Implementing Cloud Strategy: On-Premises to Cloud and Migration Strategies

The advent of Cloud has been a good opportunity for IT firms in achieving maximum productivity with minimal infrastructure.

Image credit: Veritis Group

But the IT industry is still in transition phase in making the Cloud technology as the engine of overall growth.

While on the other side, digital transformation is riding on high pace and huge volumes of data are also making their ways to play vital in IT businesses, irrespective of organizational size.

Eventually, the run has begun for chalking out plans for effective management of capital expenditure, performance optimization and turn-around-time.

Cloud has answers for all these activities! But one thought is hovering around among firms with regard to implementing cloud strategy for business transformation.

Which to opt: Cloud Migration or Cloud Adoption?

Decades back, the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) had drawn wide appreciation for its efficiency in optimizing IT operations to the maximum possible extent.

However, leveraging the business advantages of new-age solutions like AI, mobility, Automation is a distant goal for on-premises ERP.

But the change in business landscape widened company’s preferences and eventually, firms preferred Cloud owing to its business advantages.

Despite this choice, there still exists lot of doubts among firms on whether to go for cloud migration or cloud adoption.

Cloud migration, as a ‘lift and shift’ approach, ensures cost reduction. But, what about the business value addition?

Experts opine that it might not be appropriate to rely on a single Cloud option as the firms move on to engage new-age technologies and it’s important for enterprises to think while devising their cloud migration strategy.

Overall cloud-based solutions, either migration or adoption, take upper hand over on-premise ERPs in the today’s scenario of changing business customizations.

However, a successful migration from on-premises to cloud needs a clear understanding of two important strategies: Greenfield and Brownfield.

Understanding On-Premises to Cloud Migration: Greenfield Vs. Brownfield Strategy

The two major approaches considered while speaking about on-premises to cloud migration are the Greenfield and Brownfield.

While greenfield projects are those ground-up projects, brownfield projects refer to those built around existing structures.

The two terms define the significance of on-premises structure post migration.

Greenfield strategy in cloud means building a completely-new infrastructure in the Cloud using any of the three cloud variants: Public, Private or Hybrid, with resources like data, OS and applications transferred entirely.

Whereas, brownfield strategy involves transfer of only some functions depending on the sensitivity of the systems ready to be moved, which will then remain in on-premises.

Greenfield migration strategy offers:

– Customization: Flexibility in cloud infrastructure helps in eliminating existing issues related to performance, usability, among others

– Scalability: Efficient management of storage and computing capabilities in line with business growth

– Compatibility: Building from scratch offers an advantage to skip over efforts for achieving compatibility between cloud and legacy systems

– Optimization: Having all-new presents an opportunity to optimize resources as required in the existing environment, giving scope to think of revenue-generating models

– Innovation: Public cloud offers more scope for innovation compared to in-house
on-premises infrastructure. With a greenfield cloud migration lets you enjoy the benefits of timely roll-outs by cloud providers.

On the opposite side, Brownfield migration strategy offers:

– Easy Learning: Building infrastructure based on legacy systems offers the advantage of high familiarity with processes. Whereas, adopting to all-new infrastructure consumes time and resources.

– Affordability: Migrating only few functions of the system consumes less expenditure compared to migrating all essential elements of the infrastructure. In fact, a combination of on-premises/cloud solution is more affordable.

– Ease in Handling: Although cloud-based infrastructure can handle complex functions, it takes time and requires know-how. Whereas, brownfield strategy deals with existing resources, easing the know-how challenges and also save time.

The Conclusion

Different people express different opinions on either of the migration strategies in shifting from on-premises to cloud environment. At the end of the discussion, the decision-making lies with adopters in choosing the strategy that fits their business requirement.

Written by Sai Nikesh D, Veritis Group


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