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How to Convince the CFO about Cloud Migration

When you are one of those businesses which are still to make a transition to the cloud, there can be many reasons for it. It could be because you are hesitant to give up control over your own environment. It could also be because you are waiting for more cutting edge technologies to arrive and impress you further. Finally, it may be because you have still not been able to justify the costs of migration to the Chief Financial Officer or the CFO. The CFO is usually the one who needs a lot of convincing when you decide to migrate the business to the cloud.

Why is it necessary to Convince the CFO about Migration Costs?

Almost all businesses are considering adoption of cloud computing technologies but in spite of this momentum, financial models which are supposed to show the impact of such a transition are still not convincing enough. The costs for migration and the time taken for it are still quite uncertain and typically understated. A reason for this could be that businesses fail to recruit financial experts who are equipped to understand the technologies and processes needed for making a migration budget. There is no map that one can follow and companies are impulsive and unplanned when it comes to migrating to the cloud. The truth is cloud migration is anything but simple.

What are the costs involved in Cloud Migration?

During migration there are three types of costs which a business will be expected to deal with. To start with, there will be the existing infrastructure and application costs. This will include the direct and indirect expenses of deploying and maintaining on-site IT hardware. The direct costs relate to the hardware, software and their licenses, warranties, maintenance contracts, materials and spare parts, labor, storage etc. Indirect costs imply loss of revenues or productivity because of outages. Secondly, there are pricing calculators which help with understanding needs for virtual storage, servers etc and even include details like networking and labor costs. Here, most companies make most mistakes because they do not include the internal headcount needed for running the cloud infrastructure.

Finally, there is the cloud migration cost which includes costs of shifting the system and data to a cloud. This is performed either across the Internet or through physical devices like the Managed Amazon Cloud Service Snowball. You need to keep time aside for this transition and also decide whether to go for a “lift-and-shift” method or a complex refactoring method. According to Forrester reports in 2016, almost half of migration costs were due to labor and not because of platform or infrastructure. Besides, businesses often use migration software and use system integrators for the move and such costs have to be included.

When you are the CTO or Chief Technology Officer in an organization you have the task of deciding on the infrastructure which is best suited for your operations. However, these ideas may not align with those of the CFO’s. This is because the CTO may not have knowhow of the financial effects of such an important operations-related decision.  He is usually more concerned about benefits like workflow efficiencies or personal re-allocation etc. It is the CFO who has the final task of ensuring that the company’s decisions about financial matters are justified and correct. So, it is necessary to first convince the CFO about migration costs when you are pushing for such a major IT change.

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Guidelines to Follow to Convince the CFO about Migration Costs:

– To start with, you must first understand your existing IT-related costs. So, you need to know the expenses which your business is currently undertaking for technology infrastructure and qualified personnel. When you know this amount, you can go to the CFO with a proposal for the cloud. You can then state the cost savings which the business will get to enjoy following such a move.

– You should also analyze all the possible cloud solutions and undertake research on these before approaching the CFO. This means you must make a case in favor of cloud migration before him, highlighting both intangible and tangible benefits like scalability, flexibility, cost savings etc. Perhaps the biggest benefit of choosing cloud migration is transition of Capex to Opex. So, businesses will not have to spend fortunes on costly hardware any more. Instead, costs will be broken down in the form of monthly fees. This feature will appeal to the CFO since he will appreciate a consistent budget and he can conveniently include these costs in the company’s overall budget.

– You should avoid having a tech talk with the CFO. Chances are high that your CFO will not be from a technical background. Therefore, explaining intrusion detection system, hypervisors, MPLS etc must not be feature in your proposal. You have to focus on operational advantages and roadblocks and how this change can help the business in general. If you get into the technicalities of cloud migration, you will end up confusing him.

