Cloud migration is no longer just an option for progressive organizations competing with their larger counterparts on grounds of innovation. It’s a necessity. The cost savings, service availability, management and security advantages of industry-grade cloud solutions have forced organizations of all sizes and industry verticals to migrate their workloads to the cloud. The following tips help ensure effective cloud migration and immediate ROI benefits with cloud investments:
1. Build a business case
Fail to plan, plan to fail. Migrating to the cloud isn’t just something you “do.” You need a solid business case to migrate to the cloud in order to measure effectiveness and success.Will it provide your organizations with improved efficiencies? Better productivity? A more enriching user experience? Will it improve your organization’s bottom line and profitability?
2. Address cultural issue of giving up control
Shifting from an in-house IT control to a cloud system will raise problems that have nothing to do with the technology. It means some employees will have to relinquish control. To keep the migration moving along you must effectively communicate with your teams to keep them informed, engaged and enthused to support the process.
3. Decide a common platform
Part of the key to tip #2 is to also work with your existing employees to find the right kind of cloud platform to suit your business operations and IT requirements. There will be a common ground that works for all aspects of the business and by including stakeholders in decision making you will find the perfect synergy between all parties and achieve buy-in to the new systems from key personnel.
4. Start small and grow
A brave and foolhardy business owner moves everything to the cloud in one go. Not only does it put the whole operation at risk in the event of problems or migration issues but it is also a major productivity disruption. Start with small user groups and work your way systematically across the business. Starting small will help iron out any issues along the way while also causing minimal business disruption.
5. Test applications and workloads
Nothing ever works 100% first time, all the time. You will find problems migrating to the cloud. That’s why you need to test everything and monitor workloads as you progress in your wider migration. Assign specific personnel to this task as it requires full-time attention and immediate action where required.
6.Be prepared to be flexible
You will have planned and mapped out the most beautiful cloud migration known to the enterprise IT world. But it’s almost certainly going to change. There’s a difference between the paper design and real world use. That means you need to be flexible to change or redesign certain aspects of your plan. Maintaining operational capability is as important as functional capability.
7. Training and compliance
While the technical aspects of your migration will benefit the business you also need to ensure your employees are ready for the change as well. There should be structured training about the migration, before the migration and then after the migration to have everyone pulling in the same direction, maintaining efficiency and productivity.
You must be aware of the risks involved in a migration too. It comes in the form of physical risk, in terms of damaging your existing hardware, risking the loss or corruption of mission-critical files. And then there’s the risk of data integrity. You must provide high levels of access to migrate to the cloud while ensuring data security and making sure only those who are authorized see confidential data.
9. Manage migration
View your migration as a construction project. You need to manage the whole process from planning to implementation and completion. Each step along the way should have a final sign off to make sure everything is as it should be before moving to the next step.
10. Have a failsafe in place
While the chances are everything will go to plan, you need a contingency if it doesn’t. Until you’ve completed the entire migration, tested, checked and monitored the new platform you should keep backups of all your data. Then have a rollback plan ready to go if something goes wrong. Make sure that if you quit the cloud, or want out from the platform, you have in writing that you retain full control over your data.
Need assistance in planning your cloud migration? HOSTING has helped hundreds of companies implement successful cloud migrations. Our team of cloud solution experts averages a successful cloud migration every six days. Contact us for cloud migration assessment. And watch our on—demand webinar, Navigating the Cloud Migration Minefield, for more tips on ensuring a successful cloud migration.