Migrating to the Cloud

Migrating to the Cloud

There has been a rise of providers of software as a service (SaaS) in the recent past due to an increasing demand for this kind of cloud computing by a big number of enterprises and organizations. SaaS host multiple applications and make them available for access by firms through the internet (Botta et al, 2016). Increased demand for these services is based on the many organizational benefits that come with SaaS. The most popular providers of SaaS include (a) Microsoft’s office 365 and, (b) Box providers. Office 365 provided by Microsoft moves the Microsoft office suite to the cloud for access through personal computers while at the same time giving users the privilege to create and share content with contacts in real time in and out of the organization (Kellett, 2016). Office 365 helps in communications and management of teams. , on the other hand, provides a workspace where professionals interact and share professional files and information while carrying out professional projects or holding consultation (Kellett, 2016). It creates a platform for professional discussions.

With the many migrations of business firms to the cloud, so has there been the growing need to for identity as a service. the two most popular IDaaS providers are Okta, the fastest growing provider, and OneLogin. Okta gives directory services, single sign-on, workflow, reporting with a strong authentication to subscribing companies (Thomas & Chandrasekaran, 2016). OneLogin, on the other hand, has a catalog of already integrated application a client can access, offers single sign-on to clients, provisioning and has the capability to access management policy administration (Thomas & Chandrasekaran, 2016). To further enhance the efficiency and security of cloud services, developers are considering the development of a single platform which will perform both administration and collaborative functions (Thomas & Chandrasekaran, 2016).

The choice of one provider of SaaS over another by an organization is fully based on the special provisions of a provider in relation to the functions of the business. Office 365 offers users the specialty of the signature Microsoft office applications- word, Excel and PowerPoint, all accessed online by users through their personal computer and smartphones. This is helpful to prepare explanation and analysis of data and even prepare presentations using the Microsoft PowerPoint application (Almorsy et al., 2016). Further, office 365 allows users to create content and share with their contacts in real time a provision that is useful in teamwork coordination during field activities or other out of the office projects (Almorsy et al., 2016). With regards to security of data, office 365 allows users to enforce hard passwords so that no intruder can access your data while at the same time assuring no mining of data for advertisement purposes. Finally, this provider allows the formation of chat groups and discussion boards which help users share a lot of work progress further aiding coordination. However, subscribers of office 365 often complain of that the real-time collaborative feature is not efficient enough leading to delay of team projects (Almorsy et al., 2016).

Box, our second software as a service provider, is the perfect solution for online collaboration of professionals of a specific area leading to transfer and sharing of ideas by professionals even from different geographical positions (Almorsy et al., 2016). The providers allow transfer of large files and have a provision for chat groups and online collaboration where professional teams can work on a document at the same time (Almorsy et al., 2016). These providers, however, have not developed specific applications for specific professions, they are too general.

The two providers of IDaaS, Okta, and OneLogin, have each of them a set of special qualities that make them preferred to others. Okta has a strong authentication leading to high data security compared to other providers of the same. It also provides workflows enhancing monitoring of supply chain and data management (Thomas & Chandrasekaran, 2016). However, Okta lacks the important feature of reporting. OneLogin, on the other hand, has a strong authentication too leading to high data security. The providers monitored access of organizational data to only allow those authorized by the system and is efficient in reporting enabling experts to track and trail attempts by intruders to harm data or systems (Thomas & Chandrasekaran, 2016).

Migration of an organization is a complex process whose success is based on how well the process is planned and prepared for (Rittinghouse & Ransome, 2016). The following is a step-by-step plan for successful migration.

Step 1: developing a committee with cross-functional representatives from all departments

Step 2: presenting the framework to the stakeholders for approval of resources and goodwill

Step 3: building a team of internal experts to participate in data transfer or documentation of processes

Step 4: taking inventory of all data, files, and systems to ensure nothing is lost in the process

Step 5: developing a risk assessment plan evaluating all risk and preparing for risk occurrences

Step 6: Determine the requirements of the migration process in terms of time, equipment, money and labor

Step 7: conducting the migration in small phases

Step 8: testing the functionality of the cloud application with each phase and,

Step 9: measuring the results and developing a documentation of the process.

The most common risks of migration to the cloud are data insecurity, non-compliance of the providers with government regulations and lack of coexistence between the new system and the old system during the phased implementation stages (Rittinghouse & Ransome, 2016).

This risk can only be managed through cautiousness in contracting only complying providers, scrutinizing providers before contracting them to ensure only those that can guarantee data security are contracted and adopting a rather fast implementation to reduce the time lost in case the older systems do not match the system being implemented (Rittinghouse & Ransome, 2016).

References

Botta, A., De Donato, W., Persico, V., & Pescapé, A. (2016). Integration of cloud computing and internet of things: a survey. Future Generation Computer Systems, 56, 684-700.

Rittinghouse, J. W., & Ransome, J. F. (2016). Cloud computing: implementation, management, and security. CRC press.

Kellett, A. (2016). 2017 Trends to Watch Security.

Thomas, M. V., & Chandrasekaran, K. (2016). Identity and Access Management in the Cloud Computing Environments. In Developing Interoperable and Federated Cloud Architecture (pp. 61-90). IGI Global.

Almorsy, M., Grundy, J., & Müller, I. (2016). An analysis of the cloud computing security problem. arXiv preprint arXiv:1609.01107.


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