cloud?" .

There are many factor that companies should consider while preparing a cloud migration business case. First, understand why the business need to migrate to the cloud. You may be looking for operational cost reduction or maybe cutting down on the number of fixed resources that you already manage. You should weight the benefit that you get from migration in contrast to not migrating. The following factors play a major role in forming a cloud migration business case.

  • Recognize business impacts & risks
  • Recognize cloud costs and ROI
  • Determine impacts to the existing business model


Business impact

Before you would start working on a cloud migration strategy, it is very important to identify the business need for migrating to the cloud. You should first evaluate the need of moving to the cloud based on the size of your organization and and how it will impact your business.

If you are a start-up with a limited capital, it can be of benefit that your organization explores cloud migration options. Services such as Google Apps ,SalesForce and Amazon EC3 offer various cloud solutions ranging from affordable pay per use cloud applications to hosting your entire server farm in a cloud.

Benefits vs Risks

Cloud Computing has become the most common topic within the IT Industry and deserves a deep dive into the benefits and risks associated.


  1. Accessibility: Access to a huge range of applications without having to download or install anything.
  2. Collaboration: Cloud based collaboration tools enhance productivity by providing better information and data access.
  3. Scalability: One of the major benefits of Cloud computing is its ability to enlarge or shrink capacity to tailor-fit business needs.
  4. Reduced Cost: Another major benefit of cloud computing is that it takes away the need for an organization to operate and maintain physical infrastructures, which allows trimming down the staffing costs.


  1. Security: Security has been one of the biggest cons for Cloud based platforms. If the cloud hosting company becomes a victim of hacking, the client data as well can be compromised. Companies dealing with sensitive information are very much concerned about these security threats and breaches.
  2. Reliability: Moving to the cloud is not always peace of mind. There are risks associated to not physically storing your own data on premise. Organizations have to completely depend on the cloud hosting provider for their business continuity and disaster recovery.
  3. Intellectual Property Rights: There are issues of intellectual property conflict in specific cases where a company produces innovative services based on cloud platform. There are chances that arguments may arise on the rights of ownership between the company and the cloud provider.
  4. Portability: When a client is unhappy with the cloud provider, chances are that they may look for moving to another cloud provider, but with the newness of the technology it is difficult to ascertain the cost and efforts that may be incurred.


With all the risks and benefits in view, a company should carefully evaluate the need for moving to the cloud, and decide what needs to be moved and what remains on-premise. Services that are less sensitive and can handle downtime can be the first to go into the Cloud Migration list. After a substantial amount of experience can other more sensitive services can be migrated.


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    • profile image

      linwill 3 years ago

      Bitcasa is another good option. It's possible to get 20 gb of free space permanently with no recurring fees:

    • viquar profile image

      viquar 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thanks Matt, for the comment and vote.

    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 5 years ago

      Thanks for this viquar, I really haven't done much research on cloud, even though I know I should. This is great help for me. Voting up, useful, interesting. Best, Matt

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for the tip viquar!

    • viquar profile image

      viquar 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      As I have mentioned in the conclusion section in my hub, you should categorize your applications into sensitive and non-sensitive, and plan to migrate the non-sensitives to the cloud in the first phase. As you gain more experience and feedback using the first lot, you can plan migrating the sensitive apps gradually. Security will always be the hot topic for cloud computing, and the ways to assess your cloud provider is to request them to produce some accredited audit reports.

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      We have been speaking quite a lot about cloud computing at work and security keeps on being raised as a reason not to pursue this, however collaboration remains high on our agenda. What advice can you give me to get cloud computing across the line viquar? Cheers Michael