For a variety of reasons, many organisations haven’t experienced the cost reductions, performance enhancements, reduced operational overhead and other benefits believed to be gained with a migration to cloud computing. Those companies may wonder why they decided to move applications and workloads to the cloud in the first place after the lack of business value they thought they would receive. Unfortunately, these organisations are forced to decide between staying on a cloud that’s delivering less than promised benefits, moving their deployments onto new infrastructure that must be built out (which further exacerbates budgetary challenges) or moving their workloads back onto the outdated infrastructure they aimed to leave in the first place.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are four major considerations that, if applied correctly, can support any migration to completion. Those considerations are: migration strategy, governance and security, project management or logistics, and deployment. With careful forethought of these operational considerations, enterprises can avoid derailed cloud migrations and begin to realise the value they were promised with the cloud.
One of the key considerations for any cloud migration project is the overall enterprise strategy. Migrating to the cloud without having a purpose-built central plan will lead to significant cost overruns, resource misallocation issues and an extremely muddled IT environment.
Any proper cloud migration strategy starts with developing a deep understanding of your own infrastructure and applications. Many companies aren’t certain of how many cloud-based services they use. Step one should almost always be taking inventory of what processes, data, workloads and applications are being used within your organisation — and then building a comprehensive framework for how exactly those processes, data, workloads and applications can be migrated to the cloud. The key in developing this master strategy should be how best to guide the enterprise toward realising its objectives with the cloud, at the lowest possible cost.
Another important consideration that shouldn’t be overlooked while planning a cloud migration is general business governance. In many ways, cloud data storage is more secure than traditional, on-premises data storage. Cloud providers are subject to stringent security standards and go to great lengths to ensure that your data is secure. However, organisations still carry a significant portion of the responsibility. Sensitive data in the cloud needs to be handled with the same level of security, privacy and integrity as on-premises data. Therefore, there needs to be a clear definition of rules, practices and processes as part of an overall business governance strategy, which among other benefits, can help reduce or eliminate expensive unforeseen changes to cloud adoption.
Many organisations have a solidified process for managing projects. Reusing cloud-enabled templates for project management is just as vital for cloud migration initiatives as it is for other types of projects.
Project and service management activities include identifying business problems or opportunities, defining solutions, formulating project strategy and creating a project team. Once the scope of a migration project is clearly defined, companies need to make sure they have the necessary expertise to execute against their cloud migration strategy. If they don’t, they need to look for a third-party vendor who specialises in these skills to partner with on their cloud journey.
The type of cloud deployment service that best suits the needs of the organisation is another major factor in any cloud migration. There are three main types of cloud computing services:
Each cloud service presents unique opportunities and challenges. Companies need to further research deployment options and be prepared to support the service type(s) they choose.
The cloud promises unique business value. It opens up opportunities for increased flexibility, efficiency, costs savings and other strategic benefits that can transform your business. However, without carefully planning and developing a cloud strategy, it’s easy to not capitalise on the full scope of the value the cloud offers.
Many organisations that are moving into cloud deployments are doing so for the first time. Understandably, they’re unsure of what lies ahead and have not formulated a comprehensive cloud migration strategy considering all four of the major pillars outlined above. When moving to the cloud, failing to consider these important factors will compromise the likelihood of success, which, in turn, increases the chance of missing out on the full value the cloud can bring.
By taking the time to build a comprehensive migration strategy, engage with experts and make necessary changes, enterprises can ensure a successful migration to the cloud.