Plan Ahead For A Successful Cloud Migration

Plan Ahead For A Successful Cloud Migration

Migrating your information systems to the cloud can be a complex process. However, the factors most attributable to the success of the project are not. By addressing these issues well in advance, you will avoid many of the pitfalls that can derail migration projects.

Below are some questions to ask before you initiate the project. Your responses will provide a clear roadmap for the overall project and should make it easier to isolate and resolve more technical issues as they arise.

cloud-migration

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Why are you migrating your systems to the cloud?

Identify the core reasons for migrating each of your applications to the cloud. Although there is clearly an industry trend toward cloud migration, it is not necessarily the best solution for all of your applications.

If the driving factor is cost savings, be sure that your cost analysis is accurate. While cloud deployments may well provide long term cost savings, they may not always have the immediate impact that many organizations are looking for.

What type of cloud services do you need?

Your reasons for migrating should quickly lead you to which types of cloud services you need.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS): Generally provides only the physical or virtual servers along with the infrastructure to run them.
  • Platform as a Service (PAAS): In addition to IAAS services, an operating system and language interpreter is included.
  • Software as a Service (SAAS): In addition to PAAS services, the application software is included. This is typically a complete turn-key software solution.

Are you interested in public, private or hybrid clouds?

With public clouds, your applications are run on servers shared with other entities. Private clouds generally require dedicated servers either locally or hosted. Public clouds tend to be more flexible, scalable and affordable while private clouds tend to be more secure. As the name implies hybrid clouds employ a mix of both public and private clouds. Below are some other issues that may affect your decision.

  • Regulatory Constraints – If you are associated with the health care or financial industries, there may be privacy or control issues that preclude you from using a public cloud for some of your applications or data. Organizations subject to PCI compliance may have similar issues. Be sure to identify any that may affect you.
  • Security Concerns – Even if it is allowed, some organizations are still uncomfortable storing sensitive data in the public cloud. Assess the situation at your particular organization.
  • Performance – While the public cloud will frequently improve performance, it can also have negative impacts on some applications or databases. The potential effects on performance should be reviewed for each individual application you hope to migrate.
  • Even if limitations on some applications or data mandate a private cloud, it’s likely that you have other applications or data that are perfectly suited to the public cloud. In this case, a hybrid cloud solution may be the best for you.

Which applications should you migrate first (if any)?

The conventional wisdom is that cloud migration should be a gradual process. The easiest applications should be migrated first. These will provide good testing, comfort level and even training for the more difficult applications to come. Here’s what to look for:

  • If you are adding new applications that are conducive to the cloud, be sure to focus on these first. If these are replacing an existing system, you may be able to eliminate most of the migration tasks for the old application altogether.
  • If you are upgrading existing applications, it may make sense to go ahead and include the cloud migration in the upgrade process.
  • Software licensing is a critical issue when it comes to cloud migration. Be sure that you thoroughly review the cost implications for each software license to avoid big surprises when you go live.
  • The architecture of some applications is simply not conducive to a cloud environment, particularly when it comes to performance. Review this issue for every application you plan to migrate. Mobile apps, web apps and even some old mainframe based apps may work best. Some client–server applications, however, may be more of a challenge.
  • Stand-alone applications without many interfaces to other programs are generally better candidates for migration. Legacy systems with complex spaghetti-like linkages to other systems are the most difficult.
  • If you have already virtualized an application on a local server, it will be much easier to migrate to a cloud-based server. Some service providers have tools specifically developed to facilitate this.

Who will be your service provider?

Selecting a service provider that is a good fit for your organization is critical. Look for providers who already provide the same level of service for enterprises similar to yours. Be sure to address issues related to performance, reliability, backup and security with prospective providers.

Work with your provider to set up adequate testing environments. There is no substitution for exhaustive testing. Discuss contingency plans for rolling back the migration if unforeseen issues arise.

