Cloud migration has become an integral part of the modern business landscape nowadays. Small and large businesses alike are moving to the cloud for better scalability, flexibility, efficiency, and cost savings.
A successful cloud migration strategy requires careful planning and execution. In this article, we will provide a strategic roadmap that covers key components of the entire process. We will discuss the assessment of the IT environment, key components of the strategic roadmap, and strategies for cloud migration, amongst other key topics.
Table of Contents
Assessment of the current IT environment
Assessing the current IT environment is a critical step in cloud migration. It helps identify potential obstacles and develop a comprehensive strategy to resolve them. It is also an important step towards aligning the chosen strategy with desired business goals to minimise risks & disruptions.
Essentially, an assessment should include the following:
Migration readiness Assessment (MRA): Evaluating migration readiness helps in understanding better how far an organisation is in their cloud journey. The process of Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA) involves gaining valuable insights into the current standing of the organisation, understanding their current cloud-readiness strengths and weaknesses, and building an action plan to close identified gaps.
This assessment helps in evaluating the organisation’s readiness for migration and provides guidance for the next steps in their cloud journey.
Application portfolio assessment: Identifying all applications and systems in use. The next step is to assess the criticality, interdependencies, and customisations in the current application portfolio.
Infrastructure assessment: Identifying legacy systems, capacity and performance issues, and potential migration obstacles. This also includes taking stock of the servers, storage, and network devices.
Data evaluation: Assessing data size, structure, location, and sensitivity. It also includes an evaluation of regulatory requirements for data protection, backup, and recovery.
Skills and knowledge assessment: Assessing IT team skills, identifying skill gaps, and creating retraining or hiring plans, if required.
Business processes evaluation: Evaluating current processes and identifying dependencies or impacts on workflows, customer interactions, and other business processes.
Strategic roadmap for migration to the cloud – Key components
To create a successful roadmap for cloud migration, we must first determine their migration priorities and then allocate necessary resources and budgets towards it.
With a well-planned roadmap, organisations can achieve a smooth transition to the cloud. Here is a checklist of the critical tasks that need to be addressed:
Developing a cloud migration plan: To begin the migration process, it is essential to create a plan that outlines the goals and timelines for the transition. The key considerations of a cloud migration plan include:
• Defining the scope of the migration
• Identifying suitable applications and data for migration, and determining the migration strategy
• Identifying the necessary resources and skill sets required for a successful migration
• Establishing a realistic timeline and budget
Identifying the appropriate cloud deployment model: Different cloud computing models are available to meet the unique needs of each company. Broadly put, cloud deployment models can be of five types – public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, community cloud, or multi-cloud. Each model has its advantages and differences in pricing and management. Choosing the right model aligned with the organisation’s priorities is an absolute must.
Selecting the right cloud service provider: Choosing the right cloud service provider is crucial for a successful migration too. A provider that aligns with the organisation’s budget and service requirements can work wonders for any cloud migration strategy. When selecting a provider, key considerations include:
• Pricing and service-level agreements
• Scalability and flexibility
• Data protection and disaster recovery capabilities
• Technical expertise
• Geographic coverage
• Support and customer service
Strategies for cloud migration
The migration process to the cloud involves several steps. Each of these steps contributes towards ensuring that the migration is successful and that the business processes continue to run smoothly. Executing the migration process is a critical part of the cloud migration journey.
The key steps involved are:
Rehosting: Moving existing applications to the cloud without changing their architecture. It’s a good option for organisations that want to move quickly to the cloud without major changes to their IT systems.
Relocating: Migrating your infrastructure to the cloud seamlessly, without the need to invest in new hardware, rewrite applications, or make modifications to your existing operations.
Re-architecting: Redesigning applications to take full advantage of the cloud environment. It may require significant changes to the application architecture but can result in greater scalability, reliability, and performance.
Re-platforming: This method involves migrating applications to a new platform. Re-platforming might need changing the underlying technology stack or re-engineering the application. Similar to re-architecting, re-platforming can provide greater flexibility and scalability.
Purchasing: Procuring any new cloud-based applications or services required to support the migration. This includes cloud-based storage, security, networking, and other services.
Retiring: Decommissioning redundant applications or services after the migration is complete.
Retraining: Ensuring that employees have the skills and knowledge necessary to work with the new cloud-based environment.
Gartner forecasts that global spending on public cloud services will increase by 20.7% in 2023 as compared to the previous year. As such, cloud migration can offer significant benefits for organisations looking to modernise their IT infrastructure. As more companies turn to the cloud to achieve their business goals, those that can effectively execute their cloud migration strategy will be far better positioned for success in the years to come.