So, your company has decided it is time for implementing cloud-based solutions and coming up with a migration plan…now what? While no two companies are the same when it comes to figuring out a cloud migration strategy, there are certain steps that they all should follow.
Step 1: Who calls the shots?
The first thing to be determined in the migration process is what person or group is overseeing the cloud migration plan. This individual or group must be given appropriate time to research the data and focus all of their attention on this process. This is not something to be done after a few Google searches.
Step 2: How big of a leap?
How much of a change are we talking about here? Is everything from business emails to the execution of data-driven applications going to the cloud? Would you benefit from a hybrid cloud or private cloud? Do you have a data center on-premises or are you hoping to use pure cloud storage? It’s important to determine which level of cloud integration is feasible, time-effective, and affordable for your company.
Step 3: One-stop shop or multiple cloud providers?
This boils down to determining whether your business wants to utilize a single cloud service provider for everything or if your business is better served by using a variety of providers for various cloud services, depending on the specific task or goal to be achieved. Both approaches have their pros and cons and thus need to be thoroughly researched.
Step 4: KPIs…
Key Performance Indicators are metrics we use day in and day out to track how well our applications are running. Think of a web page taking forever to load – upgrading your internet package could really pay off! The same holds true for cloud applications. Track how things such as run time, CPU usage, and error rates, and countless others are performing as they are migrated compared to baseline data you’ve collected before cloud integration.
Step 5: Prioritize your packing!
Ever been on a road trip? If so, chances are you’ve made the mistake of packing that ever-so-necessary phone charger right underneath… everything else. I’m willing to bet you’ve never made that mistake again! When it comes to cloud migrating, we rarely have a chance for a redo. Thus, when you make the decisions about migrating applications, sensitive data, and other services to the cloud, first be sure they provide you with the most immediate benefits!
Step 6: Formalize THE PLAN
So we’ve opened the box, poured the pieces onto the table, and taken the time to group them by similarity. Now it’s time to assemble this puzzle. All too often businesses lose sight of the forest for the trees. It’s easy to get stuck on a singular aspect of the cloud migration plan but we must remember it’s the big picture and overlying goal of the cloud strategy that must always be circled back to.
Step 7: Reread & Revise before Execution
Think you’re ready? You’re probably not. Before you “press enter” or “sign the dotted line”, revisit each step from this checklist and ask yourself the following question over and over again: “How will this improve from being moved to a cloud platform?“, where the “this” is every single process, task, aspect, and application that you’re planning to migrate to the cloud. Once you and your team have justified every aspect of your plan, it’s time to move forward.