The cloud migration process involves moving your company’s IT assets, such as data, applications, or workflows, to a cloud infrastructure. Cloud migration typically means moving your IT infrastructure from an on-premises network to be hosted in the cloud. If your IT infrastructure is already hosted in the cloud, migration refers to moving from one cloud provider to another.
The migration can include moving all or just some of the company’s assets. There are different types and scales of cloud migration. For example, a cloud data migration could entail just moving a copy of the local data backups to the cloud for secure storage. An application migration could entail moving the company website to the cloud for hosting.
Cloud migration is complex. To simplify this process, many companies partner with a managed service provider (MSP) that provides cloud migration consulting services. These MSPs have the experience and staff to help you plan and manage a cloud migration. The cloud migration service automates migration elements, making the transition quicker and easier, and has the expertise to manage unexpected events.
Three key steps need careful consideration before undertaking the migration process:
Define the strategy and get business case approval: The first thing to do is to build your business case and get approval from the key business stakeholders. As a business, you need to clearly understand the risks and benefits of migrating to the cloud, identify the scope of the assets to be migrated to the cloud, and agree on the strategy for migrating applications and data to the cloud.
Discovery and assessment: In this step of the data migration process, you need to assess the assets you want to move and their dependencies on data or other applications across the business. Understanding the requirements for everything you plan to recreate in your cloud environment is essential before starting to ensure that the migration goes smoothly. This includes scanning and assessing your infrastructure to fully understand the architecture.
Migrate to the cloud: This is the last step in the system migration process. This is where the actual migration of assets to the cloud takes place. How straightforward this process will be is dependent on the work done in the first two steps. Using automated management and migration tools helps facilitate a smooth migration. Your cloud migration partner manages this step if you have engaged the services of one for the cloud migration process.
The primary benefits of migrating to the cloud are efficiency and resiliency. Leveraging the power of a cloud environment means achieving the best possible results with minimal investment and ensuring that the services in the cloud stay up and running consistently. Here are some of the business advantages of cloud migration:
Scalability: Hosting your IT environment in the cloud allows your organization to add or remove resources as needed to meet demand instantly. This flexibility enables organizations to meet demand efficiently and cost-effectively.
Elasticity: Refers to the organization’s ability to quickly expand or decrease computing processing, memory and storage resources to meet demand. For example, this is particularly helpful if your business is seasonal and demand increases or decreases based on the season.
Lower operating costs: In the cloud, you only pay for the resources you use. Given that cloud resources can scale up and down as needed, this can save the company time and money compared to hosting your IT infrastructure. When managing your IT infrastructure on-premise, you invest in the hardware, and if demand increases, you need to plan to buy new equipment, install it, and configure it to scale up. If demand falls, you can’t scale down because you’ve purchased the hardware and can’t simply swap it out when it is no longer needed.
Improved performance, reliability and resiliency: Cloud providers have servers worldwide, enabling users to connect to servers closest to their geographic location for the fastest possible connection. Additionally, because your data is replicated and stored in the cloud on multiple servers worldwide, it has built-in resiliency to protect from a potential natural disaster.
Less Maintenance: Cloud providers handle server software security patching and upgrades. This means less time and money spent on these activities for your business.
Security and compliance: Cloud providers have built-in security and compliance tools for their cloud environments, which will significantly improve your organization’s IT security.
Cloud migrations are complicated, and it’s essential to identify and mitigate any potential issues before starting the migration if you want it to go smoothly. Here are some of the common challenges of cloud migration:
Legacy Applications: Some older applications can be complicated to move during migration. It’s important to identify these applications. You will need to determine if it’s worth moving the application, if it will require edits, or if it can be replaced with a similar application and devise a plan to manage the migration of legacy applications.
Dependencies: Application dependencies can complicate the migration process if not identified. Understanding all the dependencies in your environment that must be carried over to the cloud is crucial before starting the migration.
Internal Stakeholder Support: Getting buy-in from primary stakeholders within the company is essential to have a successful migration. If leadership or functional heads are not committed to supporting the effort required for a migration getting the cooperation you need for a successful outcome will not be easy.
There are three primary types of cloud migration approaches. In this section, we break down these three types from easiest and fastest to most difficult:
Lift and Shift (rehosting): With this migration strategy, you take an application in your environment and move it to the cloud as it is. This approach doesn’t modify the application; you only change where it is hosted.
Move and Improve (re-platforming): In this strategy, you are moving the application to the cloud but have to make minor changes. Generally, you don’t change the application’s core functionality but make changes to ensure the application functions optimally in the cloud environment.
Rip and Replace (refactoring): This cloud modernization strategy requires rebuilding your application from scratch to be “cloud-native”. This migration strategy is the most difficult to manage because it requires the most significant investment of time and skilled developers to build and test the new solution.
Cloud consulting services from CG Technologies
The cloud migration process is not just for big companies. Every business needs to transform and re-imagine itself for the future to remain competitive. CG Technologies offers cloud migration consulting services; we work with you to determine which cloud migration strategy is best for your business. We partner with you from the initial discovery phase through design to launch and rollout to support you as you grow.
In addition to offering cloud migration consultation services, we also provide a full suite of cloud-based managed IT services. Contact us to discuss your cloud migration or IT support needs.