So, your task will be to explain to the CFO how cloud migration costs are justified because this move will transfer company costs to Opex from Capex. This in turn will change monthly costs and annual costs, something that you must explain. You need to mention additional risks, if any, in case cloud transition happens. You need to show which risks can be eliminated when you invest less in individual hardware and outsource the hardware. You will finally need to explain how cloud migration will cut down your costs in the long term and offer more flexibility for business opportunities. CFOs will alwys be encouraged and driven by numbers. This is why you must come prepared with a lot of hard data. It is important to show him the differences in current costs and costs which it will have to bear after migration to the cloud.

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Does Location of Host Servers Affect Site Rankings?

Since cloud computing has made it possible for everyone to access data at anytime from anywhere on the globe, location of data centers does not seem to be as important as it used to be earlier as far as data availability goes. Cloud computing has unleashed a new trend of increased collaborations made possible because of cloud hosting technologies. At the same time, the importance of having hosting data centers close to businesses cannot be totally disregarded. Localized web hosting continues to be relevant to site SEO and extremely vital for user experience.

When you want to sign up with a web hosting company you are faced with innumerable choices. You will find that the same product is being offered by hundreds of vendors. So, you have to make the right decision at the first attempt.

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Why is server location important for site rankings?

When choosing a web host, one of the factors that you should therefore consider is location of its servers and whether this is going to have any impact on your site’s rankings in search engines. The truth is that it may or may not affect the site’s SEO.

Since Google considers page loading speed as one of the key factors when ranking websites, it makes sense to choose hosting locations closer to your users to improve data speed. So, a good idea would be to host the site in a country which has most of your clients.

It is a well known fact that when page loading speed is slow, visitors abandon a site and move elsewhere. Nearly 53% of mobile users have been seen to abandon a website when it needs more than 3 seconds for loading. So, when you have servers at a distance from your user base, you will face slow loading speed.

Another reason to ensure that hosting servers are located closer to your users is when you are targeting the users in a specific country. It then makes perfect sense to place servers in that country. For other sites which target visitors from different locations all around the world, content delivery networks are needed.

As far as search engines are concerned, according to a former Google Search Quality Search expert, the company makes every effort to give the most relevant result for every user in every country. In this, the server locations in terms of IP addresses are obviously a deciding factor. When server locations cannot be near users, the company uses CDNs for faster content delivery to end-users. Alternately, they can also be hosted in countries which have superior infrastructure. So, locations of servers may not be the only determinant factor for site rankings.

In other word, while you should try to get a hosting server location preferably in a country where your target audience is, this is no longer an essentiality. This is because Google keeps making changes to accommodate a wider global audience. When your site gets hosted in UK for instance but its content targets users in Spain, you must set “Spain” in the webmaster tools. So, you do not have to set up your server in Spain but you can set international targets through webmaster tools. When your site targets a global audience with users from every part of the world, you can simply take the help of CDNs.

What is the effect of localized hosting on speed?

The location of servers will affect your site speed because the close your users are to the site’s data center, the faster is the content delivery. The time taken by servers to get and process any request is called latency. When the server location is in a different country than the user base, latency will be higher and this will impact page loading speed adversely. So, even a second of delay in page loading will cause 7% reduction in conversion rates. Almost 40% of viewers will leave a site if it fails to load within 3 seconds. According to Amazon, a slowing down of web page speed for just one second can translate into a loss of $1.6 billion every year.

For geo-targeting therefore, the server’s location has little role to play. If you use a gLTD or ccTLD along with webmaster tools, geo-targeting is possible regardless of server locations. So, to sum up, server locations will typically not affect the SEO rankings of sites directly. But, choosing a web host with servers near your users will obviously offer them a much faster access to the content. Since response time is one of the key factors for SEO, one can safely conclude that localized hosting will directly benefit SEO.

Physical locations of servers directly influence website speed. Loading speeds of any site will always affect search engine results. When you choose localized web hosting, you get to enjoy hassle-free payments that can be made in your own currency. So, each time an Indian user opens a website that has servers in India, he is going to experience much less lag or lower latency.

