With organizations in virtually every industry employing cloud computing to enhance their infrastructure, cloud adoption is becoming mainstream. But is your bank or credit union ready to make the move to the Cloud?
Before you attempt to answer this question, start with why you should be considering the Cloud. There are significant benefits to using cloud-based solutions: guaranteed uptime; rapid scalability for expanding or reducing resources; flexibility for reprovisioning; and improved redundancy. Another important—but often undervalued—reason for moving to the Cloud is ease of use. The Cloud simply makes it easier for IT administrators to do their jobs and easier for financial institutions to manage infrastructure costs. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, institutions can procure IT resources over the Internet on an “as-needed” basis with true “pay-as-you-go” pricing. This kind of arrangement can be especially appealing to a de novo, a growing bank, or any institution wanting a more efficient, cost-effective way to manage IT-related expenses.
In addition, cloud systems offer the key advantage that they’re built from the ground up to cater to remote users. Bank and credit union employees can access the same tools, applications, and resources using the Internet whether they’re working on-site, from home, or in another location, making the Cloud the ideal tool for both remote work and collaboration.
Determining When to Make the Move
So how do you know if your financial institution is ready to move to the Cloud? The main indicator is whether management is supportive of the idea or feels implementation would be too burdensome. If your institution can’t manage the research, preparation, and challenges involved with cloud migration, it may not be the best time to make the transition.
One obvious sign that you are ready for the Cloud is if your organization is steadily growing and needing to augment resources. Perhaps you’re looking at expanding to new servers or rethinking your current architecture. Maybe it’s a situation where you’re tired of being stuck in a cycle of dealing with replacement projects for new servers. If you’re looking at replacing multiple servers that are running out of warranty, it could be the opportune time to move some of that workload up to the Cloud.
Moving to the Cloud can be a complex undertaking, but the good news is that your institution doesn’t have to make the leap all at once. In general, it’s best to be slow and methodical. This strategy can involve transferring one aspect at a time over several years. We are seeing a number of institutions start with moving their disaster recovery solution to the Cloud or using a “brick-by-brick” approach by migrating one or two servers at a time.
Don’t forget, the Cloud isn’t just a new tool, it’s a whole new world. Once your institution makes the jump to the Cloud, you need to monitor and manage the systems in the Cloud going forward. As with everything in IT, some adjustments may be needed over time. If you engage with a trusted partner for cloud services, they may be able to assist with your ongoing monitoring and management of your resources in the Cloud.
For more insights about cloud migration, watch our webinar on “Are You Ready to Move to the Cloud.”