The global pandemic has, in a short span of time, inspired organizations to relook at their public cloud strategies and expedite their migration journeys. Cloud has emerged as an effective method to optimize processes, improve productivity and reduce costs in crisis times. More than anything, the cloud is at the forefront of facilitating an overall organizational shift, which the pandemic initiated almost overnight.
Firms globally are toiling to quickly enable cloud models—to ensure business continuity, de-risk business operations and convert challenges into opportunities. But, do you have a long-term cloud strategy to effectively address the lasting disruption caused by the pandemic? Are you making an unplanned, hasty migration to public cloud, just to be able to survive another day? Short-term urgent strategies apart, this is the right time for organizations to start building the groundwork for a multi-year long-term strategic plan for cloud. Because, the post-pandemic realities are certainly going to be vastly different from what we so far considered the ‘precedent’.
While embarking on a public cloud migration project, IT decision makers must ensure that their organizations end up at a better place than where they started. Here are some key considerations:
4 things Companies should consider before migrating to the public cloud during pandemic
1. Plan for the post-pandemic realities
The promise of the cloud to the pandemic-hit businesses is alluring. You have realized that halting your cloud migration journey is not an option at this stage. Enabling effective remote working system, for example, has been a top priority for many industries. Some were equipped to make this shift, while others didn’t see this coming. Evaluate where you stand. Also understand that remote working, and many such shifts, are not short-lived, and will continue to be a priority in the years to come.
Certain industries—such as healthcare or ecommerce– had a spike in demand during pandemic, while others witnessed a completely flattened demand—airlines industry for example. Depending on the nature of your business, priorities change. It’s recommended to adopt an application-led migration strategy during times like this.
Make use of the right cloud migration tools, evaluators and processes to determine the benefits of moving each application to the cloud. Consider the current gaps that are acting as hindrances for long-term business continuity—for example, a traditional help desk system.
2. Get the numbers right
When budgets are frozen and cost saving becomes the largest collective responsibility, how does the IT department justify investment on cloud? Since the time cloud computing became mainstream, its cost benefit has remained a complicated affair. Often touted as the one-shot solution for cost woes, cloud is not always the cheapest option—not unless you understand each component well.
CIOs often point out that cloud brings in a lot of hidden costs. The trick lies in right-sizing, which is considered the most effective way to control cloud cost, and understanding the actual cloud TCO depending on what and where you’re migrating. The aim is to plan for the real-world usage and achieve optimal performance of your infrastructure/applications at the lowest possible price. Setting wrong expectations in terms of cost will undoubtedly lead to disappointment.
3. Plan for Security as your next big worry
You have stood up remote working systems overnight, ensured that business runs as usual. Your initial focus was to guarantee connectivity and availability of systems. You had to beat the clock and security might not been your first priority—understandably.
The good news is, if you’re migrating to a top-tier public cloud provider like AWS, you have a considerable security advantage. Nevertheless, cloud security is a team work and enterprises need to incorporate security consideration into their migration strategy.
For example, with remote working being the new norm, employees are no longer accessing cloud resources from behind the corporate firewall. This compels security practitioners to relook at their security strategies which was built for a corporate network-focused workforce model. A unified and adaptable security strategy—covering cloud, on-premise and end-point layers—is critical.
4. Be with the right partner
Cloud migration requirements vary widely depending on the scale and scope of your project. If you’re planning to depend on your internal IT resources completely for migration, you may want to upskill the resources to effectively manage the transition. This requires training and time, so factor those in.
The pressure on IT to deliver on time is certainly higher at times like this. So it may be wiser to engage the right cloud partner to smoothen this transition. Choose a service provider with proven track-record in the industry you operate in and a strong platform expertise. Make sure that your SLAs have clear time-lines for each phase of the migration and you will be adequately compensated if a deadline is missed.
Remember that a failed cloud migration attempt can cost you dearly in a disrupted marketplace. Being with the right partner can ensure critical aspects like timeliness, controlled cost and optimal outcome.
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