Why you need to migrate to the Cloud!

    Blog

    There are many reasons why businesses these days are moving to cloud computing whereas in the past, data was stored physically in servers. Technology has progressed significantly since my days at university, moving from microcomputers and mainframes to cloud computing. This shift has fundamentally changed access to information, whereby service providers are now responsible for information stored on their platforms and their recovery, providing organisations with opportunities for data security across countries. Today, cloud computing helps reduce costs, improves flexibility, increases security and productivity.

    Recently at Mumtalakat, we fully migrated our infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud and closed our data centres. To make this move as smoothly and successfully as possible, I would recommend a few essential steps.

    Training

    First of all, getting the right skills and ensuring that your Information Technology team fully understands how cloud computing works is important. At Mumtalakat, we did just that.

    I enrolled on the AWS programme and became a certified DevOps Engineer Professional. This gave me an in-depth understanding in automating and implementing security controls, governance processes, compliance validation and logging systems. With the new skills I gained, I am now able to add more value to the organisation.

    Understanding your data

    At Mumtalakat, we first looked at the files stored on the servers in our data centre and asked ourselves what would be the best approach to easily migrate all our files without any disruption to our end users. This is where cloud computing was handy as we efficiently moved and stored important documents while archiving old files using AWS storage services.
    Then, we looked at managing the move of our infratructure to the cloud. We started with a completely self-service experience online and were able to grow and shrink our infrastructure requirements automatically or as needed. We were able to experiment with various hardware configurations to come up with the most effective infrastructure using a method which presents low risk and complemented with tools to test almost any technology. After setting up, we were able to access new resources instantly and respond quickly to changes, no matter how large or small. This meant that our IT services could be implemented in a record time, with minimal resources, therefore reducing costs.

    Let’s illustrate this with an example! Your organisation wants to implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning system but the first thing that you realise is that your current infrastructure doesn’t support this system. So, what do you do? Instead of buying new servers, the system can be implemented through cloud computing. Not only do you avoid buying new servers, but you won’t have to worry about installation, maintenance and other costs involved.

    Security and Data Recovery

    Let’s move on to security: we implemented multiple layers of security before our migration. Each service is designed to be secure containing several capabilities that restrict unauthorised access or usage without sacrificing our flexibility. We also benefitted from encryption features that allowed us to further secure Mumtalakat’s data while publishing backup and redundancy procedures for services.

    Last but not least, no infrastructure is really complete without Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities. This is integral, ensuring that we’re covered if everything comes crashing down. We managed to move our DR site to the cloud, which eliminated the need for a second physical data centre, lowering our costs further.

    As a result of this migration, Mumtalakat’s operational costs were reduced by over 50%! If you are serious about reducing costs, then consider cloud-based solutions for your company. Although initially sceptical, I was reminded of the most important message of my education and career in information technology and that is we cannot stop learning and seeking solutions for whatever appears to be a complex challenge.

    Husain Alsaffar, 
    Senior Associate, IT


    Disclaimer:

    The views expressed in the blogs are solely those of the author. This does not represent the views of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company or any of its portfolio companies.