How do you migrate safely to the cloud?
Definition of cloud migration
Cloud migration signifies the approach of enterprises to move their applications from an on premise architecture to the cloud environment. Once you are in the cloud, you can further transition from one cloud to another (like Azure to AWS, from a private cloud to a public cloud etc).
Why migrate to the cloud?
Fierce competition and increasing demand for digital services is making it urgent for enterprises to undergo digital transformation. They need modern solutions to align resources effectively and build new strategies for this dynamic business environment. The cloud offers flexible IT resources that enable transformation of their business model, rapid time to market and the ability to test resources efficiently. In addition, cloud computing accelerates the digital transformation for enterprises.
For IT departments, the technical advantage of the cloud, such as automation (by reducing human error) is the focus of attention. Executives, on the other hand, want to use the cloud environment for business growth and flexibility. Both these advantages are key to a successful digital transformation.
Once a distant goal, digital transformation is now virtually a prerequisite for organizations to remain relevant and competitive. Cloud migration has become a key enabler in this process. It is not an end goal, but rather a resource for continuous growth and innovation.
Digital transformation, which stands for the implementation of digital business processes, requires the use of more IT than ever before. For companies and public authorities alike, costs play a very significant role. This is where cloud migration comes into the picture. Cloud can make new services available on demand and at very affordable rates.
Maintaining a good margin, while developing and bringing to market quickly are the main objectives of the digital transformation of an organization. The business must be scalable. If you have 10 customers in the first month, you need to be able to serve 1000 customers by the end of the second month, and so on. Only the cloud, with its enormous potential for automation, can meet this need for great flexibility and scalability. When sales continue to grow, the goal of a scalable business is to get more done with minimal effort. And cloud automation is the perfect tool to achieve this.
Enterprises undergoing transformation are developing new applications by leveraging cloud deployment. They are also building a roadmap with their cloud service provider to migrate many of their existing applications to the cloud.
Organizations migrating to the cloud environment are not only impacting the information system, but also work processes, employees, infrastructure – nothing less than the organizational culture itself.
For many, “the cloud” is synonymous with agility and flexibility. Migrating to the cloud changes the operating model and reduces technical costs, although there is less control in a cloud-based organization.”
A successful migration leads to an overhaul of the previous organizational structure – with the goal of enabling an agile, innovative and responsive organization in the cloud.
How to migrate your applications to the cloud
Migrating to the cloud requires a lot of planning, alignment, expertise and, most importantly, a comprehensive approach. Still trying to decide? Here are some key factors you should keep in mind.
- Keep in mind that you can’t accomplish everything at once. Things could become problematic if you rush to move your applications. Instead, start small with an initial, low-risk pilot project. Learn about the fundamental cloud capabilities required for this.
- Then choose the appropriate cloud model (Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Multi Cloud) and a good cloud provider based on your ultimate business goal. Determine the overall ROI, time, effort and financial resources you may have to invest in this whole process.
- You need to understand the inner workings of the applications you use. Assess their requirements, complexity, interdependencies and likely transition costs to determine which applications to move first.
- Once you have decided which applications to move first, use an agile Digital Factory approach to define a clear roadmap. Use a collaborative platform that provides automated information about planned tasks to increase visibility across teams.
- You can then move your existing applications to the cloud. Finally, verify if the move was successful by determining some cloud KPIs beforehand. You should compare and measure your application’s performance, both before and after the migration.
Types of cloud migration
You can deploy several strategies to migrate to the cloud.
Lift and shift or re-hosting
This lift and shift approach is an approach to migrate from the current environment to the cloud without much change. This method is fast, easy, less expensive and does not require a new learning curve. However, it is not a sustainable solution.
Lift and enhance or re-platforming
This means slightly optimizing applications before re-hosting them in the cloud. This way, you can make them more compatible with the cloud during migration. This way, you can get more out of your cloud migration. But this process can be laborious and expensive compared to lift and shift migration.
Drop and shop or re-purchasing
This involves moving some applications to a new SAAS platform that is able to better meet your needs. A SAAS Cloud model allows you to focus on your core business and remain competitive in the marketplace.
Re-factoring or re-architecting
This is the other extreme of the lift and shift model. It involves building your applications from scratch. This requires new application logic as well as additional resources, time and skills. However, in the end, it can help your business reap the benefits of cloud native by being more scalable.
This means discontinuing or replacing applications you no longer find useful, without loss of value to customers. This can be costly and time-consuming, but you can end up saving money by downsizing your infrastructure.
This means keeping some of your applications in the existing infrastructure due to some cloud security constraints. You may want to consider moving them when it makes more sense.
The implementation of a cloud migration project could take several years, depending on the number of applications you have. In worse cases, it could lead to a botched infrastructure. Especially if you are trying to achieve this complicated activity on your own. You will need the help of a specialist at every step of the process to cut down the time, costs and achieve the desired benefits. The right cloud provider will tailor the cloud strategy based on your long-term needs, keeping in mind the impact it might have on your business continuity.
UBIKA Cloud Protector is a cloud agnostic solution that can use any deployment mode. If you start by configuring this product in your traditional datacenter, you can always migrate to the cloud at your convenience with just a few clicks. In fact, this could be the first step of your cloud migration strategy – putting the security solution in a cloud ready mode, for all applications. Then, migrating applications would seem more straightforward. Consult our experts and get started with an implementation plan for your cloud migration quest.
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