Making Cloud Migration Simple

December 12, 2022

Defining Your Business and Operation Objectives

You decided to move to the cloud. Now what? How do you ensure the migration is secure, saves money, fits your organization’s needs, and meets little internal resistance? Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all approach. To ensure you unlock the cloud’s full potential,  start by defining your business and operational objectives and evaluating your timeline, funding availability, and why you chose to move to the cloud. As the old saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Avoid a painful cloud migration by planning ahead.

Identifying your priorities

Everyone faces resource constraints. Recognizing and prioritizing your particular constraints can help shape your cloud migration journey. Gaining stakeholder agreement is critical, so everyone understands your migration strategy.  

Time

If you are looking for a quick way to move to the cloud, lift and shift with some modernization may be the best way. If you aren’t facing time constraints, modernize the applications as they move to the cloud.

Cost

Without funding, the modernization effort and the journey to the cloud can be cumbersome. If you have time and budget available, then modernizing as you move to the cloud may be the best option. This approach can also address and reduce existing technical debt.

Motivation

What is your organization’s motivation to move to the cloud? Is it for an alternative hosting location? If so, then lift and shift. Are you moving to take advantage of exponential technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine or data learning, or others? Then modernization is the answer.

Top five barriers to cloud migration (and ways to overcome them)

1. Adoption resistance

People tend to be resistant to change. Moving to the cloud may result in a change in performing their daily tasks. Failure to recognize the impact on your employees may cause you to struggle with successfully executing your cloud journey or seeing the results you expected. Implementing Organizational Change Management (OCM) as part of your cloud migration strategy will increase acceptance. According to Prosci’s research, implementing OCM can increase the likelihood of meeting your project objectives “by a whopping 6X”.

2. Security and Compliance

Making sure your data is secure in migration and once in the cloud is a significant concern. You must understand what the cloud provider covers and what you need to provide during migration and once your data and applications are moved. Some questions to ask your cloud vendor include the following:

  • Where will the data be stored?
  • Is there end-to-end encryption?
  • What are the security policies and processes in place?
  • Which security regulation are you compliant with? For example, HIPPA, PCI-DSS, NIST, etc.

3. Obtaining consensus on your application strategy

Reviewing your applications to determine the “best” approach can be time-consuming. Not every application may be suitable for the cloud. For example, legacy applications, mission-critical workloads, and sensitive data — such as credit card information — may not be suited for the public cloud.

Even if you determine to lift and shift all of your applications, you still need to analyze the structure and dependencies of your business-critical applications. Fortunately, there are discovery tools available to simplify this process.

In addition, your migration plan should contain the final disposition of the application by category:

  • Rehost. Moves an application from its current operating environment to a lower-cost contemporary cloud platform without significantly changing the business features and functions or the look and feel of the application.
  • Replatform. Transferring applications to the cloud, modernizing certain parts.
  • Refactor. Making changes to the application code to benefit from cloud capabilities. 
  • Repurchase. Moving from perpetual licenses to SaaS vendors. For example, choosing off-the-shelf CRM as a customer relationship system.  
  • Retire. Turning off obsolete applications, no longer used or not relevant to the business.
  • Retain. Applications that cannot be migrated for some reason.

4. Underestimating migration and ongoing costs

Cloud migration can be costly due to data migration, compatibility issues, new skills required for your staff, and application modernization. Do you fully understand the ongoing costs so there are no surprises? Developing a solid migration plan includes migration costs. You need to review the various support and maintenance options to determine which provider to use—choosing a plan that fits your needs while saving costs can be daunting. You may want to engage an outside expert to help predict the overall costs and lower your cloud TCO.

5. Not having the right technical skills

You have a great IT staff, but you need to take a critical assessment if they have the right skills for cloud migration. If not, they may need additional training, or you can hire an outside professional on a short-term basis to assist you through the migration.

Furthermore, your staff also needs to understand the impact on their jobs once the migration is complete. Uncertainty may cause them to leave your company, impacting the cloud migration and losing valuable IT staff. Again, an outside firm can help guide you through the cloud migration maze to ensure you have the right staff with the right skills.  

Successful cloud migration

Although cloud migrations can pose a significant challenge, having a planned and organized migration strategy makes it easier. The more comprehensive plan with the more challenges you anticipate, the easier the move. No one knows your environment like you. However, if you need assistance, call us today to collaborate with you to build, rework and migrate to the cloud, all to minimize disruption to your business.