What is Cloud Migration? Strategy, Benefits, Process, and Tools
According to a recent survey, 73% of organizations have at least one application nested in Cloud. There’s no denying that Cloud is the most popular platform now and Cloud Migration over the years has become a need rather than a luxury to achieve business continuity, grow and remain sustainable as well.
In order to migrate your business to Cloud, it is essential to understand what cloud migration is, how it can benefit your business and agree upon a strategy that helps make a smooth transition to Cloud.
Cloud has now become vital to achieve end-to-end digital transformation.
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is the process of migrating or moving a company’s digital assets, databases, services, applications- sometimes partially or even completely, into Cloud. Cloud migration could also mean moving from one cloud service platform to another.
If you have legacy systems that are increasingly inefficient in terms of unreliable firewalls, having hardware or software that can no longer keep up with the growing business needs, then migrating to Cloud can definitely be beneficial. If you have qualms about cloud and the experience, then a partial migration could also be considered to begin with.
Cloud Migration Strategy
Cloud migration is a critical move for achieving updated performance and efficiency. However, the process requires a careful in depth analysis, solid migration strategy and perfect execution so that the suggested cloud solution is compatible with current business needs.
While preparing a Cloud Migration Strategy, several things must be considered. For example: Will the new platform allow rebuilding applications so that the performance is optimal?
Another important thing to be considered while preparing a Cloud migration strategy is the costs involved. It’s best if the top level executives are a part of this decision from the initial phase since cloud migration involves noteworthy change along with new milestones for business.
Let’s deep dive into the “six Rs of Cloud Migration”
- Rehosting (Lift and Shift): This uses Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which means users redeploy existing apps and data on cloud. This is one of the most preferred intelligent solutions for businesses who are unfamiliar about cloud and want to keep their applications intact during the migration phase.
- Repurchase: This includes moving the current set of applications to a different cloud platform altogether. For example, moving a CRM to Salesforce. The challenge that most organizations face is letting go of familiarity which the previous platform offered and upskilling employees with the new platform. Repurchasing can sometimes even be a cost effective solution if you are migrating from a personalized legacy environment.
- Replatforming: Also known as move and improve, this includes implementing modern changes to existing platform. Implementing modern changes to the already existing program by scaling, automation without completely understanding replacing them is followed in replatforming.
- Refactoring: Also known as Rip and Replace, this method requires rewriting the existing workload completely so that it supports Cloud. This is time consuming in terms of reskilling and upskilling people, but in the long run this method offers the best cloud benefits.
- Retaining: Moving to the cloud may not sound sensible for some businesses. It could be due to any of the various reasons like unable to move data due to regulatory concerns, readiness to emphasize on new platforms etc. In such situations, it is best to move to cloud at a later date.
- Retiring: Businesses may assess on a regular basis which apps are being useful to their customers and then check for cloud compatibility for those applications. Turning them off in the first instant and later migrating them to cloud can be beneficial for many businesses.
Benefits of Cloud Migration
Moving your businesses and apps to the Cloud can have a lasting benefit. Accelerating this process will be the key to business success in the years to come.
Benefits of Cloud Migration include:
- Ability to innovate at faster pace
- Boosts agility and flexibility
- Simplify IT services
- Handle resource management easily
- Cost effective solutions
- Shift to everything as a service
- Improved performance
- Improved Scalability
- Improved security
- Faster go-to-market
Cloud Migration Risks
According to recent survey, here’s what businesses noticed as barriers to adopt Cloud:
- 43% of the businesses identified legacy infrastructure and application sprawl
- 65% of the companies identified security and compliance risks
- 42% of the businesses identified lack of resources who have cloud skills within the organization
- 55% identified complexity of businesses
Cloud Migration Process
There are various tried and tested methods for the cloud migration process. Asking relevant questions at every step of the process can help businesses move their applications smoothly to the cloud and help define processes as well.
- Plan your cloud migration: Does my cloud migration plan include moving a specific application or a whole suite of applications?
- Does it involve preparing the applications for cloud readiness?
- Make your cloud migration business case: How much will moving and working in the cloud cost my business?
- Execute cloud migration smoothly: How can we carry out cloud migration with minimal disruptions to daily operations?
- Do resources have the required skills to manage Cloud and execute the migration?
- Maintenance of a new cloud environment: How will the business maintain security of data within the cloud?
Apart from the above mentioned questions, few more to consider are if my cloud costs will remain stable and not spiral out of control? How will business stay up to date on services?
Cloud Migration Tools
All businesses take certain risks while switching platforms. Cloud is no different. Having a solid cloud migration strategy is the primary most important step towards adopting cloud for business. Cloud Migration Tools can help ease the migration process and make it smoother for businesses to achieve continuity. Here’s a list of cloud migration tools:
- Google Cloud
- Carbonite Migrate
There are multiple questions that arise when you are opting for Cloud Migration. All businesses require hand holding during this phase in order to make their cloud journey safe. Be it a strong case for lift and shift migration model or typical modernization that includes automated translation and conventional replatforming, it’s always suggested to take help of Cloud experts who can suggest the right way forward glitch free and achieve Cloud migration seamlessly.
(The author is Mr. Ravindra Katti, Founder and Director, Techpartner Alliance and the views expressed in this article are his own)