Weathering the unpredictable, with cloud migration

The UK is entering a tumultuous period, with the threat of recession looming. At the end of September, following a new budget announced by the government, the pound fell to its lowest rate ever against the dollar, the upheaval continuing as markets follow political headlines. On top of this, average UK wages are falling and dragging spending down with it, against a backdrop of low consumer confidence and business insecurity. And this all comes as the new energy price cap is going to see energy costs skyrocket, with only some potential insolvencies likely to be prevented by further government action. This is a frightening time for businesses that have weathered the storm of the pandemic and only just emerged safely at the other side. 

In light of this unpredictable and alarming economic situation, businesses are having to reevaluate the way they operate. Will they have to absorb rising energy costs and increase prices as a result? Will they have to encourage their employees to work remotely again in an attempt to keep bills at a minimum? What will happen if people stop spending? How will the weak exchange rate impact the business they conduct abroad? 

In times of uncertainty, technology that is flexible, adaptable and can cater to their evolving needs should be adopted or fully exploited in order to help businesses stay afloat and keep costs under control. The migration of their data and workloads to the cloud could be the advantage they need to handle whatever the future might hold. 

Cloud cost savings

Gartner predicts that spending on cloud computing will overtake spending on traditional IT by 2025. Its research also found that 75% of all databases will be migrated to the cloud by the end of this year, a shift being driven by the enhanced data and analytics capabilities it will provide. However, when looking at how the cloud can be used for Modern Data Protection, the Veeam Data Protection Trends Report 2022 found that just 65% of UKI businesses use the cloud as part of their data backup tooling, leaving a gap of 35% that rely solely on on-premises solutions.  

Those businesses that haven’t yet migrated any of their data or workflows to the cloud must realise that the cloud can be used to offset the costs that they are likely to incur during this challenging economic period, and it can even be a cheaper alternative to on-premises solutions. This is especially true with a subscription model, which will spread the cost and enable businesses to only pay for the cloud services they’re using, rather than burdening them with the cost of maintaining their own on-premises solutions. 

In fact, the cost savings provided by the cloud are multifaceted. For example, migrating to the cloud for processes such as data protection can ensure that data from across a business’ estate is monitored and secured and prevent the financial and reputational repercussions of a data breach. Cloud migration will also impact employees from across the company, rather than just those within the IT team. Hosting all of its data in the cloud – using a solution such as Microsoft 365 – can enable employees to work from home, not only minimising the financial burden on staff when it comes to commuting, but also reducing operational costs for businesses too. 

Cloud native for agility

The Veeam Data Protection Trends Report 2022 also revealed 65% of UKI organisations are running containers in production, with 29% planning to do so in the next 12 months. The key benefits that many firms expect from this are related to improved agility, accelerated time to market and competitive edge. As the ability to bring mobility to workloads and move workloads and data from one platform, cloud or Kubernetes cluster to another, backup strategies will need to evolve to protect vital data wherever it is.

Partnering for success

When simultaneously looking to manage an unpredictable landscape and migrate to a new or expanded cloud ecosystem, working with a skilled cloud services provider can be greatly beneficial for businesses. Nobody knows which direction we’re heading in but having a partner that is knowledgeable about the cloud space and how best to unlock and leverage its agility and mobility to achieve the goals that each business is aiming for can be greatly helpful. 

Not only can cloud services providers bring unmatched experience, but they can also help to plug the digital skills shortage that the industry is facing. This ever-looming skills challenge is reportedly stopping 54% of businesses from progressing with digital transformation initiatives, such as cloud migration. A valuable partner is one that can truly integrate into a business’ IT team and ensure that it achieves the maximum return on its cloud investments by using it in the most impactful way. Furthermore, they can also work to ensure that a business’ cloud estate is compliant where necessary, helping the data owner meet regulatory requirements. 

In-built resilience and security

Once organisations have understood the business case for cloud migration – such as the cost savings it can provide – as well as choosing which cloud services provider they should partner with for their unique needs, they then need to migrate their data into this new environment. 

People often assume that resilience is built into their infrastructure, but this isn’t always the case. However, migrating data to the cloud can enable inbuilt resilience when it comes to data security and disaster recovery that just isn’t possible when it comes to on-premise solutions. Obtaining this level of resilience is critical as breaches become more damaging and, as cloud-enabled remote or hybrid working continues or even increases, breaches can often be more frequent due to the ‘insider threat’. 

When putting your data in the hands of another entity, it’s crucial to ensure that it is being handled securely. Fortunately, more cloud services providers are taking cloud-based, Modern Data Protection further than Backup-as-a-Service, and turning their focus to disaster recovery as well. The best cloud services providers will have tried and tested systems to get businesses, and their data, back up and running as soon as possible after a data breach or ransomware attack, and this should be a key consideration for businesses when choosing which provider to partner with. Again, in these tumultuous times, each minute a business is offline or unable to carry on business as usual will cost money they simply cannot afford to lose. 

Ultimately, as an adaptable and flexible tool, the cloud can enable businesses to be dynamic and resilient in the face of unpredictability. Not only can it help to cut costs and save money, but it can give businesses access to the skills of an experienced cloud services provider that can enhance the company’s own security tools and processes. Veeam found that 81% of businesses are expected to adopt cloud services within their data backup tooling, which is a positive increase on this year’s figure. If the companies that make up this 81% choose the right partner and leverage their skills and inbuilt data security, backup and disaster recovery processes, businesses can certainly use the cloud to weather this volatile storm. 

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Pamela Napier is senior manager of cloud for the UK and Ireland at Veeam. In this position, she oversees the strategic direction of the UK/I cloud team, driving the Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) partner ecosystem and increasing growth. She joined Veeam in January 2018, having previously held positions in channel management, SIs and end user sales during her 20 years in IT. During her initial tenure at Veeam, Pamela participated in much of the business’ early success in the VCSP team and went on to expand responsibility as team lead and was then promoted to manager of the VCSP team in October 2019.

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