How to Ensure a Smooth Transition to the Cloud
Onceyou have decided to discontinue legacy systems and adopt a cloud-based infrastructure, you will have to consider a lot of factors to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud.
Although organizations want to move to the cloud due to productivity and cost-effectiveness purposes, it is easier said than done. They may struggle with migrating most of their applications due to certain challenges.
Six Cloud Migration Strategies to Consider
A few years ago, Gartner came out with the “5 Rs” of cloud migration. Over time, they were transformed into six common strategies that were embraced by the cloud industry. These are:
- Rehost–This is an ideal approach if you are strategizing the migration of a massive legacy system. It executes the redeployment of applications in a newly-created cloud environment.
- Replatform– In this strategy, the core architecture remains the same, but you are required to perform a few optimizations. It is time-consuming, but recompensates in the form of favorable outcomes.
- Repurchase – If you are working on upgrading certain CMS, CRM, and HRM or any similar products to SaaS platforms, you can buy a new one—that is pre-configured and optimized to run in the cloud.
- Refactor – Refactoring is the most resource-intensive strategy, both in terms of time and money. But, application redesign for cloud optimization enables you to enjoy a number of cloud advantages. If you are looking to recreate performance and add features that never existed in the first place, this is an option worth exploring.
- Retire – Some applications lose their relevance over time, but they remain hosted on the company servers. After your IT portfolio isn’t necessary anymore, withdraw them rather than wasting them in the cloud with your latest components.
- Retain – Cloud migration is not inflexible, you are not required to move everything to the cloud. Some applications are already functioning at their peak level, so don’t compromise their operation by needlessmigration.
Assessing Cloud Migration in Detail
Evaluate all the cloud migration options comprehensively. It lays down the groundwork to conduct an in-depth audit of your organization’s technology. Identify the affected software or hardware by reviewing the migration scope. Often, different departments attempt to go ahead with certain software programs or platforms.It looks harmless at first, but it can go on to disrupt your overall cloud plan.
Therefore, don’t underestimate peeking into the holistic view of your technology stacks and account for each program, regardless of how isolated or minor it appears at first glance. This is essential to figure out a cloud strategy that can generate optimal productivity. Promote communication across departments over the cloud migration, study your network connections, and assess if your existing hardware and infrastructure is good enough to handle the newly-created cloud strategy.
Don’t Overlook Integrations
Integrations are a crucial factor for cloud migration. After making the assessment, recognize that you require a complete architecture that considers all the integrations. Ask these questions:
- Are there any interdependent workflows for analytics, management, maintenance, monitoring, and messaging?
- Will you work with Citrix, SAP, or custom/in-house applications?
- How will you analyze RPC (for both inbound/outbound), web services, and backup services?
- What is the location of database and storage? Do you run co-located servers or separate servers?
- What are the required manual processes, unique dependencies, and synchronized uptime/downtime for various apps?
Focusing on Data Security
Back up all your important files and documents before initiating the cloud migration process. Generally, they are extremely safe, but you have to expect the unexpected: how can you deal with the sudden loss of power in your entire block during the data transfer? The odds of such eventsare low, but given the importance of your vital data, it is better to adopt a precautionary approach.
Data backups for cloud migration might also give you an insight into the entire project scope and can reveal data sources that were overlooked during the earlier cloud assessment. Backups consume resources, both time and manpower, but they lead you to a more secure and easier route for cloud migration. For security, also remember that:
- Pick a cloud service that offers dynamic data residency, so you can store your data in a geographical area of your preference.
- Store the most critical files via on-premises architecture by leveraging a private or hybrid cloud.
- To ensure that your service provider does not decrypt your data, look after your own security keys.
The 4-Tier Model to Prioritize Applications for Cloud Migration
Prioritization is necessary to ensure that specific applications operate as you move certain applications to the cloud, providing continued operation and consistency to your organization at a critical juncture.
Some organizations opt for a hybrid model prior to the completion of their migration in a bid to minimize disruption. If you can’t find a balanced approach, then consider going for Google’s order of cloud migration for applications.
- Tier 1 – In the initial period, only migrate those applications that can generate the highest ROI in the cloud and cost more resources if you continue to host them via legacy systems.
- Tier 2 – Go through each application and consider their interdependencies, their significance to the organization, and the number of the workforce depending on them. In this way, you can migrate low-risk apps earlier.
- Tier 3 –Evaluate which applications are the most suitable and standardized for cloud migration is a fairly standard process. Based on your previous Tier 1 and Tier 2, you can migrate the Tier 3 applications quicker.
- Tier 4 – Applications that were created by third parties specifically or were built in-house for your business’ legacy infrastructure require additional modification and consideration. Therefore, move these applications in the end. It is possible that you might find it unviable to move them to the cloud.