Covid-19 means a remote workforce for most of the companies. Part of the reason why they’re migrating all the resources and technology stacks to the cloud.
Chances are high you’re looking to comply with the demands of the pandemic.
But cloud migration is not all sunshine and roses.
Sure they solve downtime and scaling processes, but cost continues to remain the biggest road blocker with the transition.
- More than 50% of companies who made a recent shift to cloud complain about cost management. 
- Labor costs to hone cloud skills can make up to 50% of the migration charges. 
Significant challenges with cloud migration
- The applications built for on-premises servers behave abnormally on the cloud.
- There’s a need to restructure applications that adapt to the cloud environment.
- It’s challenging to determine migration costs that may additionally come up with hidden or indirect charges.
- Workforce training from scratch may consume time and resources.
Every cloud migration challenge adds up to the cost.
That said, it’s not impossible to shift your business to the cloud and not enjoy its infrastructure within your budget.
In fact, cloud technology is extremely accessible and inexpensive per unit cost post-migration.
The only cost management problem occurs while you’re making a transition.
Before finding ways to reduce cloud migration costs, let’s discover the areas, you’ll get billed in cloud migration.
What’s the cost of cloud migration?
First, recognize the cost of not moving to the cloud.
With on-premises data, you’re billed for an in-house infrastructure such as hardware and software updates, security, and maintenance.
On the other hand, you have to invest a particular amount monthly/yearly for using the cloud infrastructures without worrying about any up-gradation charges.
The service provider works on the subscription model where you pay fees to use their services.
Cloud might as well need you to spend on initial projects for configuration, integration of the apps, labor training, and testing.
Again, there are two types of cloud migration:
- Either you follow a simple lift-and-shift migration (without re-engineering your apps).
- Or re-architect everything to suit cloud needs.
Post-migration, the final incurring cost should be the subscription fee.
You can’t challenge this, but only the areas that cost you during migration.
The areas that cost are the areas where you save.
Tips to a cost-efficient cloud migration
Let’s find out the cost-effective cloud migration strategies most cloud migrating experts advocate.
- Determine the right-size infrastructure for your cloud needs
Start managing cloud cost right from the word go.
You can do this by choosing the minimum requirement, which fits with the cheapest cloud services.
Please note the resources you have in the current on-premises stack may not necessarily be needed in the cloud.
The idea is to have optimal performance requirements in your hand rather than copy-pasting the on-prem server’s resources to the cloud.
In simpler words, have the minimal infrastructure that accommodates everything you need to run a business.
You don’t want to be paying for the unusable excessive space; instead, it’s comfortable to scale your space in the cloud when it deems fit later.
- Budget your outsourcing expenses
Whether it’s AWS or Azure, the popular cloud services come with notorious in-supportability.
So either you work out on migrating and maintaining your project or choose managed services to do it for you.
In most cases, outsourcing your cloud profile to the cloud consultants is cheaper than hiring an on-roll cloud architect in your team.
Mind you! Cloud consultants can cut migrating costs by whooping 50%.
Hence you must have people who can cut down-time for reformatting applications and help them move into the cloud as quickly as possible.
Not only that. A cloud expert who knows the nuts and bolts of cloud technology can get your hands on the real deals when everything is migrated.
- Reserve the server for a longer time
Usually, businesses go for the “on-demand” models.
The advantage with the on-demand models is the businesses pay for the facilities they use in any specific hour.
So they efficiently use a virtual server at their desired level of hardware and software, the size of the cloud memory for storing data, and many other parameters. They also upsize or downsize their stacks any moment they feel the need.
But with the continuous peaks and falls or uncertainty of resource utilization, they’re slapped with the additional costs.
You can avoid it by reserving or committing to an instance for a longer time, somewhere around a year.
The plans are like retainers’ buy! You reserve a year and pay for it to reap a much better deal on unit costs. Reserving a spot on a cloud instance can prevent wallet-thinning even before you’ve started. Great for a head-start.
- Keep Jevons Paradox in mind
Once you have made it to the cloud, you may enter the pay-as-you-go model.
It means you’re expecting and paying for a certain section of traffic and workload.
But the cracks appear in the cloud when you suddenly exceed the limits thinking them inexpensive and accessible.
Of course, the unit costs will stay low for you. Clouds were meant to take care of financial woes. But you might end up losing more from the cash registers if you don’t trace your use.
It’s called Jevons Paradox.
This happens because there can be in and outflow of the data in the cloud beyond your knowledge.
Your monthly invoice can easily cross the threshold budget.
So you must anticipate your monthly cloud budget and keep an eye for detail over time.
The final argument
Look! We know cost-effective migration is essential. But it’s not the only thing that should stop you from moving to clouds.
Consider factors such as performance, security, backup, infrastructure design, and reliability. You might want to migrate all your apps to cloud services that don’t trade-off anything for the cheaper-cost.
Finally, you can deploy cost control tools to automate everything we discussed above; though they may not replace human intervention, they can indeed work in tandem for cost-saving.