Migrating to the Cloud? Here Are the 5 Steps You Need to Take
While many businesses haven’t yet completed their full cloud migration, most are using it in some capacity. Research shows that 61 per cent of businesses migrated their workloads to the cloud in 2020 as the pandemic accelerated digital transformation.
The first national lockdown in March 2020 pushed a lot of businesses into home-working for the first time, so many were required to adopt the cloud earlier than expected in order to enable remote working.
While many headlines have focused on the downsides of the pandemic, the acceleration of digital adoption has been positive. Of the businesses that migrated their workloads in 2020, 51 per cent said it prevented their business from going bust.
If you’re starting the process of migrating your full workload to the cloud, there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration. Here, we cover the key steps you should take to ensure a comprehensive and smooth migration to the cloud.
Determine your reasons for migrating
Moving to the cloud offers a range of benefits for businesses, including:
- A reduced cost of ownership
- Allowing remote working
- Higher system availability
- More stringent security protocols
- Increased productivity and efficiency.
To ensure you achieve your goals, you need to shape your migration strategy around them. You may want to achieve all of the above goals, but it’s likely that some are higher priorities than others. For example, you might want to prioritise data security because your on-premise system was recently breached, so that should be your main focus when planning and completing your migration.
Can you migrate all your apps in one go?
Migrating all our business-critical apps to the cloud in one step is the dream. However, it’s not that straightforward in reality.
Some applications can’t be moved to the cloud because they’re legacy systems that don’t have comparable cloud versions, or they’ve been modified past the point of no return. It’s well established that maintaining legacy systems is significantly more costly than switching to new systems – the Public Accounts Committee found that HMRC spent 80 per cent of its COVID-19 budget on maintaining its aged IT systems, which accounted for a huge £53.2 million. However, it can be daunting to switch, especially if that legacy system is custom-built.
Identifying the applications that you can and will migrate to the cloud is a key step in your migration project. We also recommend reviewing your costly legacy systems to see if there are any existing cloud-based alternatives that could replace them.
Implement a strategy for your migration
Determining how you’ll migrate your applications, even ones that won’t be migrated in the first stage, is the next step. There are a number of ways you can complete your cloud migration, and most businesses will use a combination of strategies which are commonly known as the 6 Rs:
- Rehost: moving applications with no changes.
- Re-platform: moving applications with small modifications based on their new cloud environment.
- Repurchase: replacing your legacy systems with newer, cloud-based alternatives and operating on an SaaS payment model.
- Re-architect: redeveloping an application, which can involve using new cloud features.
- Retire: eliminating a system from your IT portfolio.
- Retain: leaving an application as-is and revisiting at a later date.
Because you probably won’t be migrating all your applications in one go, you’ll likely need a combination of these strategies.
Decide which cloud providers you’ll use
So, who is the best cloud provider? We get asked this often, but the answer isn’t as simple as giving you one provider, as each will have its own benefits. You might want to use multiple cloud providers so that their combined solutions meet your unique application requirements.
Cloud service providers that lead the way in keeping up with high data usage demands are best if you’re migrating systems which use a lot of energy and data. If you’re migrating applications that store a lot of personal or sensitive customer data, you’ll need one that has strong security certifications. If scalability is important, make sure the provider you opt for can provide this service easily.
Because of their varying requirements, most businesses will opt for a hybrid cloud solution, which blends private and public cloud platforms with on-premise servers. Public cloud options such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are trusted because of their rigid security protocols. Private clouds, meanwhile, allow you more customisation, and you can choose whether to manage them yourself or outsource this to a third-party provider.
Find out more about our managed AWS services.
Get a cloud consultancy expert involved
Reducing costs is one of the key reasons many businesses move to the cloud, with a Microsoft survey identifying this as a top benefit of cloud migration. However, the cost of the migration project itself also needs to be taken into consideration.
For businesses that have a large, experienced IT team, it might be possible to carry out this migration in-house. However, most organisations could benefit from external expertise. If your internal IT support team is small or you already take out managed IT services, we recommend utilising a third-party provider.
As cloud consultancy specialists, Perfect Image can provide you with the support and expertise needed for your cloud migration. We can manage the entire process for you and ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. Our extensive experience in deploying cloud solutions and cloud migrations means you’ll experience a smoother journey to cloud computing.
Many businesses see keeping their cloud migration internal as more cost-effective. However, tapping into the expertise of an IT consultancy services provider like Perfect Image will help you to reduce costs. We have the knowledge to consider every possibility and mitigate any potential risks.
There’s no doubt that migrating workloads to the cloud is the future for most businesses. It offers many benefits, including reduced IT operating costs, increased security, and improved efficiency and productivity. It’s a project that requires a number of steps to ensure a smooth, efficient, and cost-effective migration. By taking these steps, you can ensure your cloud migration is as seamless as possible.