Migrating to cloud environment from an in-house environment can be a tricky proposition and the complexity only increases with the size of the migration. Here we discuss the five key issues to keep in mind before planning a large cloud migration:
1. Clearly define what you are going to move
The organisation should be very clear on the number of servers and application workloads it plans to move the cloud and also the ones it feels can’t be moved due to security concerns. Accordingly a migration plan must be worked out so that downtime is minimal and so are the costs.
2. The reason for migrating should be well understood
This would help in defining your objectives for migration and help you set a timeframe for achieving them. The long-term benefits of moving to a cloud platform should be clear to all stakeholders so tomorrow if something does not work out as planned, then there should be minimal internal wranglings.
Choosing a cloud service provider does help organisations in managing sudden spurts in workloads and also in engaging with their customers better. This holds true even more when clients are spread across geographies. The cloud also free up IT resources for the internal teams to deploy elsewhere or work towards improving efficiencies of core business processes. So, jot down your top reasons for migrating and share with all, before beginning the exercise.
3. Shortlist all that you want from the cloud migration
This is one tricky part and organisations would do well to take time and clearly demarcate their set of requirements from a cloud service provider. For instance, what workloads are you exactly planning to move and when. Also, both the business and IT teams must take each other into confidence and work out details in terms of costs to be incurred, resources to be deployed, the security plan in place. One word of caution here: be absolutely sure of the resources you have for the cloud migration and whether they are sufficient or not. Another key concern should be how it’s going to affect your people: customers and employees.
4. Are you even ready for the cloud?
The organizations should know what workloads they have, which workloads they need to move, and in what order they need to migrate them. The IT team should know the technical details of the migration, how much it is going to cost and how long will take to complete the migration. Also is the organisation even going to benefit from the migration or not? Does it serve its business interests well? Also, as far as impact on employees or customers is concerned, there should be not let down in their efficiency or convenience.
5. Ask how peers have fared
Each organisation that plans to move business processes to the cloud, should check how others with similar maturity levels have fared during their migration activity. The cloud service providers do a maturity assessment for their customers but you should be asking tough questions on what all can possibly go wrong or where extra care needs to be taken. Do study all SLAs carefully and collect key information such as people costs, third party implementation partner costs, application costs and literally everything else that’s directly or indirectly related to the migration process.