Migrate into hybrid multi-clouds with the right plan.

Cloud migration has become inevitable for modern companies. The advantages in terms of costs, flexibility and scalability for a wide range of businesses and fields are too obvious to ignore. Those who sleep on the issue now can expect a rude awakening in years to come. Luckily, and in contrast to their hesitant reputation, German SMEs have been very active in properly migrating to cloud computing.

That being said, it’s a given that some data and workflows shouldn’t be stored in a public cloud and that these data are usually—and quite rightly so—stored on on-premise servers by the companies in their own data centres. So far, the only way to supplement this is with the use of a private cloud that allows companies to handle their resources more flexibly. But by implementing this technology, these companies are already using a hybrid cloud approach—by leveraging public cloud services by AWS or Azure in the same construct as their own storage and computing capacities or a private cloud. For most companies, this is in fact the best alternative to cloud-only infrastructures. If a company is using more than one public cloud service, they are already in the hybrid multi-cloud. But how can these infrastructures be managed securely and efficiently?

Security, consistency and data sovereignty are key.

One of the main requirements is for companies to approach migration strategically and with a holistic mindset. This is so important because multi-cloud design depends so heavily on how efficiently the architecture can be secured or not. It’s especially important for SMEs to get outside help when needed. Experts can offer their extensive knowledge on the options, alternatives and concrete solutions available to implement a modern, secure and easy-to-manage infrastructure. They can see things from a bird’s-eye view and structure the colossal project that is cloud migration. Bechtle has developed its very own multi-stage approach for this very purpose.

A structured approach can save a lot of money.

Companies have precise ideas about what they expect from a modern infrastructure. Cloud management should be as unproblematic as possible and the company should retain control over its own data while remaining independent of individual providers—to prevent vendor lock-in. Data sovereignty is a big issue—partially due to the obligation companies have to handle data in adherence with the GDPR—and the cloud is no exception and this includes questions of data protection and security, including access control, backups, recovery times in emergencies etc.

In many cases, the solution is to construct a coherently manageable hybrid multi-cloud. This requires tools used both by IT on-site and in the cloud services. A hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) that essentially has the same functionality as the IT used in the cloud meets these requirements and inherently simplifies infrastructure management. Bechtle works very closely with Dell Technologies when implementing such HCI solutions.

What effect will cloud migration have on corporate culture?

HR will also play a role in migration into the cloud. For one, you should think about whether you want to train employees to manage your hybrid cloud yourself, or whether you would prefer to outsource its operation and run it as a managed service. This will allow you to focus on daily business and leave the secure and professional operation of your infrastructure to experts.

Migration into the cloud will change work processes and hence your corporate culture. A strategic and structured migration to a hybrid multi-cloud requires a transformation process that begins with planning and goes through step-by-step implementation before going into full operation. Leaders are now expected to have more digital competence, while departments should take on more responsibility. A company’s IT has to understand the challenges of their business and help to come up with solutions. This will help you to benefit from the many advantages of the cloud and to design a future-proof solution.