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Why Digital Marketing Companies Must Adopt AWS Cloud

Digital marketing has brought a paradigm shift to the way media agencies operate over the past decade. This has also raised expectations of customers in terms of a wide spectrum of deliverables such as faster turnaround time backed by enhanced reliability of services.

Unique Advantages

Launching a micro website for a short period of time and then shutting it down involved a great deal of efforts and expenditure before AWS cloud platform’s introduction. Media agencies were forced to seek cheap and usually untrustworthy hosting operators to provide such services that resulted in spoiled relationships.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) as it is popularly referred to, is a reliable and versatile cloud platform to enable small and medium sized enterprises as well as large conglomerates in the media sector to procure amazing power to process data. No wonder, Gartner report perceives AWS as a dependable enterprise partner.

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Significant Savings

Competition and rapidly evolving technologies have been reducing agency margins to excruciatingly low levels. This is further compounded by the fact that customers increasingly prefer contractual business models and the demand for new operating systems is greater than ever. There is an unprecedented pressure for delivery of huge numbers of data points for facilitating CRM activities. Simultaneous stress of cost reduction and enhancement of services is testing nerves of media agency operators.

Cost reduction is one of the most compelling benefits of associating with AWS if you need to deliver operations of seasonal nature. This advantage may not be perceived to a significant extent during migration of the current applications to AWS cloud. However there is almost twenty percent cost reduction for applications that are new and need to be operated for a short time.

Investing in costly hardware for running short-lived applications is not a feasible proposition. Database costs can also be reduced remarkably if you are using database management solutions offered by AWS. However, the cost-saving benefits of AWS are only available to those agencies that are working with expert team as far as experience of operating in AWS ecosystem is concerned.

You will find setting up a couple of servers on the platform provided by AWS is not a great challenge. On the other hand, if you are planning to build an automatically scalable and complex system, than it would be a highly daunting task unless you have the support of cloud systems engineers.

Blazing Fast Delivery Of Content

Content acceleration is a comprehensive solution to a large array of issues such as diminishing traffic, visitor bounce rates, latency, and so forth. AWS offers ease of integrating its impressive suite of solutions with CloudFront.

No matter what is the type of the content to be distributed, CDN capabilities of AWS CloudFront are designed to push content at breakneck speeds across any location around the globe. Leading media agencies have been able to dramatically mitigate latency for delivering, personalized content, ads and everything in between.

If you are not very clear about the idea of CDN, then you must experience the speed Network called as CloudFront. Routing the content via edge POPs, has its own benefits in terms of reduction in the number of hops and also consistent availability of content in case of a single node failure.

In addition, your content will be backed by a regionally dispersed and multi tiered caches with proven record of flawless content streaming. Needless to mention, the impregnable security of AWS tools guarantees consistency and protection of your digital assets. Auto scaling attributes of AWS CloudFront make sure that your content is always available in spite of ups and downs in demand.

By itself, CloudFront is a multi-faceted service arm of Amazon Web Services that is backed by highly available and efficient network of globally dispersed data centers that boost content distribution to every user irrespective of his or her location.

Build A Loyal Customer-Base

Customer expectations are forcing media agencies to acquire cloud hosting services with a profound understanding of cloud because a great number of IT startups are already familiar with cloud systems in general and AWS in particular. In such environment, it would be certainly better if you are in tune with your customers by adopting AWS applications.

Takeaway

There is no denying of the fact that growth in demand for processes that facilitate digital transformation will continue to boost digital marketing companies as well as media agencies.

The three pronged benefits of AWS adoption include cost efficiency, enhanced campaign results, and help companies build loyal customer bases.

With help of the global presence of AWS infrastructure, your company can reach out to the remotest customer without any significant latency. AWS cloud platform also helps digital marketing agencies remain in the forefront of digital evolution.

