The Cloud Migration Roadmap: Your Guide to a Successful Transition

The Cloud Migration Roadmap: Your Guide to a Successful Transition

Mateusz Łach - December 27, 2022

Businesses of all sizes are making the switch to the cloud. The cloud offers many advantages, such as scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

However, making the transition to the cloud can be tricky. There are many things to consider when planning a cloud migration and moving forward with digital transformation, such as your business’s needs and how the cloud will fit into your overall strategy.

In this blog post, we will discuss the cloud migration roadmap and how to approach cloud strategy to guarantee success.

What Is Cloud Computing and Why Should You Migrate to It

Cloud computing is a way of delivering computing services, including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence, over the Internet (the cloud) rather than using local servers or personal devices. It allows businesses and individuals to easily access their data and applications on any device, at any time, and from anywhere – allowing for seamless collaboration and communication.

The cloud also eliminates the need for businesses to purchase and maintain expensive hardware, making cloud computing a cost-effective option. Furthermore, its scalability and flexibility allow for quickly adding or removing cloud services as needed without the need for long-term contracts or hefty upfront costs.

Among the other benefits of the cloud are reliability, security, and agility. For more details about the top cloud computing benefits, read another of our articles dedicated to the topic here.

How to Plan a Successful Cloud Migration: The 5-Step Roadmap

Inspect Your Current IT Infrastructure and Assess Cloud-Readiness

Before migrating to the cloud, you must first assess the cloud capabilities of your existing hardware and software, network bandwidth, data collection, storage requirements, operating environment, and database compatibility.

How cloud migration will impact your current IT infrastructure comes down to such factors as dependencies, scalability, integration possibilities, and limitations.

High-level cloud migration strategy

High-level cloud migration strategy

You also ought to have an idea about the purpose, usage volume, and business processes of the applications you plan to migrate in order to understand if doing so would actually be worthwhile.

Moreover, it’s necessary to evaluate whether those existing on-premises applications will work in the cloud, how easily they can be modified, or if cloud-native solutions will be required instead.

Define Objectives for Your Cloud Migration Initiative

What is your cloud migration value proposition? What are the reasons you would like to move to cloud? What cloud services and from which cloud provider do you need in order to deliver it? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself when setting cloud migration objectives. Following the trend of cloud computing just for the sake of it is not enough; it’s essential first to set out what you actually want to achieve in the process.

Any cloud roadmap will only be as successful as the objectives that guide it, which must be aligned with your business goals. As such, it is recommended to set cloud migration objectives that are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Some of the usual goals that businesses migrating to the cloud hope to achieve include reducing costs, allowing for easy scalability, strengthening the resiliency and security of data, encouraging greater collaboration, and facilitating remote work. Just make sure your objectives, whether mentioned above or not, are realistic and SMART.

Align People and Assign Cloud Adoption Owner

All key stakeholders – from senior executives to the IT staff carrying out the migration – must be on board and ready to use cloud solutions, with each of their roles and responsibilities in the process coordinated. Decide who will be in charge of operating cloud applications, as well as the operational model that you will use for updates and cloud deployment.

Also, assign a cloud adoption owner who will lead the cloud migration, verify that the team knows how to carry out operations in the cloud, and be responsible for proper planning and implementation of the technology.

If you lack the necessary expertise for cloud adoption strategies in your current team, perhaps consider hiring an external cloud consulting company or contacting cloud managed service provider for support.

Establish Cloud Governance and Cloud Security

Cloud governance refers to the security protocols, rules, regulations, compliance standards, and procedures that you have in place and deciding how to implement them in the cloud.

You must understand how they will be applied to various applications and data types, identify cloud-specific risks (e.g., privacy or cloud architecture vulnerabilities), and decide upon access control and privacy requirements.

Some of the most effective security measures in a cloud environment include encryption, identity access management, monitoring of threats (for example, ransomware attacks), compliance regulations and data privacy, plus automated security testing.

Prepare a Cloud Migration Strategy

Decide upon the cloud strategy that you will use for each application or workflow, considering the 7Rs of cloud migration – Rehost, Relocate, Repurchase, Refactor, Replatform, Retain, and Retire.

The 7R methodology of cloud migration strategies

The 7R methodology of cloud migration strategies

Once you have established a strategy that aligns with the requirements of your business, you can finalize a cloud roadmap strategy accordingly. A comprehensive cloud strategy must also cover best practices for cloud management workflow and disaster recovery/business continuity plans.

