Companies are trying to understand how best to prepare their businesses for a transition to the cloud. After using their infrastructure for years, it is often hard to give up the control that comes with it. But a successful migration to the cloud can help decrease costs, improve scalability, and improve network security. The data indicates that shifting to the cloud is inevitable for most use-cases. By 2024, more than 45% of IT infrastructure spending will move to the cloud. Given that it is a complicated procedure that will take a lot of time and resources, an organization must invest the necessary time gathering the essential information to transition to the cloud smoothly.
The first step in a successful cloud migration has to be the discovery phase. The aim here is to gain a comprehensive understanding of your existing infrastructure and applications, the business processes, users, and usage patterns. We must take the effects the migration might have on the users into consideration. Cloud architecture should reduce complexity. It should make it easier for a systems administrator to deploy and maintain and provide more visibility into the cloud configuration. The discovery phase is the point where you must decide which applications move to the cloud. The company must do a cost-benefit analysis on the applications they want to migrate to the cloud while factoring in the refactoring and training costs. Determining a target core infrastructure is key to a successful migration.
As much of a growing trend as migrating applications to the cloud has become, they can often cause many problems that can significantly affect the organization’s health if not taken care of at the planning stage. We can attribute some of those problems to:
Cost overruns and delaysCloud migrations don’t always go as planned, and they can often end up using up way more resources in terms of time and capital. Refactoring your applications for the cloud and debugging each performance issue can take up more resources than anticipated and often lead to delays.
Interrupting critical servicesWhile migrating your applications to the cloud, some might need way too much refactoring for the move to be worth it. You might consider it best to find or develop alternatives. This might mean that these applications that perform critical functions for your organization might be unavailable during that time frame. It can lead to disruption of business processes and decrease efficiency at an organizational level significantly.
Opposition from usersMigrating to the cloud can take a toll on an organization if the key decision-makers haven’t bought into the idea. It can cause hesitation in low-level employees as well. You might have to train your employees to use an entirely new system and, thus, face a lot of resistance. The investment in people and tools needed to migrate to the cloud can be pretty significant, and hence, leader buy-in is imperative to successful cloud migration.
Strategy and Infrastructure stackMigrating to the cloud without a highly customized central plan can lead to resource clogging and could even cause significant troubles within the organization. Your IaaS(Infrastructure as a service) provider offers many services that you can tap into for your IT needs in the cloud. Still, you need to determine the set of services you need and the refactoring resources the switch would require. The kinds of storage and memory you need must match with the offerings of your IaaS provider.
Navigating the Transition and the Hybrid modelMoving to the cloud can be a long and tedious process, and the transition often takes time. Companies often choose to operate in a hybrid cloud, so to speak, rather than retiring applications entirely. This can often lead to security and business processes taking a hit and must be planned effectively in advance.
Assessing costsThe part that attracts most businesses to switch to the cloud is lower costs. While it is true in most cases, you must also consider the transition period when you’re footing the bill for both your IT infrastructure and the cloud. Looking at the cost of computing, storage, network traffic, EIP addresses is imperative.
Data Protection in the cloudData stored in the cloud is significantly more secure than on-premises data storage since cloud providers are subject to stringent data regulation. While this does not eliminate the risk of a cloud breach, it does ensure that if a data breach occurs, it will not impact the cloud users in any way. It’s important to realize that while cloud-based solutions are generally much more secure than traditional on-premises systems, they aren’t invulnerable. Like any other technology, cloud-based systems have their inherent weaknesses.
Software Licenses and ScalabilityIt would help if you entertained the possibility of not bringing your existing software licenses to the cloud, given that some vendors do not extend support to the cloud. Moreover, You must take scalability for your applications into consideration. You can implement automated configuration management tools like Puppet or AWS Opswork.
The suitable migration methodology will depend on the needs of your business. One must remember that cloud migration isn’t something that happens with the flip of a switch but a long and iterative process to optimize cost and business processes. The 6R(s) of cloud migration strategies are:
Every company has different objectives and needs when it comes to migrating to the cloud. The importance of defining what a successful migration would look like for your company cannot be emphasized enough. It could be about better load-balancing for one organization and about removing bottlenecks for another. It may very well be about reducing spending on critical IT infrastructure and network engineers. That is why establishing what you want out of the migration is incredibly important for the migration strategy you end up choosing.
A comprehensive view of all the variables involved in accomplishing an organization’s business and technological goals must be considered while developing a cloud migration approach. Taking a look at the cloud migration process from RailsCarma can help you gain insights into what to optimize for and how, as well.
The crux is that cloud migration can be an expensive and tedious process for any organization. Still, if you assess your needs carefully and plan every move well in advance, it can cut costs, improve performance and data security. If there’s a single most crucial thing you have to focus on, it has to be planning and leader buy-in. You must decide on the metrics to monitor the success of your migration before, during, and after the migration. You must look at those metrics carefully and make changes to optimize processes in response times.