Migration to the cloud is increasingly common for businesses, with it being advantageous regarding flexibility, security, control, and efficiency. Fortunately, the process is so common that there is a lot of evidence-based help in how best to accomplish it.
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First and foremost, we need to assess our cloud readiness. Pre-migration planning is integral to the success of the migration itself, so it begins with examining our data and applications to see if they can be moved onto the cloud with little operational impact. This will help understand how seamless the transition will be.
Identify business objectives
We must understand why we want to move to the cloud and be specific about that. Not having a clear answer is a red flag that the migration could be directionless. So, determine some business objectives, such as things like achieving more scalability, capacity for remote collaboration, and avoiding maintenance costs regarding data centers.
Next up is to assess if there are some skill gaps in the IT team that could stand in the way of the migration. What are the required skills and does the team have them? Who in the team has prior experience with cloud migration? Is the team available to execute the cloud migration and would it be a priority?
Assess current IT infrastructure and security requirements
Next, we must scrutinize the current IT infrastructure by looking at the shortcomings, and what applications you want to move to the cloud. For example, the network, data, and dependencies, how easily applications can be modified, and the costs associated with the resources.
It’s equally important to assess your current security mechanisms and assess the current compliance and security requirements. Thus, we can then see how well the cloud migration fits in regarding such requirements, access, and security.
Cost and benefit assessment
It’s not just the pre-migration planning that is integral to both business and IT, but it’s the cost of the process and its benefits. We can use such business objectives noted earlier to contextualize these benefits and see if they’re our intended targets – possibly from previously set KPIs too – and assess the total costs of the migration.
We should conduct an inventory of the servers, storage, and database in order to understand the cost-effectiveness of this move.
The cloud readiness assessment and all other pre-migration planning is the most integral part of the success of this project. However, it’s still important to use this information, once happy with your cloud readiness, into formulating a plan.
Migrating data is one of the hardest parts of the project, with the location of the data playing a large role in future performance. When there’s a mismatch of data-access methods being on-premise or in the cloud in relation to where the data is stored, performance can be impacted.
This is where it’s important to plan for different data migration and decide on bi-directional syncing mechanisms, on-premise databases with one-way synchronization to the cloud, or using a cloud data migration service.
There is a tonne of complexity that goes into data migration so the planning process must be thorough and heavily consulted.