Cloud migration is a big undertaking that requires careful planning, preparation, and execution. The process involves moving data, applications, and infrastructure from an on-premise or legacy environment to a cloud-based environment. The move to the cloud offers many benefits, including increased agility, scalability, and cost savings. If you’re not properly prepared, though, it can also lead to technical difficulties, security breaches, and other issues. That’s where cloud migration services come in.
How Do You Prepare for Cloud Migration?
Clarify Vision and Leadership
Define your organization’s vision for the future. This vision should inform and guide your overall strategy in making a migration in the first place. Ensure that everyone in your organization understands the importance of the strategy and is aligned with its goals. You must also define roles and responsibilities for your team, implement a strong security posture, and separate responsibilities effectively.
It’s important to have a leader who can steer the project to success. This person should possess general technical proficiency, a strong alignment with your goals, and excellent communication skills. The project lead will work closely with your migration service provider to ensure that all necessary resources are in place, resolve challenges, clarify things on your end, and keep everyone on your team moving in the right direction.
Go Through Your Software and Criteria for Success
Start with a thorough audit of your digital assets to determine the scope of the migration. This includes making a list of the software in use, identifying any applications that no longer bring value, and determining which apps can benefit the most from a cloud migration.
Another important factor to consider is the dependencies between your applications. Most companies use multiple applications and servers, and moving one app can potentially break dependencies and impact the performance of other systems. To prevent this, it’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate these dependencies before beginning the migration.
Just like with any business initiative, it’s important to set clear success criteria for your cloud migration. Brainstorm and then monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your business goals. Some of the KPIs you may wish to measure include availability, maintenance costs, scalability, operational load, and access speed. Be sure to measure these both before and after the migration so you know where you stand and what’s working.
By measuring these KPIs, you’ll be able to gauge the success of your migration and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance.
Set Your Migration Budget
To ensure a successful transition to the cloud, it’s important to establish a comprehensive financial plan that covers all aspects of the migration process. From cloud migration services and software tools to data integration and storage expenses, it’s crucial to allocate adequate funding to ensure that the migration project stays on track.
Factor in the cost of hiring specialized migration professionals and cloud-focused software developers. These skilled resources will play a critical role in ensuring that your cloud migration initiatives are successful, that you reach your goals, and that the other costs of migration are well worth it.
Work With Your Migration Professionals to Set a Migration Strategy
The 7Rs of cloud migration is a model that provides different options to move to the cloud based on business requirements, budget, complexity, and other factors.
Repurchase is a strategy where an existing application is withdrawn and replaced with a cloud-based version. Applications such as CRM, HR, finance, and ERP can be migrated using this option, which is provided by different vendors and classified according to delivery mode, pricing, and category.
This strategy allows organizations to shift their infrastructure to the cloud without buying new hardware or changing current processes.
Rehost is a strategy where on-premise applications are moved to the cloud environment without modification. This approach is taken when there is a need to migrate large-scale legacy apps to meet targeted business objectives but with minimal modifications. Rehosting is not as easy as repurchasing, but in some situations, it’s the right choice.
Replatform involves replacing or rebuilding parts of the application to take advantage of the cloud environment. This approach is typically taken when applications require minimal optimization.
Refactoring or Re-architecting is the costliest method for cloud migration as it necessitates a complete revamp of the application to make it compatible with the cloud setting. This approach is selected when there is a significant business requirement to keep using an application but also key benefits in accessing cloud-based capabilities.
This strategy is simply keeping part of your existing IT portfolio intact without making any changes. This strategy is used where there are strict regulations requiring data to be stored on-premises or when cloud migration is not feasible. Identifying which applications must be retained early in the migration process is essential to ensure everything goes smoothly and to keep costs minimal.
Choose Your Cloud
The first step is to identify which cloud model – public, private, or hybrid – suits your organization’s needs best. Your technology partners can be of great help here, with the resources and experience to show you the best path forward for your financial needs and business goals. When it comes to cloud providers, you’ll often hear about the “Big Three” – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
These providers are widely considered market leaders. All three providers offer a range of cloud models and have user-friendly cost calculators to help estimate the cost of their services. They also provide a wealth of resources, including reports from industry experts, to help you make the best decisions for your organization.
Work With Professionals to Overcome Challenges
Migration presents new security risks that need to be addressed. With experience in cloud security, migration professionals can help ensure that your data is protected throughout the migration process and in the cloud. They can provide guidance on compliance with regulations and industry standards as well as implement best practices for secure data management in the cloud.
While cloud applications are typically intuitive, it’s important to invest in training for your team to ensure that everyone is comfortable and competent with the new technology. Migration professionals can help assess the skills and training needs of your team and develop a customized training plan that addresses any knowledge gaps. They can also provide ongoing support and guidance to help ensure compliance with cloud standards and best practices.
Having a team of experienced migration professionals on your side can help mitigate the risks and challenges associated with cloud migration. They bring the expertise and knowledge needed to ensure a successful transition to the cloud so that you can focus on your business goals.
Spend Serious Time on a Well-Developed Backup Plan
A robust backup plan is essential when transitioning to the cloud. Unlike on-premise systems, where problems can be addressed by IT staff using backup drives, in the cloud, a backup plan must be in place to ensure data security and protection. Here are some steps to help prepare a backup system for cloud migration:
Use Native Resources
Utilize the cloud vendor’s backup solutions for a safe and efficient data backup. These solutions are well-documented and reliable and less likely to cause issues than backup solutions designed for other situations.
Establish a Data Access Policy
Many data losses occur due to human error, especially when it comes to SaaS. Define access levels for your team to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Think through who really needs access to what, and if you have to err, err on the side of limiting access rather than making things easier but less safe. Your migration experts can help you evaluate your team and make better decisions in this regard. It’s always easier to open up access to a person or team later as needed than to deal with a breach.
Invest in Staff Training
Educate your staff on the proper usage of cloud applications to minimize accidental data losses. Lean on your migration specialists to be sure this is done right.
Implement Anti-Deletion Measures
Protect critical data by flagging specific virtual machines and volumes as anti-deletion. This way, even if someone tries to delete the data, it remains protected and backed up.
Take advantage of automated backup options offered by leading cloud providers. That way the onus is off your people to remember to back things up.
Test Your Backup Strategy
Set up a test environment to assess the effectiveness of your backup plan. Repeat this process regularly to refine and improve the backup strategy as necessary.
Work With Experienced Cloud Migration Services
Cloud migration can bring numerous benefits to businesses, including increased efficiency, cost savings, scalability, and flexibility. Moving to the cloud can also enhance security and disaster recovery capabilities. The right managed IT service provider can make the transition seamless. At Flying Buttress, we’re a reliable and experienced provider of managed IT services, including cloud migation: contact Flying Buttress today and take advantage of our expertise and technology solutions.