Cascades is working in an exciting innovation quietly reaching maturity: Cloud computing infrastructures, storage, and applications. Breaking from the costly paradigm of local infrastructures, storage, and applications and the labor required to support it, cloud computing solutions offer significant cost, time, and labor savings and faster request turnaround.
The concept is very simple: Don’t move the data; move the people and applications closer to the data. By moving the data to the cloud, data is now centrally located. By moving the people and the applications to the data, the data is no longer constantly uploaded and downloaded, just accessed remotely as needed.
Cloud-based applications almost instantly improve workflow performance, accessibility to data, data security, and disaster recovery capabilities. The scalability of cloud-based solutions allows for virtually endless computing power and storage by simply ordering more of each. The lower cost and faster request turnaround of additional cloud storage and computing power provides better value than purchasing, installing, and maintaining localized hardware, software, and the labor for long term maintenance.
Methodology of Migration to the Cloud
The methodology to migrate IT infrastructure, data, services, and applications to the cloud is straightforward.
First, shift data output processes to store data directly to the cloud.
Next, move applications to the cloud to reduce or remove data transfers.
Then, apply access controls to the data (i.e. to enforce confidentiality, availability, and integrity), so if someone wants to use the data they access it using an agent residing in the cloud (i.e., applications, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), integration agents, or data feeds).
Cloud-based solutions rely more on pointers to data instead of constantly uploading and downloading data. Any transfers of data now involve smaller data sets using formats and protocols employing data compression and data streaming to hasten the transaction and ultimately improve the user experience.