Drill down to the actual cost you can expect to pay for the service. Because there may be many cost variables, it might be helpful to estimate the costs associated with some hypothetical scenarios (perhaps light, medium and heavy loads).

Who will be affected by changes?

Once you have a good idea of where you are going with your project, it’s important to identify and communicate the expected impacts on the stakeholders in your organization. Migration projects can potentially change job responsibilities or eliminate positions altogether. These issues should be addressed and communicated to the affected employees on the front-end.

Try to get buy-in from all parties involved before you begin the implementation. An enthusiastic team will greatly contribute to the success of your project.

When properly done, migration to the cloud can transform your business and make you more competitive. Careful planning to develop a safe, measured approach to the project will help to ensure a successful outcome.

By Allison Rice,

Allison works for Amsterdam Printing, a leading provider of promotional products to grow your business and thank customers. Allison writes on Information Technology and marketing topics for the Small Business Know-How blog.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Zoho Announces Industry’s First Multichannel CRM Service

Zoho Announces Industry’s First Multichannel CRM Service

Zoho News According to Gartner, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software market grew by 12.3% from $23.4 billion in 2014 to $26.3 billion in 2015. Suggests Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner, “The merger and acquisition activity that began flowing through the market in 2009 continued in 2015, with more than 30 notable acquisitions. This…

How The Cloud Is Changing Online Education

How The Cloud Is Changing Online Education

Online Education Growth There’s no doubt that the internet has changed the face of education over the last two decades. In fact, by some estimates more than 80 percent of college students expect to take at least some — if not all of their courses — online. Thousands of people have earned degrees without ever…

Investing In The Future With The Introduction of Sage Cloud

Investing In The Future With The Introduction of Sage Cloud

CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – Jul 26, 2016) – Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software, announced today at Sage Summit 2016 its strong commitment to future technologies, with a focus on new and existing partnerships that power business growth. Revealed during CEO Stephen Kelly’s keynote address, which opened the world’s largest gathering of entrepreneurs and…

Cloud Proofing Future Business Challenges

Cloud Proofing Future Business Challenges

Coping with Cloud Challenges Hardly a week goes by without coming across news around the increase in the number of organizations moving their workloads to public clouds. In the digital world, embracing cloud is a fundamental requirement for engaging customers and conducting business at scale. Due to a multitude of factors, including compliance mandates, risk…

2016 Tour de France: Racing With Big Data

2016 Tour de France: Racing With Big Data

2016 Tour de France The 2016 Tour de France has just concluded, with Chris Froome (SKY) taking his third overall win. Not the kind of event we often focus on here at CloudTweaks, but Dimension Data has put its analytics technology to use tracking the journeys of each rider across all 21 stages, and their…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

Ensure Your Cloud Is Always Operational We have become so accustomed to being online that we take for granted the technological advances that enable us to have instant access to everything and anything on the internet, wherever we are. In fact, it would likely be a little disconcerting if we really mapped out all that…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Benefits A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Big Data Analytics Trends As data information and cloud computing continues to work together, the need for data analytics continues to grow. Many tech firms predict that big data volume will grow steadily 40% per year and in 2020, will grow up to 50 times that. This growth will also bring a number of cost…

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

SaaS And The Cloud With the results of Cisco Global Could Index: 2013-2018 and Hosting and Cloud Study 2014, predictions for the future of cloud computing are notable. Forbes reported that spending on infrastructure-related services has increased as public cloud computing uptake spreads, and reflected on Gartner’s Public Cloud Services Forecast. The public cloud service…

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services Cloud Banking Insights Series focuses on big data in the financial services industry and whether it is a security threat or actually a massive opportunity. How does big data fit into an overall cloud strategy? Most FI’s have a positive mind-set towards cloud IT consumption as it not only enables…

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Evolving Internet of Things  The Internet of Things, or IoT, a term devised in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, represents the connection of physical devices, systems and services via the internet, and Gartner and Lucas Blake’s new infographic (below) explores the evolution of the IoT industry, investigating its potential impact across just about every…