5 Key Considerations for Your Cloud Migration Plan

5 Key Considerations for Your Cloud Migration Plan

Mateusz Łach - January 28, 2023

Are you considering a move to the cloud for your business? If so, you’re not alone. The cloud offers numerous benefits, including increased flexibility, scalability, and cost savings.

However, before you make the jump, it’s essential to plan and prepare for your cloud migration carefully. After all, moving your data, applications, and infrastructure to the cloud is a significant undertaking and requires a thorough strategy.

In this article, we will delve into five key considerations that will make your cloud migration a smooth and successful process. By addressing these issues upfront, you can set your business up for long-term success in the cloud.

So, whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, read on to learn how to plan the perfect cloud migration for your business.

The Importance of a Well-Planned Migration

The first, and arguably most crucial step on any cloud migration checklist is creating a detailed project plan. A well-crafted data migration plan must include the cloud solution you intend to use, a timeline for when the migration will take place, and the resources that will be required.

In addition, an effective migration plan will contain a strategy for dealing with any potential risks or issues that may arise. This means anticipating and preparing for any compatibility issues that may arise between cloud applications, security concerns, and other potential issues.

Addressing these issues in advance is vital for avoiding costly delays, errors, and unforeseen technical problems – that is, increasing the likelihood of your cloud migration being seamless and successful.

Furthermore, a well-planned migration will not cause any disruption to the day-to-day operations of your business. That’s because it will consider the impact that moving to the cloud may have on your operations in the sense that migration could affect existing business processes and workflows.

Finally, incorporating a budget into the migration plan contributes to determining whether or not the cloud will make financial sense for your organization. Estimating the cost of cloud migration in advance of starting the process indicates how it might impact your bottom line.

Cloud Migration Is More of a Business Effort Than a Technical One – Identifying Your Goals and Objectives

Organizations ought to view cloud migration as a strategic endeavor, which means involving all of the stakeholders and defining the business problems they hope to solve – as well as the expected outcomes.

Determine Why You Are Considering a Move to the Cloud

Consider why you think that cloud migration will be a worthwhile venture for your business to undertake in the first place. Are you looking for cost savings, scalability, improved collaboration, or some other advantages?

Before you can begin the actual cloud migration process, also take inventory of your current IT infrastructure and applications. This includes any cloud-native services you may be using, programs hosted on-premises, and multiple cloud providers.

By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of what needs to be migrated and what can stay as-is. Assessing the current state of your IT infrastructure and data quality like so will reveal the extent to which you are likely to benefit from optimizing it for cloud operations.

Evaluate How the Cloud Can Support Your Business Needs

Cloud migration has the potential to make your business operations more efficient, cost-effective, and agile. But how exactly?

Consider the cloud’s capabilities and how cloud-native solutions, such as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS), can streamline processes and provide a better experience to your users or customers.

Additionally, investigate whether or not cloud-hosted solutions could provide you with better data and analytics. In turn, the insights gained from that knowledge might be able to inform better decision-making and ultimately lead to improved performance.

Where Are You Heading? Consider the Long-Term Direction of Your Cloud Capabilities

Think about what cloud solutions you intend to use in the future. While it is easy to get caught up in the short-term technicalities of cloud migration, cloud capabilities should be seen as a lasting investment in your organization’s future.

For instance, cloud-native technologies and cloud-hosted services should fit into a migration strategy that is designed to scale and grow with you. Long-term goals like applying machine learning solutions may therefore be enabled by cloud-ready infrastructure, if you plan accordingly.

Choosing Cloud Provider, Particular Cloud Services, or Data Migration Software Is Not the Point at This Stage

It’s recommended to focus solely on coming up with a data migration plan for now. That means any specific strategies for achieving your short and long-term goals are best considered in a cloud-agnostic manner – i.e., independent of any specific provider.

This approach will allow you to develop a migration plan that takes advantage of cloud capabilities to address your business objectives rather than simply selecting cloud services, software, and providers that meet your technical needs.

Set Ownership and Secure Team Resources

Cloud migration projects require significant time, effort, and organization. As such, cloud migration teams must be appropriately allocated and set a clear chain of ownership so that everyone involved is held accountable for the cloud migration process.

Designate a Cloud Migration Team Lead

Choose someone who is experienced and has the appropriate skill set – including communication and cloud-related technical abilities – to successfully oversee the migration project.

This person will work with the leadership of your cloud migration initiative to identify resources, find solutions to any cloud migration-related roadblocks, and put cloud migration best practices into action.

Assign Team Members and Their Roles

The leader needs to be supported by a cloud migration team that has the necessary skills and experience and to meet their goals on time and within budget. Furthermore, all cloud migration team members must be made aware of their roles and the responsibilities that come with them.

It is then a matter of assigning specific tasks and giving each team member the opportunity to provide input on the data migration plan. By doing so, cloud migration initiatives can benefit from the expertise of professionals who have been involved in similar projects in the past.

