It is a chaotic time for business today that a deluge of new technologies has subsequently emerged out and that continues to define a new business era. The organizations are flocking to the cloud to cut costs, stay nimble, and ensure future survival.
Each journey to the cloud is unique and the challenges along the way are prevalent. Businesses must look ahead to the journey and prepare accordingly for safe and controlled cloud migration. The cloud enables firms to effectively reduce IT costs, mitigate security risks, and agile innovation with continuity. Yet, despite the vast array of benefits, making the move is not a light task. It requires exquisite planning and execution, which explains why migration is often cited second to security on the cloud computing pain sequence.
Choosing the right Cloud Service Provider
The wide range of cloud services can make it difficult to choose the right cloud service provider. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure are among the giants, at the same time, many more niche players saturate the market with bespoke services. This often leaves IT leaders, to be stuck at the primary hurdle of digital transformation.
Although the budget plays a key part in the decision-making process, organizations need to consider their initial goals for moving to the cloud. Each business will have its own set of requirements and a unique justification for adopting the cloud. Security, architecture, manageability, level of services, support, and cost are all critical factors to consider before choosing a cloud provider. However, it is essential that the chosen vendor also understands the objectives of the business, as well as the motive behind their decision to migrate to the cloud. Without the right blend of technical expertise and service excellence, the partnership will not power up the business in the cloud. Therefore, the assessment of business goals and vendors’ services is a critical part of the cloud provider decision-making process.
Evaluating the current IT portfolio
Any drastic change within an IT environment demands a thorough analysis of current infrastructures before deciding on which elements to migrate. This is often the most challenging part of cloud migration. It takes time to unveil issues, document findings and turn them into actionable insights, especially for firms that spread their infrastructure across multiple data centers or teams. Yet, many firms rely on manual processes to assess their current environment. This often paves the way for making further delays and potential bottlenecks. By the time, the discovery process is complete, the organization’s infrastructure might be changed.
A successful cloud migration starts with understanding on-premise application workload profiles. A key part of this discovery process is figuring out analyzing the knock-on effect systems can potentially have on one another. Workload intelligence, combined with dependency mapping, therefore figures crucial insight into the decision-making, and significantly reduces the possibility of missing dependencies during the move.
What to modernize and what to leave behind?
Migration is not a simple process of lift and shift. The prioritization of what to move and when to move is fundamental to successful cloud migration. The applications for early migration are those with fewer dependencies. This ensures to take cautious measures towards unforeseen problems and can be dealt with ease. Starting small is, therefore, a key to successful cloud migration.
Businesses should also consider how moving the least critical applications will impact the overall IT ecosystem. Some applications are more suited in the cloud as compared to others, particularly those applications with variable usage patterns. Therefore, it is more important to align business goals with the benefits that the cloud could bring, like faster and frequent application releases and flexible auto-scaling.
Minimizing business downtime
Downtime is frequently cited as the biggest challenge of moving workloads to the cloud. The biggest hurdle between a successful and unsuccessful cloud migration is network connectivity. Even the minutest downtime can affect the business, both in terms of revenue and reputation. The priority, therefore, should be to plan to minimize disruption and ensure business continuity during the migration.
A live migration refers to the process of migrating a running virtual machine or any application between different physical machines without disconnecting the client or application. This guarantees long-term success, as it brings together to go live tools, delivery, integration testing, source control, and unit testing all whilst the source is still in production. This allows the business to test the migration offline before any cutover is made and make sure risk mitigation when moving from a physical to a virtual environment.
Automation is fundamental for a successful cloud journey, not just during the initial migration, but throughout the optimization of the cloud environment. Productivity and efficiency are the primary motives behind automating cloud migration, which cultivates a level of consistency unmatched by manual processes. There’s also an added benefit of not having to add staff to the project to manually assess, fix, and convert the application for the virtual cloud platform.
To fully leverage the cloud, firms should automate application compatibility testing and fixing, since the cloud allows multiple virtual platforms to be tested and quick to fix it simultaneously. This lowers migration time requirements and reduces the cost of the individual workload.
Keeping data safe and compliant during the migration
The consequences of insufficient data security are immense. If there is any data loss, leakage, or if data is exposed to a cyber-attack during the migration, it could cause serious disruption. For highly regulated firms who are bound by law to protect personal customer data, concerns around IT governance and compliance can make the migration seem deeply unattractive.
An efficient and secure point-to-point migration ensures the company’s data is transferred via a preferred routable path and data is protected behind the firewall. This ensures that the company’s personal data is not visible to any third party during the migration processes, which eliminates the potential for non-compliance during the move.
Cloud migration is a complex process. It needs meticulous planning and impeccable expertise to architect, secure, and manage migration. Your success will depend upon the partner you choose and the extent of their knowledge, skillset, and experience to identify and manage the cloud migration process and execute it with the overall digital strategy of the business.
As you look ahead to the journey of movement, be sure to prepare for safe and controlled cloud migration. Talk to us about our deep experience and mix of capabilities and find out how you can move your workloads to the cloud without jeopardizing applications or data and, perhaps more importantly, day-to-day business operations.