For several years, the word cloud* has been much bandied about. Information System Departments can’t get enough of it. If the cloud is well known for its flexibility and agility in theory, how can we make sure that migration is durable and stress-free in practice? Julien Castel, Product Owner at MIP, tells us how.
* To recap, Cloud Computing is the delivery of ready-to-use IT resources or application services over the Internet. Customers, businesses and private individuals can have their business applications hosted on it or use the available applications directly by adapting them to their specific needs.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of migrating services to the cloud?
At the beginning of the 2000s, companies used private networks, meaning that they were not shared by other external users. Today, more and more companies are moving towards “full Internet“. This is due to the much shorter integration and implementation times as well as power or storage capacities which can be adapted at will.
Numerous software companies such as Salesforce and Microsoft offer highly functional and comprehensive packages to guide these decisions. The economic benefits of these solutions are recognized but the cloud also has some limits. Connection speeds have a strong impact on application performance.
Prioritization is also a lot trickier to set up on the network. Previously, an ERP had priority over data-intensive applications such as YouTube but that is now more difficult to implement.
Security problems have also increased tenfold, all the more so as we are witnessing a surge in shadow IT at work. Users are more and more demanding due their Internet access often being better at home so have little patience with a slow app at work.
How can MIP help to optimize cloud migration?
MIP will set up tools to measure the performance of the original service, a messaging service for example.
While transferring the messaging tool, we ensure that performance remains stable based on the new chosen architecture. The measurements we provide are used to define performance and look beyond financial return on investment which is often simplistic. Gains can also be measured in terms of performance and user experience.
However, if performance is not up to standard, using the collected data, an IT decision maker can escalate the problem to their supplier or justify the choice of one tool over another. Having a fully agnostic and proactive monitoring tool enables them to concentrate on what is important.
What recommendations would you make to an IT manager needing to migrate several services?
When a company has sites in several countries, it is vital that all users have the same access to the service. Either we trust the data reported by the supplier, which does not always include user experience, or we set up a consolidated measuring system to check performance in real time. It all depends on the level of relevance sought.
It is also worth remembering that a fault is not always reported to the right IT person by users. Frustration and dissatisfaction can have very damaging consequences for a company. My advice is therefore: prevention is better than cure so identify performance problems as soon as the early signs appear.
Finally, with the MIP managed service, Information Systems Departments can benefit from our trusted third-party status. This can be advantageous in terms of legitimacy of expertise particularly when a higher-performance application or replacement is required.