In the digital era, securing your digital space and assets is crucially important for your business. Deciding on a cloud migration strategy and working with a cloud service provider to carry it out is the best way to do this. Let’s have a closer look at what’s involved.
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is a process. At the end of the process, your business will have moved all of its data, applications, infrastructure, and IT processes from wherever they currently are (usually local and on-premise) to the cloud. It will involve significant organizational change management and involve your people, your process, and your technology.
For this reason, it’s important to approach the migration process sustainably so you can ensure that your organization takes advantage of all the possible new benefits – including, but not limited to, efficiency, agility, and scale – once your workload is up and running in the cloud.
(Today we’re not discussing moving back out of the cloud or moving from one cloud service to another. But those things are also technically cloud migration.)
Which Cloud Migration Strategy Should You Use?
There are several approaches to the cloud migration process that you can choose. The following three are the primary strategies that have been used by many and have proven to be successful according to an organization’s needs:
Also called (somewhat graphically) a “lift and shift,” this is a strategy used by organizations who are just starting their migration and want to recreate their application infrastructure into a public cloud without modification (IaaS).
The best part of this strategy is that it’s a quick process that can be done with automated tools. This is therefore why most organizations will prefer to do this on their own.
This is a migration strategy dubbed “lift, tinker, and shift” that moves the application infrastructure to the cloud while re-architecting it to better suit the cloud environment on PaaS. This is a bit more complicated, as code needs to be modified. But it’s done to take advantage of cloud-native tools.
Refactoring is a perfect strategy for organizations looking to add features, scale up or down as necessary, or gain some performance benefit that would otherwise be difficult to achieve in the workload’s existing environment.
This is an approach to migration that provides a perfect middle ground between the two above strategies. The migration doesn’t change the core architecture of the application infrastructure. Changes are made instead to applications so they can take advantage of the tangible benefits (e.g. scaling, automation) offered by the cloud.
Other cloud migration strategies include
- Retiring – when looking to migrate, you discard everything in the environment that is no longer useful and will not leave you with unwanted consequences.
- Repurchasing – moving to a different product when existing applications will not move easily to the cloud.
- Retaining – a strategy used when an organization wants to retain one or more applications that won’t move to the cloud. You retain it for now and revisit the problem later. You do lose some of the benefits we mention below.
How Should You Migrate to the Cloud?
When businesses start to migrate from on-premise systems to cloud technology, you need a solid cloud migration strategy to stay in line with your business’s digitalization objectives. Taking a holistic approach to cloud computing will not only help you navigate the journey successfully but also help ensure that your organization has a smooth transition. Follow these steps below,
- Start by defining upfront the business purpose for cloud migration.
- Note down the business gains that you want to achieve and your motivation for the migration process.
- Assess your environment to find what’s needed to achieve and build a sustainable cloud migration plan.
- Once you have your goals, don’t forget to rally some organizational buy-in. You do this by helping your key stakeholders to align themselves with your vision. Some firms do this by appointing “champions” to help everyone through the change process.
With this in place, you can start work on your migration and modernization projects, each with a group of related workloads.
Selection of a Cloud Partner
Cloud providers come with a list of backgrounds and offer a lot of services to pick from. Make sure you select a partner that will take into account your workload, offer their support through the entire process and beyond, and work within your budget.
Create a Cloud Migration Security Strategy
Cloud cybersecurity is very different from the normal on-premises security. The migration process opens up a potential to various attacks as corporate assets are no longer behind a firewall. In addition, the network perimeter essentially does not exist.
Security measures can include
- deploying a cloud firewall,
- encrypting data both in motion and at rest, and
- multi factor authentication etc.
Therefore, make sure you understand your cloud provider’s security strategy and establish rules and policies around access management and monitoring.
Build Your IT Staff’s Cloud Skills
With all the modernization that happens during the cloud migration, your IT staff need to get up to speed on cloud technologies, migration tools, and operational processes.
For example, if you’ll be using Microsoft Azure, make sure your IT staff are all trained in best practices and are well skilled and familiar with this platform.
Once the migration is complete, you go live on the cloud and breathe a sigh of relief!
So What Are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?
Organizations that complete a successful cloud migration strategy reap many rewards in their day-to-day operations. At the basic level, these benefits include,
- Increased efficiency due to improved tools for automation. This therefore allows for completing many operations at minimum effort in less time.
- Lower cost since moving to the cloud significantly reduces your operational costs by only paying for what you use.
- Security. Most cloud providers have many big companies that depend on them. They cannot afford to expose them to cyber attacks. The result is that they deploy extensive security measures and policies that will protect your organization’s digital assets.
- Lower maintenance costs for your hardware and software. With your business in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about having a dedicated IT team doing the maintenance of equipment and updating of software.
We Can Help You!
Migrating to the cloud is the first decision you should think of making in today’s economic climate.
However, the second decision should be (and we’re biased here!) to choose a managed service provider to help you with your cloud migration strategy.
At OneSource in Houston, we can do that for you. And in addition, you’ll get the benefits of security, support, services, tools you can use to manage and control your services, and data protection services.
We offer a single package, tailored to your needs, for a flat-rate fee. Contact us for a free consultation today!