There are many businesses that intend to move their data to the cloud but do not know where to begin. Cloud migration is extremely important when a business intends to scale its businesses. It also provides safer storage for data while reducing IT costs. However, highlighting the benefits downplays the challenges involved in cloud migration.
There is sufficient data to show that cloud migrations are complex and most businesses underestimate the amount of precision required. 75% of migration projects take more than a year. They go over the budgeted time and money. Still, a supermajority of businesses have or intend to move part of their IT infrastructure to a cloud environment. A good starting point would be to highlight some of the common challenges.
Challenges to Look out for During Cloud Migration
During cloud migration, some encryption to secure the data might be necessary. Improper encryption and decryption may end up ruining the data. There is also always a slight chance of data getting erased or lost. The use of improper tools can also make the process become too slow that it interferes with the operational calendar of the entire organization. In addition, weak tools might lead to bugs that halt the entire process.
So how should businesses go about cloud migration properly?
Step 1: Putting together a Cloud Migration Project Team
A lot of cloud migration projects will take months. It is necessary to put together a team and place great emphasis on having the right person lead it. They should be experienced in project management and have at least taken part in a similar project properly. The roles of each person on the team must be properly defined. The team must also have a target completion date and important milestones to aim for along the way.
Step 2: Determining the Scope of Work
Once the team gets together, they must take stock of all the IT infrastructure. They must figure out how the infrastructure should be after the migration, as well as what needs to be done to get there. It becomes possible to prioritize deliverables over the others. They should end up with a detailed calendar of events so that each milestone becomes possible to hit.
Some migrations are partial, and others are undertaken progressively. The team must match the calendar of events with the company’s strategic objectives and the resources available.
Step 3: Deciding on the Best Cloud Options for the Data Migration Cloud
There are several options for businesses to pick from for cloud computing purposes. The first is a public cloud such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft cloud services. The advantage of a public cloud is that it offers scalability, and the business gets to use a pay-as-you-go model. Public clouds from reputable providers are quite safe because they are continually getting improved for security.
The other option is to go for a private cloud. Here, the business can have its own off-site data center or get a third party to provide exclusive hosting services. Private clouds have a high cost of acquisition if the business has its own data center. They also need to have a maintenance budget for the private cloud.
The third option would be a hybrid of the two. While the business may be okay with some data being on a public cloud, it may feel that a private cloud is best suited for some. A hybrid solution allows greater flexibility. It also allows for the gradual migration of different functions.
Step 4: Implementation
Once the proper way forward is clear, the business can begin the migration process. As stated, this can take weeks or even months. After each phase, the project team should review the results and make any adjustments necessary for the strategy. An agile approach should give optimal results. There will be unforeseen things, as with any extensive project. The team must adjust for these, even if it means adjusting deadlines.
Step 5: Testing and Reviewing the Cloud Migration Process
Although testing is the last step, it should be an ongoing process as the cloud migration team ticks off goals along the way. In fact, the different tests required should be decided on before the process began. One thing to test for is the stability of the apps in the cloud environment.
There is also need to guarantee the compatibility of all applications involved during and after the migration. In most cases, an old legacy application will fail in a cloud environment. It might force the business to move on from such a system as part of the cloud migration process.
Finally, the project team must have a way of testing for any vulnerabilities of the system following the migration. Should any issues arise, the project team must have personnel and tools to fix them. In addition, testing for bugs and vulnerabilities must be an ongoing process because they can easily affect the user experience when they arise.
Picking the Right Cloud Services Partner
Big brands such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft control much of the cloud services market. However, there are other providers who can give customized services, especially to smaller businesses. After establishing the goals of cloud migration, what should you consider when picking the cloud services provider to work with?
First, there are certifications and standards that ensure best practices in the industry. The provider should have certifications such as ISO 270001 or the Cyber Essentials Scheme issued by the government. Further, the provider’s cloud architecture should suit your business’s workflow without requiring too much customization or alterations. If this is the case, it might cause more complications as the business scales. If a provider is subcontracting any vendors, it may be prudent to find out their relationship and the accreditation levels of such vendors. Last, depending on the industry your business operates in, you may need to find out the location of the provider’s data centers.
If your business is looking to improve its IT architecture through cloud migration, check out Transcendent Software. We are an IT solutions company that assists clients with cloud development and migrations. Our team assesses current systems and advice on the best cloud technologies. We also help in the planning, building, and deployment of cloud applications.