Should enterprises move their business-critical systems to the cloud? Most enterprises, especially the ones looking to modernise their legacy systems & processes would answer in the affirmative- ‘a resounding yes!’
Cloud adoption is the latest computing paradigm that has taken over the IT industry. Enterprises are adopting cloud computing services to transfer increasingly significant pieces of their business to the cloud to make themselves much more competitive. By leveraging cloud services, they can deploy their software systems over a pool of resources. Recently, Fitbit moved all the data associated with its Care Management and Coaching Platform for healthcare providers to Google Cloud —giving Fitbit the scale it needs to integrate with large hospitals and insurers. Similarly, Kroger Co. USA’s biggest supermarket chain migrated all its websites and mobile applications to cloud. Cloud-based services have amassed popularity among public organisations as well, with almost half of the US government organisations actively using cloud services.
Cloud-based services have gained attention across the industries, however, the potential for increased uptake of the technology is still large. As per Gartner 2019 forecast report over the next three years, 44.6 percent of smaller organisations along with 37.7 percent of midsize and 40.4 percent of larger organisations plan to migrate to the cloud. However, ‘how to migrate to the cloud?’ is still an unanswered question for many organisations. To minimise the potential risks associated with the migration, it is important to have the right migration framework to improve the maturity level and consequently trust into legacy-to-cloud migration.
To ensure successful cloud migration, enterprises should focus on how to move to the cloud. Cloud is more than just a hosting platform and simply moving all the data to a cloud platform cannot be classified a successful migration as it is not sufficient to tap into the possibilities that a good cloud migration strategy could render. It prevents you from taking advantage of the cloud’s unique capabilities to create something entirely new, the right way. Some case studies have illustrated that having the right cloud migration strategy can be a significant differentiating factor between a successful migration vs. failure of investments.
A successful cloud migration requires the planning and execution of a comprehensive strategy that sets migration goals, creates a timeline, anticipates challenges, and defines the project’s success.
Here are four important stages to ensure a fast and uneventful move to the cloud:
1. Discover- create a solid readiness analysis
A move to the cloud is far from just a technology exercise. It needs to be rooted in business outcomes and the specific objectives that the organisation wants to achieve. Gain an in-depth understanding of the IT portfolio and the dependencies between the applications. A readiness assessment provides gap analysis of the organisation and is helpful in identifying the applications ready for migration. To understand the applications and workloads that can benefit most from early migration to the cloud, carry out top down evaluation of performance, architecture, financial attributes, risks, operations, security & compliance and business criticality.
A variety of migration discovery tools and platforms are available in the market. These tools are essential because they simplify and accelerate the migration process with minimal disruption to day-to-day operations.
2. Assess- design a detailed migration plan
After successfully assessing the IT portfolio, the application complexity and potential benefits for cloud migration are finalised along with migration choice from Rehost, Replatform, Refactor, Retire, Retain or Repurchase. This is followed by establishment of a tailored assessment migration plan that weighs in the critical factors such as security, scalability, customer growth plan, high-priority business initiatives and risks, and regulations.
Determining which applications require to be moved to the cloud, the type of cloud environment, and the look of the infrastructure are key components of the strategy. For instance, some apps are perfect candidates for the cloud such as those that have a variable load, are public facing with a global reach or are planned for a near-term modernisation. While some others are simply not- those that are too hard or risky to migrate or ones that just won’t provide the return on investments. Determining this at the outset is vital to a successful migration.
3. Realise - cloud transformation and migration
This phase includes actual lifting of the application, infrastructure and data on desired cloud services. This typically involves modernising existing applications, developing new cloud native applications, migrating data and transforming architecture and infrastructure. The objective is to create an entirely new technology operating model that allows companies to innovate faster, effectively and efficiently.
Automating processes and using migration tools are critical to execute smooth transition and speed up the process. When teamed with specialised skills and solution accelerators, they become part of a cloud migration factory that can accelerate the journey even more. Therefore, it is important to use tools that provide monitoring, reporting, and optimisation suggestions to track cloud journey.
4. Transit - cloud management and optimisation
Simply moving to the cloud is not the end game. Organisations need to continuously work to optimise what’s in the cloud to maximise its cloud investments. Perform post-migration reviews, validate business benefits, optimise performances and share the migration evaluation for next set of migration waves. This allows for continuous tuning and optimisation of the application.
A well-defined cloud migration strategy can save enterprises from many unpleasant surprises. If you would like to know how Mastek can help you unravel the complexities of cloud migration, optimise assets and assist you achieve your business outcomes, we would love to hear from you! Please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org