In order to simplify the process of AWS cloud adoption, one must get associated with the right partner that has proven expertise in designing, building and automating the cloud infrastructure of Amazon Web Services.

For more information :

Future of Amazon Web Services and the Cloud Computing Market

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Exciting Attributes of Cloud Backup Solutions

Traditional data backup systems are rapidly being replaced by smarter and more flexible web based applications such as cloud backup. These applications can be availed as either web-native storage solutions or can be procured from cloud service providers in the form of SaaS.

Importance of simplicity in backup application

Since any cloud oriented application is basically designed to offer freedom to operate from any place or device, users are able to enjoy simplicity in day to day operations. Cloud native backup applications are boon to organizations that operate multiple divisions from diverse locations.

Similarly, if an enterprise has to serve its associates, clients, consultants, and employees who operate from diverse locations, then cloud backup is the only alternative to on-premise backup solutions. By deploying cloud native backup applications across a large number of computers, any organization can facilitate its dispersed users to gain access to important data as and when required.

Another aspect of an ideal cloud backup application is its lightweight features that allow seamless backup operations. What’s more, the economy factor makes it an ideal backup resource to be used even by members of dispersed families. These lightweight applications are designed to let an enterprise handle user accounts and also enable users manage these on their own.

Cloud based data backup is also an ideal resource to maintain business critical information even if the staff member who was in charge, chooses to leave the organization. You can instantly access the vital information after exit of an employee.

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Highly reliable and efficient solution

Thanks to the advanced security systems that are powered by technologies including encryption, server virtualization, application based protection, and disk native backup, users of cloud backup solutions can enjoy a highly efficient and dependable data backup resource.

Add to this round the clock monitoring, proactive reporting, and professional management that is offered by SAS 70 data center facilities. Service providers of ideal cloud backup services shoulder the responsibility of regular updates, patching, and adoption of new technologies to help users focus on their core business activities.

Designed to empower small enterprises

Small sized companies leverage tape based backups that can lead to loss of critical time in the period of crisis because these involve physical movement of tapes from different locations. In contrast, a cloud backup helps save the precious time since it is always accessible from any location.

Tapes are vulnerable to physical damage, leading to loss of mission critical information. Thanks to the highly secured data centers that house cloud data backup files, you can be assured of safety and security of the backed up data.

If you are concerned about increasing your data backup footprint and the obvious costs that are usually associated with procurement of hardware, then cloud based backup applications are right for you. There is no need to purchase expensive hardware, thanks to impressive scalability of cloud data backup services.

Moreover, the consumption based billing model helps users reduce the hassles of provisioning and procuring related issues. The unique billing model is also ideal for organizations on a fast track of growth.

Every enterprise has a humble beginning and cloud backup empowers such companies by providing easy access to state of the art technologies that are cost efficient and convenient. Cloud hosting is ideal for enabling backup of small as well large data sets.

Small companies are benefitted from lighter footprint of cloud backup solutions that are built to use bare minimum resources of the clients’ systems. Secondly, the cloud backup applications do not impact performance of other applications that may be running on your computers.

Vital points to consider

You need to understand that overall capacity of your data transfer workloads is directly impacted by the availability of bandwidth. Therefore, while planning a backup transfer strategy of your enterprise this factor must be considered.

Before choosing a vendor for cloud backup, one must understand all important specifications as well as the terms for planning exit. The exit policy of cloud backup service providers should clearly provide information regarding data extraction, pre-withdrawal fees and so forth.

The overall control on accomplishment of backup may not be within the scope of service providers due to issues including bandwidth availability, security factors, and the volume of data to be transferred. This will seriously impact the scope of Service Level Agreements. These factors are commonly associated with poor compliance of SLAs.

Categorization of vendors

Choice of a cloud backup vendor is driven by specific requirements of user organizations. Thankfully, we can categorize the vendors in terms of specific backup objectives of a particular enterprise. For large multi-divisional companies, a proposed backup service must provide SaaS capability for its backup solution. This can cover all important aspects of the organization such as servers, applications, desktops and other internet enabled devices.

