7 Steps for a Successful Cloud Migration

Whether you realise it or not, you’re already in the cloud. When you check your email on the go, catch up on your favourite shows on Netflix or listen to music with Spotify, you’re in the cloud.

 

And it’s beyond personal. The cloud has taken the business world by storm, and visionary leaders are raking in the benefits of operating their company workloads in the cloud. Cost efficiency, scalability and high availability are just some advantages of taking your business to the cloud. 

However, migrating to the cloud is not a decision lightly made. To ensure your company receives the total value of cloud migration, there are steps to take. 

 

The cloud experts at Devoteam Cloud Services (DCS) suggest the following seven steps. 

1. Define the purpose of migration 

 

Understand the driving forces behind your decision to move to the cloud.  These reasons will help you map out the rest of your journey and indicate what to look for when assessing your cloud performance post-migration.

 

For every company, the reasons are different, and none is superior to the other. Whether you are considering cloud migration to optimise costs, scale your business seamlessly, avoid vendor lock-in, outsource IT overhead, or leverage innovative technologies, the reason affects how you embark on your cloud journey.

 

Assessing your company’s needs influences the choice of your cloud provider and the type of cloud environment best suited to your company blueprint. 

The cloud comes with enormous amounts of possibilities that can ease operations overhead, increase development speed and in a lot of cases be a cost benefit for your organisation.”

Mikael Fredriksson, Cloud Developer, Devoteam G Cloud Sweden

2. Understand the risks

 

Once you’ve assessed your company’s needs, it’s best to understand the risks associated with cloud migration. Despite the advantages cloud promises for businesses, it’s not without its risks, and underestimating their significance can be costly and time-consuming in the long run, so it’s better to address them before migrating and keep them in mind when creating your migration plan. 

 

Data Loss

 

Data loss can cause a massive setback if the appropriate preventative measures aren’t in place. Be sure to back up your data before moving to the cloud. It’s not uncommon to experience corrupted, missing or incomplete files during migration and having your data backed up can be an easy fix.

 

Even after a successful migration, there’s still the risk of data loss. Technology is not without its imperfections, nor is it exempt from human error. Instances of crashed servers, security violations, and even accidental erasure are reasons behind data loss in the cloud. Replicating your apps and data in another cloud environment or an on-premises server can be a practical component of your Disaster Recovery protocol.

 

Architecture Incompatibility

 

For companies whose IT architecture rely mainly on legacy applications, migrating to the cloud can pose a challenge. The cloud doesn’t fully support all programming languages, system libraries or applications. Understanding this beforehand can help you strategise ways to circumvent the issue or create solutions to address it specifically.

 

Security

 

Compliance violation, human error and external attacks are just some of the security risks you face when transitioning to cloud computing. Equip yourself to tackle these risks with the appropriate experience and skills. An experienced security team will guarantee your data security in the cloud by ensuring the encryption of your data while in transit, implementing firewalls, and isolating workloads to lessen the potential of any damages incurred during migration.

 

3. Pick the right cloud provider(s)

 

Not all clouds are created equal; the differences between the top providers may be all the differences you need to have a successful migration. Whether it’s cost, previous proven success in your vertical, or available partners. Diligently research your provider selection to ensure you make the smartest choice. A cloud provider that may have worked for one company in your market might not be the right solution for yours.

 

You may decide to go with more than one cloud provider and diversify your cloud environment. Although configuring your application APIs to communicate within a single cloud environment is more straightforward, operating in a multi-cloud environment can help you avoid vendor lock-in.

 

Do you require different types of solutions to host an array of projects and meet specific workloads? Then employing a multi-cloud environment could be a better fit.

4. Deploy the appropriate service model

 

In cloud computing, there are three main types of service models.
-Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
-Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
-Software-as-a-Service (SaaS

 

Understanding the difference between these service models will inform the decision that best benefits your business.

 

IaaS offers cloud-based services like virtualisation and pay-as-you-go storage. With this model, businesses can avoid paying for expensive on-premise infrastructure. An example of IaaS is the Google Compute Engine (GCE)

 

SaaS is currently the most popular service model for e-commerce in the cloud. It delivers applications via the internet and reduces the need for expensive IT overhead since a third-party vendor manages applications. Most SaaS applications are accessible directly through a web browser, requiring no downloads, updates or installations. An example of SaaS is the suite of apps offered in Google Workspace.

 

PaaS provides hardware and software tools over the internet. Typically, developers utilise this framework to build and develop custom applications for a company. Since this platform is delivered over the internet, developers don’t have to focus on operating systems, software updates or on-premise infrastructure. An example of PaaS is the Google App Engine.

 

Knowing which service model is most suitable for your cloud needs will help you choose the best type of migration; Lift and shift, Improve and move or Rip and replace.

 

5. Choose the right partner

 

Cloud migration is no easy feat, and the best way to ensure your company and its transition to cloud computing goes well is to place the process in capable hands.

 

The key to success is partnering with a team of specialists with a proven track record for migrating companies successfully to the cloud.

 

A reliable partner will have an in-depth understanding of the tools, security measures, compliances and technologies necessary for your migration. Testimonials of satisfied customers in the same industry as your own is a sure sign that this company also understands the nuances of your business niche.

 

Additionally, you want to choose a partner that specialises in the cloud environment you’ve chosen for your migration. Each Cloud platform comes with its own training and certifications that prove a specialist has the appropriate level of mastery to implement and manage migration and operation in the respective cloud.

 

Consider the services you’ll require throughout your migration journey and choose a partner that offers a matching service portfolio.

 

For example, at DCS, our team of cloud specialists have completed technical training and met strict criteria that have earned us the Premier Partner status with Google Cloud. So you can be sure every step of your cloud migration is handled by the best.

In Devoteam, we aim at helping more and more customers move to cloud for greater business success, by adopting new technologies, pursuing innovation, scalability and cost-efficiency.”

Huan Guo, Continuous Delivery Manager, Devoteam G Cloud, Sweden

6. Create a migration plan 

 

The main reason companies fail to move to the cloud is a lack of a well-defined migration strategy.

 

Becoming knowledgeable about the three major types of migration will be beneficial to creating the best plan.  

 

Do you need to replace an outdated legacy system with something completely new? Rip and replace.

 

Maybe your needs require migrating your application and relevant data to the cloud environment with little to no changes. Lift and shift

 

In a combination of both, you modernise and modify your workloads during migration. Move and Improve 

 

It’s a shame how often companies invest time and resources into their cloud migration only to encounter an expensive or time-consuming issue down the line that could have been avoided had a solid plan been devised. 

 

Don’t fall into this trap. Migrating with the right partner means developing a smart and innovative strategy to move your workloads to the cloud with minimal or no downtime,  data loss or security risks. 

 

7. Change Management 

 

At the heart of every company is its people. Ensuring the culture coincides with the technology at your company is smart and creates a conducive environment for successful adoption and usage of the cloud framework.

 

Prioritising change management helps you decide how to introduce your staff to work in the cloud. Understanding the needs of your workforce can help the decision to introduce the new environment all at once or incrementally. 

 

Change management can include–but is not limited to–providing the necessary training to familiarise staff with the new solution,  hiring new talent with the relevant competencies, and continuous knowledge transfer and sharing for admin and end-users. 

 

Our change management team at DCS is dedicated to ensuring your organisation is committed to working effectively during and after your company’s migration to the cloud. 

 

Think your company is ready to migrate to the cloud? Then take the next step. 

Reach out to schedule a free consultation with one of our certified specialists and begin your cloud migration journey today.