Almost $42 billion was spent worldwide on cloud infrastructure services in Q1 of 2021. Digital transformation has accelerated organizations’ paths to the cloud, completely changing the way of conducting business and allowing them to launch new software products faster and go global.
Still, it’s a complex process that places a heavy burden on C-level personnel, as too many concerns impede successful business transformation. So how do CIOs and CTOs undertake this change with confidence?
In this article, I’ll focus on cloud migration benefits, the most common challenges during a migration and six things to consider to make sure the investment pays off.
What’s The Point Of Cloud Migration?
It’s shifting from legacy ecosystems or low-capacity software solutions to a cloud environment that changes IT delivery across a company and increases agility. The most compelling benefits of cloud migration encompass:
• Enhanced security: Cloud services are way more reliable than data centers and possess embedded security analytics or automated updates.
• Reduced TCO: Operational costs decrease, as businesses don’t have to maintain, power and cool high-priced data centers.
• Eased data access: Both employees and clients work with information using any devices worldwide.
Bumps In The Road: What To Take Notice Of
Despite the obvious benefits and high demand, cloud migration is still problematic. To be successful, more often than not, businesses need to overcome the following challenges:
• No strategy: Without a solid migration plan, it’s so easy to get stuck halfway, so a step backward would be inevitable to design an explicit business migration strategy.
• Underskilled personnel: Long-term, internal nurturing of cloud expertise as well as onboarding offshore specialists with required expertise is of help to overcome the skill gap.
• Resistance to change: It’s in our nature to oppose the unknown. To drive employee engagement and help them adopt new processes, it’s vital to get executive buy-in and convey goals to the entire organization.
Ensuring A Smooth Migration: Six Points To Follow
To modernize a business and create new capabilities that contribute to boosting productivity and resilience, companies may consider these must-have steps:
1. Decide on cloud service and deployment models. Companies are to choose a fit-for-purpose model based on particular business needs. Wish to briskly deliver low-cost and scalable software with no headache related to managing hardware resources? Infrastructure as a service would work best. Need a solid framework for coding apps online? Platform as a service would fit.
The same applies to deployment opportunities. A private cloud becomes a perfect choice if companies don’t want to share the infrastructure with anyone else, put security first and are ready to pay extra costs for its acquisition. Otherwise, a public or hybrid model would be a viable option.
2. Think over the appropriate migration pattern(s). There are many different ways of migrating software to the cloud: relocate, rehost, re-platform, repurchase, refactor, retain and retire.
While transforming, it’s a good strategy to allow for a hybrid approach. Although it’s possible to migrate many apps seamlessly, some will have to function on-premises for a while. Periodic prioritization of the software to move or keep during the transition period would come in handy.
3. Assemble a strong team. To reach transformation success, it’s important to assign a lead who will navigate the team and manage the progress ― a migration architect.
Being accountable for refactoring, migration strategies and determining the requirements and priorities, the lead would also be able to upskill the team and help them stay focused on overall goals.
4. Design a migration road map. A long-term, cohesive plan will keep everyone in the loop about their liabilities and realistic goals. Set milestones and deadlines will help to always stay on schedule. And KPIs to track progress.
Also, it’s vital to decide on when to switch the production environment and think over the ways of simplifying the process and ensuring business continuity. Organizations can consider a training plan and required materials to educate teams during this stage.
5. Put the plan into action. To support the transition and make sure no records are lost, remember to make a backup of the entire infrastructure. While deploying the cloud environment, do not forget to connect and test its components — from storage to databases.
Then, it’s time to shift servers, information and apps to the cloud consistently, while the order should fully depend on your scenario. If you deal with big data, start with transferring it before an app to prepare data for further usage.
Finally, it’s vital to ascertain the completeness of data and tune the production to ensure its unhindered performance by balancing the load or altering permissions.
6. Keep things under control. Well, the worst is over. To ensure the high quality of the novel ecosystem, consider configuring cloud monitoring tools to spot and eliminate software glitches. It’s also important to check the target system after the migration to ensure that everything works as intended.
Imagine you did it ― abandoned a legacy IT environment. It’s a big step forward — though, a journey into the cloud may also be about the unwillingness to accept changes or a process interruption due to a wrongly determined business goal.
To overcome these challenges, choose the appropriate cloud service and deployment models, think over migration patterns, build a team of professionals, create a holistic plan, implement it and set up ongoing monitoring systems.