In conclusion

Thanks to the amazing technological strides in the field of backup and cloud computing, client organizations are able to leverage a wide spectrum of cloud backup services that are designed to support accessibility, availability, and simplicity.

For more information:

Key Benefits of Cloud BackUp

Tips For Getting The Best From The Cloud And Make Smart Savings Too

Tips For Getting The Best From The Cloud And Make Smart Savings Too

Question that were commonly asked by IT departments of organizations about IT readiness in the past are not relevant anymore in today’s situation as a vast array of cloud solutions are now available. These IT options are designed to satisfy almost all types of work load requirements in any type of organization. Also, they offer a much enhanced level of data protection and security than what conventional data centers offer.

Moving to the cloud is not only about saving cost as many think rather erroneously. With diligence, detailed planning and efficient management, the cost of operations can be kept under control in any cloud-based environment say many experts. It must be also noted that a rental model works better than on-premise cloud model in most cases. This might seem to be in sharp contrast to the common notion that agility is the biggest driving force when it comes to cloud technology. The cloud has the ability to respond to new business needs with ease than any other technology.

It is not uncommon to find some organizations make the transition into the cloud without identifying their real long term objectives. It is important to know what kind of governance of various stages of cloud usage is needed to achieve cost-effective operation while keeping operations in control. Companies that make use of the best automation strategies and policies can expect to get the best outcome from their move to the cloud. However, decisions related to automation must be done after careful consideration of all aspects.

The Horses For Courses Approach:

While making hosting decisions and deciding whether to go for the cloud, it is important to understand whether the infrastructure chosen meets your workload demands. A critical analysis of the capacities and demands situation will prevent future disappointments and help you get the best value for your money. This is where choosing the right cloud hosting service assumes critical importance. Over the past few years, the cloud has evolved to a significant extent. If you have the finances, you can buy any type of technology you want for your business.

Are You Paying The Right Price:

Getting the right technology at the best possible price is what you should be aiming for but it is easier said than done. It is not hard to come across companies who have turned to cloud-based applications but at a hefty price. Many have discovered to their horror that they are having to pay bills twice or even thrice the value of what they expected. It is important to note that cloud based services does not come cheap – at least not all of them. Hire a cloud expert to guide you on which cloud applications to choose in a cost effective manner. Some of the ways of doing this are:

Getting the Sizing Right:

Many organizations do not get this right despite detailed planning. Poor planning can cause you heavily as you will have to a hefty price. Be diligent and know exactly what you would be paying for a specific service and whether that cost outgoing will cover your returns adequately.

Proper Execution:

You may get the sizing bang on target but that will be of little help if your application is running on an incompatible infrastructure. Optimum utilization of resources and a pay plan that allows you to pay only for the resources actually used indicates proper execution of the technology. A recent survey has clearly shown how many organizations fail to follow this simple execution principle and end up spending lots more than what is needed.

Planning Demand and Supply

Top cloud vendors are now offering users the option of purchasing reserved instances or bare-metal servers. You can enjoy lower housing costs if you can identify your needs in advance and accurately. You will have to commit to a specific level of usage and then live up to that commitment. This involves understanding the existing slew of applications available and your workload patterns. This can help in freezing the level of demand that your operations will utilize for a specific time frame. You will be able to strike a profitable deal from service providers if you can plan your demand fairly accurately and in advance.

Cloud hosting is going to catch up in a big way with more and more companies joining the cloud bandwagon. However, it would be foolhardy to imagine that making a transition to the cloud is the magical solution to all your operational problems. You must be able to find a scientific way of managing decisions related to cloud hosting. This is critical for ensuring that all the services you run on the cloud is smoothly and efficiently managed and the data involved in such operations remains fully protected and secure. You must find ways of deploying new applications quickly and also in a cost effective manner.