How to Evaluate a Cloud Migration Strategy in 3 Easy Steps

Dec 20, 2016

If migrating applications to the cloud was easy, all businesses would have done it already. The cloud can deliver numerous benefits. The most impactful ones are cost savings, scalability, and agility.

For example, you can now streamline business operations and enhance office productivity by sending your infrastructure to the cloud, or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This allows your IT employees to spend more time focusing on more important business objectives.

Software as a Service (SaaS) has also become a proven platform for companies looking to enter the world of cloud services. Fueled by the influx of applications moving to the cloud, SaaS lowers the cost of entry because you don’t have to buy hardware to host your new applications.

Most Businesses Take Cloud Migration in Small Steps.

According to IDG’s Cloud Computing Survey, 69% of businesses have migrated at least one application to the cloud and 18% have plans to migrate. And a January 2016 State of the Cloud survey by RightScale states that cloud users are running applications in an average of 1.5 public clouds and 1.7 private clouds. They are also experimenting with an additional 1.5 public clouds and 1.3 private clouds.

Moving applications to the cloud can help your organization stay competitive by delivering applications to your customers and workforce faster and more efficiently. But it’s important to not just move apps to the cloud because your competitors are doing it.

To save valuable time and money, your decision process should include thorough research, analysis, and collaboration with all departments to determine which applications can streamline business operations and enhance office productivity.

3 Key Considerations as You Evaluate Your Migration Strategy.

  1. Know Your Applications. Migrating an application isn’t cheap. Carefully choose which application will have the most impact and benefit. To do this, evaluate your entire portfolio of applications and migrate only best candidate first.

Also, know how your applications work with each other. Migrating one application may interfere with the performance of another if they work together as a business unit. For instance, if you have 3 interdependent applications and you decide to move 2 of them to the cloud, you may experience latency issues. Why? Because what used to sit side-by-side on-premises is now spread across your on-premises infrastructure and the cloud. 

  1. Ensure Privacy and Data Security. To ensure compliance with internal policies and legal or regulatory requirements, your organization needs to be aware of the different types of data used throughout the service to be migrated. Data in flight or at rest needs to be encrypted. User accounts need to be isolated from each other, and cross-access must be closely controlled. For each data type, the organization should actively decide on appropriate security measures to manage related risk and any compliance issues that may arise. 
  1. Carefully Choose a Migration Approach. Migrations are not one-size-fits-all process. Your workloads and applications may require different stacks and will pose different challenges. Your off-the-shelf applications may be easier to migrate because they only need a rehost approach, which moves applications to the cloud with minimal modification using automation and scripts. Your other applications may first require refactoring, or modifying the underlying code to optimize it for the cloud. 

Your custom applications, on the other hand, are all different and require extra attention. Take the time to understand their patterns and underlying technologies, as these can help map out the appropriate migration method and create a repeatable, scalable approach. With the rehosting approach, you may consider IaaS platforms. But refactoring usually means using Platform as a Service (PaaS).

To stay competitive, you must start delivering applications to your customers and workforce in a way that best fits their needs. You need to not only move your apps to the right cloud, but you also need to have a strategy that encompasses changing needs and adds value.

As you consider the task of migrating third-party, business-critical, in-house, legacy applications, you must take the time to evaluate each application’s background to make sure the applications you migrate best achieve your business goals.

Want a second opinion about whether or not your application or applications can be migrated to the cloud? Speak with PEAK Resources today!