Migrating your applications to the Cloud offers many benefits, such as lower operational and maintenance costs, scalability, elasticity, reliability, security, high availability etc. But to get these benefits, you must have an effective cloud migration strategy. Also, it would help if you executed that strategy successfully as well. Otherwise, you will fall into the cloud-washing trap like many other companies whose legacy IT systems were just moved to the Cloud without considering the industry practices or making any effort to help them meet their business goals or the benefits of the Cloud.
Considering the findings of a study by The Bloor Groups, which states that “the data migration projects fail 38% of the time”, and Gartner’s 2014 study: Best Practices Mitigate Data Migration Risks and Challenges, which cites that “through 2019, over 50% of data migration projects will exceed budget and result in some form of business disruption due to flawed execution”, you must create an effective cloud migration strategy that focuses on the specific challenges and requirements of your business.
Your cloud migration strategy must include your ROI goals and the specific requirements of your existing IT systems and applications. Also, before choosing any cloud migration service provider, it is essential to make sure that the cloud migration is necessary for your business and that the solution offered by your cloud migration service provider is reliable, cost-effective, secure, and easy to scale.
The best way to determine this is to consult your cloud migration service provider and ask them as many questions as possible to make sure that they are willing to understand your specific business requirements, its risks and the opportunities that come with them.
Before approaching your cloud migration service provider, ensure your cloud migration strategy answers the following three questions.
- Why are you migrating to the Cloud?
- What are the business benefits of your cloud migration strategy?
- How will you measure the success of your cloud migration strategy?
Also, it is essential to discuss your cloud migration strategy with all the project stakeholders so that you can know if they have any concerns, queries or feedback. This will help you avoid unexpected challenges or issues during the execution of your cloud migration strategy.
What is the best Cloud migration strategy?
The best cloud migration strategy includes the following:
- An effective cloud migration plan
- Clearly defined project milestones
- Clearly defined roles of each person involved in the migration
- A project manager to manage the entire cloud migration process
- A systematic communication strategy to keep everyone informed
- A common platform for everyone to raise the issues as they arise
What is an effective Cloud migration plan?
An effective cloud migration plan contains detailed information on every stage of your Cloud migration journey – from beginning to end. To develop an effective cloud migration strategy, make sure it includes the following:
- A list of all the applications and data that you want to migrate
- A list of all the people working on each application
- Exact compute capacity utilized by each application
- Scope of your applications’ high availability and downtime
- The method of testing your cloud migration plan
5 Tips for Creating an Effective Cloud Migration Strategy Plan
- While creating a list of all the applications and data that you want to migrate to the Cloud, make sure that you prioritize your list of applications and data according to their significance in your business operations. The best approach is assigning a tier to each application according to its acceptable Recovery Time Objective or Recovery Point Objective (RTO/RPO). For example, you can post tier 1 to the application, which can’t be down for more than 5-15 minutes without affecting your business operations significantly. And tier 5 to the application can’t be down for more than 12 hours without substantially impacting your critical business operations. Apart from identifying the RTO/RPO windows, it would help to consider the regulatory compliance (such as HIPAA, PII and PCI Compliance) and security restrictions of your applications and data before migrating them to the Cloud.
- While creating a list of people working on each application you want to migrate to the Cloud, make sure you know who will manage each application and who will need access to it. Consulting the people working on each application before moving it to the Cloud and keeping them informed throughout the cloud migration process is a great way to avoid any problems in the future.
- While calculating the existing compute capacity utilized by your applications, make sure you calculate the unused capacity of the physical hardware because it will not only help you to determine the exact Cloud compute requirement of your applications but also save a lot of money that you would have to pay each month for your unused Cloud compute capacity.
- Before moving your applications to the Cloud, ensure you understand the scope of your applications’ high availability and the consequences of their downtime. It will help you identify the applications that can be migrated with minimal to no time. Similarly, it will help you identify the applications that can’t be migrated without affecting your business operations or customer experience. You can also use this information to bring down your applications’ downtime or maintenance window to keep the loss of revenue as minimum as possible.
- While testing your cloud migration plan, make sure that you declare a maintenance window and power down all the applications before executing a test migration because this will help you not only in knowing the exact time required by your applications to come online post-migration but also the potential connectivity issues, which could not be identified earlier. The availability of accurate data will also help you minimize unknown problems while allowing you to include the actual time in your cloud migration plan. The best way to execute a test cloud migration is moving the company’s disaster recovery environment to the Cloud because this will help you ascertain the accuracy of your cloud migration plan and identify its potential loopholes, which you can fix before including them in your cloud migration plan to minimize the risk factor. You can also virtualize your backup environment to test your production environment’s migration.
How to ensure a smooth migration of your applications to the Cloud?
The best way to ensure a smooth migration of your applications to the Cloud is to consult a reputed cloud solutions provider specializing in migrating applications to the Cloud. Rapyder Cloud Solutions is one of the leading providers of cloud migration services. We have helped many of our clients to move their applications to the Cloud while considering the unique requirements of their business to design the right cloud migration strategy for their applications. Contact us for a free consultation.
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