Create a Communication Plan for the Workflows and Data Migration Process

The cloud migration process can be simplified by developing a structure for interaction between team members and stakeholders that keeps them all up-to-date on progress, as well as regularly informed about cloud-related policies and procedures.

This will get everybody involved to understand the cloud migration journey and any potential obstacles that may arise along the way, as well as how to deal with them. One aspect of this is providing detailed documentation on cloud migration workflows and cloud data integration processes.

Establish a Budget for Cloud Migration Costs

The migration process also requires a financial plan that covers the cost of cloud migration services (if applicable), hosting costs, security resources, migration software, tools, data integration services, storage needs, and more.

Extra staff costs might also be required for cloud migration specialists and cloud-specific software development. You will need to allocate a budget for all of these cloud costs ahead of time in order to keep the migration project on track and to get the most of cloud computing capabilities.

Assessing Your Current Infrastructure

Inventory Your Current Hardware and Software

Catalog your existing IT infrastructure to identify cloud-compatible applications and services, paying attention to the need for cloud-specific security measures such as identity and access management (IAM) services, data encryption, migration risk assessment tools, and monitoring.

Such an analysis will affect the resources that will be required to make the migration process a success for each asset, the best cloud migration strategy for your needs, as well as the cloud services and providers that are likely to work best for the project.

Determine Which Assets Can Be Moved to the Cloud and Which Should Remain On-Premises

Once you have a full inventory of cloud-compatible applications and services, evaluate the benefits of cloud vs on-premises hosting for each asset. Doing so will assist you in deciding where cloud migration makes the most sense.

For example, on-premises servers may need to be kept for legacy applications while cloud hosting could be the best option for other cloud-compatible applications. Your assessment must also factor in the tools that will be needed for successful data migration.

Developing a Cloud Migration Project Plan

Having a detailed plan of initiatives for migrating data is key to keeping the project on track and meeting all objectives.

Decide on a Migration Approach with the 7Rs Strategy

The 7Rs cloud migration strategy includes seven different techniques: Relocate (switch locations) Rehost (lift and shift), Replatform (lift and reshape), Repurchase (replace, drop, and shop), Refactor (re-write and decouple apps), Retain (keep Services as is), and Retire (turn services off).

Choosing between a shallow or deep cloud integration approach along with the preferred tools for meeting migration goals facilitates successful migrations. For instance, deciding to remain in a self-managed environment would suggest using a data center as the best option.

The 7R methodology for cloud strategy (diagram based on AWS Cloud materials)

The 7R methodology for cloud strategy (diagram based on AWS Cloud materials)

Create a Timeline and Assign Tasks to Team Members

Once one of the “7Rs” approaches has been decided upon you’ll be ready to devise a project plan that includes responsibilities and milestones to be achieved along the cloud migration journey, along with when they must be completed by.

Delegating duties according to each individual’s strengths and skill sets enables the entire project to move forward quickly and effectively, improving the chances of hitting your key performance indicators on schedule and within budget.

Testing and Reviewing Your Data Migration Plan

Before starting the actual process, it’s essential to plan and execute assessments that will allow you to validate your business objectives.

Develop a Proof of Concept and Test Your Migration Plan in a Staging Environment

A PoC should be made prior to migration in order to determine the cloud-readiness of your applications and data, justify options and strategies, and explore cloud services for the most efficient hosting setup. The PoC should also include a cloud-based testing phase.

This gives developers a secure and isolated space to evaluate and experiment with each and every upcoming feature before it goes live. As a result, they’ll have the means to validate all cloud services and tools being used before starting the migration.

Solicit Stakeholder Feedback and Make Adjustments as Needed

The final stage of the data migration plan is dedicated to obtaining reviews and gathering the opinions of your organization’s decision makers. These evaluations should focus on how to achieve the cloud migration objectives that were established at the beginning of the project.

Afterward, your cloud services and/or cloud-hosting strategies may need to be adjusted by incorporating the received feedback. This is the best approach to finalizing a data migration plan that meets the needs of stakeholders and aligns with your cloud migration priorities.

The Future of Your Business Depends on a Strong Cloud Migration Project Plan

Investing the necessary time and effort into thorough planning is a requirement for any organization looking to move or expand into a cloud environment and migrate their data from a source to a target system.

Having an awareness of the above-mentioned considerations not only allows teams to make informed cloud-based decisions, but also contributes to making cloud migrations successful and cost-effective endeavors.

When cloud migration is done right, businesses are able to achieve their goals in the shortest amount of time possible. If you need help to do just that, contact Nexocode today for further cloud migration advice and guidance.

About the author

Mateusz Łach

Mateusz Łach

AI & Digital Business Consultant

Linkedin profile

Mateusz is a digital strategist and innovation enthusiast. He enjoys building new products and concepts, often with the help of AI. Mateusz joined Nexocode with the mission to consult startups, mid-size companies, and enterprises on their digital transformation journey and help them benefit from custom artificial intelligence solutions.
Responsible for overall business development and sales activities. A geek of new technologies.

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