Why it’s Important to Have a Plan for Successful Cloud Migration

The current business landscape has shifted dramatically recently, and enterprises must be able to support agility in their cloud infrastructure. Much of this process revolves around correctly and seamlessly migrating applications to the cloud to expand access and flexibility. 

According to March 2020 statistics from a Gartner online poll, the vast majority of businesses across the globe – 88% altogether – now encourage or require employees to work from home. This workforce shift could create considerable risks for organizations that don’t have a strong cloud strategy in place, making migration planning not only imperative for IT, but for the entire workforce. 

Highlighting an existing challenge and preparing for the future 

Although the current COVID-19 public health pandemic has reshaped the way enterprises view their cloud infrastructure and migration planning, this landscape really shines a light on the need for companies to be prepared. 

Other challenging scenarios could emerge in the future as well, and create similar disruptions to business’s typical working processes. Times of crises, including economic downturns, could put companies in a parallel position in the future, requiring a quick shift in their workforce management strategies. 

Overall, it’s critical that enterprises are prepared for these types of challenges, and have the appropriate managed services and cloud solutions in place to support seamless disaster recovery and business continuity. 

In this way, establishing and launching a robust migration process today will help ensure companies can weather these times of crises, now and into the future. 

Considerations for a successful migration to the cloud 

As decision-makers and IT administrators examine their managed services and work on migration planning, there are a few key factors to build into these considerations. 

  • Existing cloud solutions, applications and infrastructure: Before migration stakeholders charge forward with new solutions and cloud adoption, it’s important to take stock of the company’s previous IT investments. In some instances, it may be possible to simply bridge gaps in current infrastructure to support a successful migration.
  • Application and data migration: As Microsoft noted, it’s important to examine each application and data set and decide whether or not it will be included in the migration. Older applications, for instance, may need to be optimized before they can be migrated.
  • Public vs. private cloud: The 2020 State of the Cloud report found that 93% of businesses use a multi-cloud strategy, and most of these organizations leverage a hybrid cloud architecture. There are benefits and drawbacks to different types of clouds, depending on the requirements of the organization and its workloads. While public clouds are typically more cost-effective due to their shared resources, private clouds may offer a higher level of privacy and security. Consider the security, access and cost needs of the business to help with this decision. 
  • Migration process approach: There are a few leading strategies to use for the migration process, including the lift-and-shift model, application refactoring and replatforming. While a lift-and-shift of data and applications may seem the simplest approach, some applications may require a bit of up-versioning (replatforming) or a full re-architecting (refactoring) in order to make the most of their cloud functionality. 
  • Data security and compliance: When moving any application or data set to a new infrastructure, it’s imperative to consider protection for sensitive data, as well as security measures to support industry compliance. IT administrators and decision-makers should check for any compliance requirements related to the data and applications they plan to migrate and ensure their cloud infrastructure can provide for these needs. 

Challenges to be aware of 

There are also some potential hangups to be aware of with cloud migration planning, including increased complexity with a multi-cloud infrastructure, as well as a lack of internal skills. 

As Gartner pointed out, while many organizations are taking on cloud adoption alongside infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) services, insufficient skills with these platforms could delay migration plans

Whether organizations have large-scale migration roadmaps, or prefer to start small with a pilot program, one of the best ways to achieve a successful cloud integration is with the help of the experts. An experienced managed services and cloud solutions provider can address any unique challenges and help your business migrate to the cloud in an effective and strategic manner. 

Connect with us at ACTS to find out more about best practices in cloud migration planning.

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