East Africa: Reducing the Risk and Cost of Cloud Migrations

Cloud computing seems to be the buzzword of the decade. More businesses are making the switch every day. While harnessing the power of cloud computing to streamline IT processes can make daily computing much easier, it's not something to rush into. Read on about the risks associated with cloud, and the hard hitting question of "How much will it cost?" #CIOCSS.

October 22, 2020

Over the past couple of years, there has been countless conversations on cloud computing. What started off as a tentative, fleeting technology has now become a multi-billion dollar industry, with titans like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services providing services to approximately 3.6 billion users worldwide. Interesting to think about that around 45% of the world's population has accessed some form of cloud computing over the past year.

Dave Funnell, Cloud Provider Manager, VMware, was at hand to say "To allow the business to be agile, and accelerate operations, migrate rapidly to the cloud." Alluding to how the threats and vulnerabilities involved in migrating to the cloud are ever-evolving, but so are the benefits.

Cloud environments experience-at a high level-the same threats as traditional data center environments; the threat picture is the same. That is, cloud computing runs software, software has vulnerabilities, and adversaries try to exploit those vulnerabilities. However, unlike information technology systems in a traditional data center, in cloud computing, responsibility for mitigating the risks that result from these software vulnerabilities is shared between the CSP and the cloud consumer.

"There is a huge expansion in public cloud, but public cloud with added data and protection." says Funnell. Exemplifying that access to any cloud while maintaining the highest level of consistency for infrastructure, operations and developer experience is something that is core to VMware.

With VMware, users have the freedom to build and deploy modern applications, from the data center to multiple cloud and edge environments. Migrate seamlessly between environments and ensure that all data and applications remain secure and protected in any cloud.

"Customers often get stuck on their journey to cloud resulting in multiple IT control planes" Averred Funnell. Making it clear that cloud migration processes are not optimised to the point they should be, or they are inadequately planned from the very beginning. So, how to allocate the right amount of resources needed for migration?

You may spend your IT budgets on hardware upgrades, software licenses, maintenance, and support, etc. On the other hand, migrating to the cloud infrastructure, your company will have to invest a certain lump sum amount to move your environment in the cloud and plan for regular ongoing expenditures for the cloud capacity in use.

Once you have chosen the strategic approach, you have to evaluate the existing environment of your project and create an actionable migration plan. You have to specify a migration path for each component of your infrastructure, either you do a lift-and-shift migration, re-factoring or cloud-native migration. Next, you should pick the best-fit cloud products and create a justified budget for the migration project.

Migrating into the cloud you have to take into account and budget initial investments, as well as ongoing regular payments for the cloud services. Typically, initial project tasks (deployment and integration of cloud applications, training) require collaboration between your IT group staff members and cloud vendors. It is recommended to consult with the selected cloud provider to get the right estimates.

Because of the ability to scale your operations flexibly, and the lowering of capital costs as well as downtime, the overall costs of migrating to the cloud seem bleak in comparison to the multitude of advantages cloud would bring to the business.

The Cloud and Security Summit is part of the CIO East Africa's Africa Summit Series. The summit will offer an immersive platform where the sector IT leaders from both the supply and demand side can meet and interact. With a call for a more coordinated approach to effectively manage modern day challenges for information security in both public and private sector enterprises, the virtual summit brought together industry leaders and joined forces with them on how to scale businesses towards adopting cloud, whilst being secure in the process of doing so.

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