Moreover, this document should be kept up-to-date as cloud migration progresses, incorporating any changes in cloud services and/or strategy and made readily available to the various stakeholders.

Tips for Successfully Transitioning to the Cloud

Set Schedules and Estimate Budgets

Allocate sufficient time and funds for the cloud transition, allowing for any delays or unplanned costs that may arise. Aim to stay on track by sticking to deadlines and a realistic cloud migration schedule whilst managing costs thanks to properly estimating the required budget and strong cloud financial management.

Be Transparent About Your Cloud Migration Initiatives

Keep all stakeholders in the loop and aware of your effective cloud migration initiative, whether it is among the top across all organizations – optimizing existing use, migrating more workloads, and moving from an on-premises data center to Software as a Service (SaaS) – or otherwise.

Clear communication must also be maintained with cloud users, service providers, IT teams, and all other stakeholders.

Have Cloud Experts on Your Team To Boost Cloud Competencies

In order to reap the benefits of cloud computing, you first need to be aware of the various cloud competencies – awareness of cloud tools and services, having cloud proficiency, an ability to leverage cloud tools and services, and cloud collaboration skills.

Moreover, having experts on board who can raise your levels in those competencies will contribute to successful cloud migration. Don’t just make use of their knowledge to provide assistance there and then, but also take advantage of training opportunities for all users and staff who manage cloud services.

Security and Data Governance Should Not Be Pushed Aside

As cloud computing is a shared environment, cloud security must be handled the same way as on-premises security. Additionally, cloud data governance should be established so that data is processed and stored in compliance with regulations (for example, GDPR and sensitive data processing) and customer privacy policies.

Be Agile and Prepare for Disruptions and Change of Plan

One of the main challenges of cloud implementation is maintaining agility during the migration process. This means being able to adapt and respond quickly to changes in the environment, such as new business requirements or changes in technology. It also means being able to scale up or down resources as needed, in order to meet the changing needs of the business.

Changes in cloud migration plans may happen during cloud transition, hence preparing for such situations and being flexible to adapt accordingly is the key to the success of any cloud strategy.

The three iterative stages of the cloud migration initiative

The three iterative stages of the cloud migration initiative

In addition, cloud migration should be treated as an ongoing process based on constantly evolving technologies. As such, cloud strategy roadmaps should remain agile, and migration teams need to stay updated on cloud technologies and trends.

Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Migrating to the Cloud

Lack of a Cloud Migration Plan

Having no cloud migration plan in place will lead to cloud transition delays and increased costs. Instead, follow the five steps roadmap for cloud migration and the tips for successful transition above to increase the chances of the process going smoothly for your business.

Not Establishing Cloud Governance

Following cloud governance steps and establishing cloud security protocols is key for cloud transition success, as cloud security should not be taken lightly. Ensure that cloud data is stored, processed, and managed in compliance with regulations and customer privacy policies by having rules for this in place as part of your cloud strategy for migration.

Failing to Test or Monitor the Cloud Transition

Testing cloud services, security protocols, and integration with on-premises systems should be done before starting and constantly during the migration process to reduce the risk of downtime and other issues. Monitoring must also be set up to keep track of performance, usage, storage space, costs, and potential threats.

Ignorance of the Long-Term Costs

The costs may not be visible in the short term, given that the cloud provider is usually responsible for hardware and maintenance. Still, cloud services may be costly in the long run if they are used without proper cost optimization strategies.

Include cost optimization and management plans as part of your cloud strategy to avoid underbudgeting and overspending – two related issues that could disrupt a smooth cloud management workflow.

Making Cloud Migration a One-Time Process

Given that cloud technologies are continuously evolving, any cloud strategy should be considered as an ongoing cloud adoption process rather than a one-time event. The ideal cloud migration roadmap would outline a suitable frequency for reviewing trends and performance evaluations, as well as including strategies that are still agile in the wake of advancements.

Develop Your Cloud Strategy Roadmap with Nexocode Experts

The cloud migration roadmap outlined in this article will make it easier for your business to transition to cloud computing smoothly and successfully. If you need extra cloud strategy assistance, our cloud technology experts at Nexocode are here to help you with strategic planning and will guide you on your cloud adoption journey.

We specialize in cloud strategies, migration, modern data lakes development and cloud solution implementation, cost optimization, and management services, among others. Contact us today and get the cloud transformation started.

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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