There are fads in fashion and other things but not technology. Trends such as big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and remote working can have extensive implications on a business's future. Business survival, recovery, and growth are dependent on your agility in adopting and adapting to the ever-changing business environment. Moving from on-prem to the cloud is one way that businesses can tap into the potential of advanced technology.
The key drivers
Investment resources are utilized much more efficiently on the cloud. With the advantage of on-demand service models, businesses can optimize efficiency and save software, infrastructure, and storage costs.
For a business that is rapidly expanding, cloud migration is the best way to keep the momentum going. There is a promise of scalability and simplified application hosting. It eliminates the need to install additional servers, for example, when eCommerce traffic surges.
Remote working is the current sole push factor. As COVID 19 lays waste to everything, businesses, even those that never considered cloud migration before, have been forced to implement either partial or full cloud migration. Employees can access business applications and collaborate from any corner of the world.
Choose a secure cloud environment
The leading public cloud providers are AWS, Azure, and GCP (check out our detailed comparison between the 3) They all offer competitive hosting rates favorable to small and medium scale businesses. However, resources are shared, like an apartment building with multiple tenants, and so security is an issue that quickly comes to mind.
The private cloud is an option for businesses that want more control and assured security. Private clouds are a stipulation for businesses that handle sensitive information, such as hospitals and DoD contractors.
A hybrid cloud, on the other hand, gives you the best of both worlds. You have the cost-effectiveness of the public cloud when you need it. When you demand architectural control, customization, and increased security, you can take advantage of the private cloud.
The service level agreement is the only thing that states clearly what you should expect from a cloud vendor. Go through it with keen eyes. Some enterprises have started cloud migration only to experience challenges because of vendor-lock in.
Choose a cloud provider with an SLA that supports the easy transfer of data. This flexibility can help you overcome technical incompatibilities and high costs.
Plan a migration strategy
Once you identify the best type of cloud environment and the right vendor, the next requirement is to set a migration strategy. When creating a migration strategy, one must consider costs, employee training, and estimated downtime in business applications. Some strategies are better than others:
- Rehosting may be the easiest moving formula. It basically lifts and shifts. At such a time, when businesses must quickly explore the cloud for remote working, rehosting can save time and money. Your systems are moved to the cloud with no changes to their architecture. The main disadvantage is the inability to optimize costs and app performance on the cloud.
- Replatforming is another strategy. It involves making small changes to workloads before moving to the cloud. The architectural modifications maximize performance on the cloud. An example is shifting an app's database to a managed database on the cloud.
- Refactoring gives you all the advantages of the cloud, but it does require more investment in the cloud migration process. It involves re-architecting your entire array of applications to meet your business needs, on the one hand, while maximizing efficiency, optimizing costs and implementing best practices to better tailor your cloud environment. It optimizes app performance and supports the efficient utilization of the cloud infrastructure.
Know what to migrate and what to retire
A cloud migration strategy can have all the elements of rehosting, re-platforming, and refactoring. The important thing is that businesses must identify resources and the dependencies between them. Not every application and dependencies need to be shifted to the cloud.
For instance, instead of running SMTP email servers, organizations can switch to a SaaS email platform on the cloud. This helps to reduce wasted spend and wasted time in cloud migration.
Train your employees
Workflow modernization can only work well for an organization if employees support it. Where there is no employee training, workers avoid the new technology or face productivity and efficiency problems.
A cloud migration strategy must include employee training as a component. Start communicating the move before it even happens. Ask questions on the most critical challenges your workers face and gear the migration towards solving their work challenges.
Further, ensure that your cloud migration team is up to the task. Your operations, design, and development teams are the torch bearers of the move. Do they have the experience and skillsets to effect a quick and cost-effective migration?
If not, we are here to help.
At Cloudride, we have helped many businesses successfully plan, execute, and optimize their cloud migration processes. We are partners with AWS, Azure, and GCP, accelerating cloud migration, and cloud business value realization through a focus on security, cost optimization, and vendor best practices.
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