Ensuring a Successful Cloud Migration
Over the last few years, usage of cloud migration has exploded as several enterprise applications are migrating to the public cloud. To ensure a successful outcome, it is crucial to have a dynamic approach to cloud migration strategy.
"I don't need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison." - Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman, Apple Inc.
The cloud is an impressive alternative to on-premise data centers. It offers effective capabilities to help companies keep up the pace. With robust computing power, greater agility, and scalability - all at an affordable cost - the advantages of the cloud are difficult to ignore.
Moving to the cloud isn't an easy process. It has to be approached holistically. Companies that don't spend time thinking in broader terms risk missing out on the incredible benefits of the cloud.
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is simply moving digital assets such as data, IT resources, or applications into a cloud infrastructure. Though migration refers to moving assets from on-premises to the cloud, it can also mean shifting from one cloud to another.
Without a good cloud migration strategy, it won't be easy to achieve the greater results that can genuinely support the future state of your business. To avoid such mishaps, companies need to evaluate the key factors below -
Ask questions from a business perspective like, what are the main drivers propelling the move to cloud and cloud migration strategy? In some cases, the priorities may consist of modernization, faster launches, and global expansion, while agility and capacity can be more important for others. Evaluating these will help decide the architectural aspects of virtual data center design.
Currently, what security solutions, processes, and tools are in place? Are they suitable for clouds? Check what they need to reduce risks and improve the overall threat visibility.
Many companies have specific regulatory requirements, for example - the Health Insurance Portability, General Data Protection, and Payment Card Industry. The cloud partner must help in supporting these controls for industry-specific obligations.
The cloud environment will depend on how the company and IT is currently operating. Some of the necessary measures would be - virtual private network requirements, locations, network performance, remote workers, and speed.
Before migrating to the cloud, evaluate your present infrastructure to gain insights into capacity and performance reports. This way, an idea of the available unutilized space and capacity will also be generated, which can be used and optimized later for other workloads to save extra costs such as investments.
Align your current infrastructure with the migration strategy to make the most out of undiscovered resources to save unnecessary expenses.
Service Management and Governance
Does the company have dynamic processes catering to change management, procedural controls, testing, approvals, cost management, and a transparent end-to-end approach? Do they have service-level agreements (SLAs) in place? Can they manage them feasibly? Also, who handles the cloud subscriptions and has access to specific resources?
A Roadmap for Cloud Migration Strategy
Here's how successful companies approach cloud migration strategy to not miss out on its total efficiency -
Alignment is the key. A carefully considered alignment of cloud migration strategy and business can be daunting. It needs an informed assessment of recent and future business goals and also an understanding of how cloud can fit into the picture. Additionally, buy-in and support is required from leadership and employees to ensure cloud is fully adopted by the organization. This planning begins with a careful evaluation of the current business functionalities gaps and how cloud can help in filling those. Then the next step is to develop a value proposition for your business and IT cloud migration strategy. The following important aspects has to be included, such as - creating an understanding of distinct use cases for cloud adoption which is crucial for a successful outcome. Then there should be a focus on specifying the formal cloud strategy aligned to IT goals as this will ensure the IT team is on the right track to pursue the goals.
Develop a Plan of Action
The next crucial step is to choose the right vendors and negotiate contracts effectively. Start by creating cloud competencies across the enterprise. This will give you a fair idea on the next step which is to evaluate several service providers (AWS, Google, Microsoft, etc.). Meanwhile, have protection ready against any cloud-specific risk to avoid any mishap. Additionally, don't forget to recognize the investments in networking, security, identity architectures, and tools.
Identify Workloads and Applications
Not all workloads are cloud friendly. Some applications might perform better on hybrid or private clouds, while some workloads might require complete in-depth programming and changes for migration to achieve the best. Thus, make sure to conduct a thorough research and analysis on the workload's performance keeping in mind the implementation complexity and costs to know which applications require shifting. It's better to get answers to these factors here:
- Which applications require complete redo for migration, and which applications can be shifted as they are?
- What will ROI (Return on Investment) be for each application before and after cloud migration?
- What will be the minimum period in which you should target the expected ROI?
- What's the level of complexity for applications that require redesign for migration?
- For applications that perform better on cloud, what cloud infrastructure will be best for such applications as public, private, or hybrid?
A detailed analysis of these factors will help you gain insights into applications that make sense to migrate and those that should not be touched.
Prepare for Execution
The fourth step is to implement and optimize the workload placement effectively. Here, the first thing is to recognize and categorize workloads for migration after identification of what workloads need a complete redesign and which ones can be migrated as is. Then, there should be a focus on setting up the cloud management workflow to get the journey rolling. Also, let's not forget to embrace the best practices for execution and practice workload placement evaluation.
Establish Governance and Mitigate Risk
For most enterprises, cloud governance is one of their top challenges. Governance is the key to make sure IT infrastructure are empowered to deliver tangible outcomes, - consistently and cost-effectively. Hence, the fourth step is to reduce workflow disruptions and create dynamic processes. To get it started, first, a classification and categorization are required for the sensitive data discovery, monitoring, and analytics. Then comes developing a security control plane with third-party tools to set the tone for the cloud adoption journey. Next, you need to create a life cycle approach to cloud governance & implement feedback directly into workflows to drive the transformational journey.
Optimize and Scale
The fifth step is to assess and evolve the cloud footprint. To do this, first the enterprise needs to re-examine their investments to advance current cloud strategies and execution. Then comes establishing shared objectives for cross-functional teams and communicate it clearly. Next, it's the time to replicate to optimize and evolve cloud footprint.
Client Success Story: Cloud Migration
Capture the Full Value from Cloud Migration Initiatives
Companies need much more than technology to receive the full benefits of cloud migration. It requires companies to embrace new working methods, create new skills, and shift to better-operating models.
Partnering for Success
Maximize the skills and expertise of the partners to expand your capabilities. Cloud-based services are a way for brands looking for the right skills while keeping it cost-effective.
Business Value Focus
Create a compelling and optimized cloud strategy based on solid business cases to recognize revenue and cost-effective opportunities. This includes aligning business goals and putting the leadership on the same page.
Workforce and CultureChange Management
Initiate and launch talent readiness programs. Implement new operating models to transform culture. This will redefine what work needs to be done to meet rapidly changing needs.
Data and AI
Unleash the potential of the industry- and function-specific data insights. Learn about the intelligence in legacy systems with powerful cloud data models.
Cloud Migration Can Enable Success
Companies need to know the limitless possibilities with the cloud - including its ability to bring innovation, allow organizations to compete effectively, and deliver instant scalability with endless flexibility. The more companies know the better because they are likely to create a compelling case for adoption.
Companies that take a holistic and strategic approach to migration will capture more of these benefits while minimizing costs, risks, downtime, and challenges.
Do you have questions, comments, or ideas regarding your applications but don't know where to start? Our cloud migration experts look forward to sharing more details, insights, and results with you so that you can make the best of your business applications. Explore Icreon’s Cloud Migration Services.