Unless your firm is entirely cloud-based, you presumably rely on IT applications and legacy infrastructure that you own, host, and manage yourself. Legacy, non-cloud-based systems may have powered your business's growth in the past. But when you transition to emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, and automation, they can become a hindrance. You must leverage cloud-native technology to ace any of the above technologies.
With proven benefits of scalability, innovation, and cost savings, cloud migration has become a fundamental part of a business's digital transformation strategy. For businesses just beginning to implement this digital transition, migrating to the cloud may seem complex and daunting. But the costs of delaying this technological upgradation could prove to be considerably more than the initial obstacles of cloud adoption.
According to Statista , In 2021, the market for cloud storage was valued at an estimated $70.19 billion U.S. dollars. The market size expects to touch 83.41 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 and 376.67 billion U.S. dollars by 2029, expanding at a CAGR of 24 percent. Likewise, a survey by TechRepublic reveals 44% of typical SMBs employ infrastructure and hosting services, compared to 74% of businesses and 66% of tech-focused companies. With so many companies transforming to the cloud, you can't afford to be left behind.
Is your business planning to move to the cloud but hesitating because it can be daunting? Well, it doesn't have to be. With a well-thought-out plan and the right guidance, you can ensure a successful cloud migration.
This blog post will outline a four-step approach to guarantee a successful cloud migration. With the given approach, you can rest assured that your migration will be smooth and efficient.
Why Businesses Are Migrating Toward Cloud Solutions
In the current business climate, cloud computing offers advantages for all sizes of businesses. In addition to being able to work with greater speed and agility, businesses also leverage cost savings, improved security, and scalability that cloud migration offers.
The primary reasons why organizations are moving their systems to the cloud include the following.
Achieve Business Growth
Business growth is one of the top benefits of every business target when migrating to cloud systems. By migrating to the cloud, organizations can gain access to greater computing power and improved data security measures. They can also leverage the scalability of cloud solutions to expand their business operations and accelerate their growth.
By moving away from traditional on-premise infrastructure, businesses are benefiting from increased productivity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. The cloud allows businesses to access new technologies to automate and streamline processes, making it easier to scale up or down as needed. Increased efficiency in business operations can greatly improve the user experience that ultimately supports business growth.
Moving to the cloud can reduce hardware and software costs while freeing up resources related to managing and maintaining on-site infrastructure. Additionally, cloud-hosted solutions are often more scalable and reliable than traditional on-premises solutions, providing significant cost savings associated with energy, space, and personnel.
Challenges Faced by Companies in Cloud Migration
Cloud migration is a big step for any organization, and certain challenges are bound to accompany it. Here are some of the biggest obstacles organizations face when migrating to the cloud.
Cultural Shift: Moving to the cloud requires a shift in how you think about IT operations, security, and data storage. It can be a difficult change for organizations to make if they're used to more traditional on-premises solutions. However, understanding the cloud migration result can reduce the resistance to implementing the strategy.
Legacy Assets: Many organizations have legacy applications and hardware that may need to be compatible with cloud technologies. The effort of moving or updating those assets can be substantial and time-consuming. But by including hardware removal costs, building leases, and contract penalties, a business can assure smooth upgradation to the cloud.
Skills Gaps: To take full advantage of the cloud, organizations must invest in the skills required to properly use and manage the cloud environment. This includes personnel with cloud computing, automation, DevOps, and software engineering expertise. At the same time, businesses must educate users about the necessary skills required to do their jobs using updated tools and processes.
Which Cloud Service Model to Choose?
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS is the most basic of the three services, providing access to a cloud platform's underlying hardware and infrastructure. This includes physical and virtual machines, storage, networking, and operating systems.
IaaS is best suited for businesses that want to maintain control over their infrastructure and those that need greater flexibility in configuration.
Examples: The most popular IaaS vendors are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Cisco Metapod, and Rackspace.
PaaS is a more comprehensive cloud model that provides users with a platform for building, testing, and deploying applications. This includes databases, middleware components, operating systems, programming languages, and tools for development and deployment.
With PaaS, developers can focus more on coding and less on managing infrastructure, so the development processes are optimized without worrying about middleware, infrastructure, and OS maintenance.
Examples: The most well-known PaaS vendors are Amazon AWS, Google App Engine, Windows Azure Cloud Service, and OpenShift.
Finally, SaaS is the most commonly used cloud service model. It provides users with access to software applications hosted by a third-party provider. These applications can be used through web browsers or mobile devices without downloading or installing anything on local computers.
The most notable use of SaaS includes customer relationship management (CRM) software, office suite applications, and e-commerce platforms.
Examples: The best-known SaaS vendors are Google Apps, Gmail, Dropbox, Salesforce, and Office 365.
4 Steps to Successful Cloud Migration
Migrating to complex cloud systems from a traditional on-premise environment to the cloud can be difficult and overwhelming. Therefore, it's important to ensure a well-defined plan before beginning your migration process.
Here are the four steps for successful cloud migration.
Step 1: Strategy: (Why)
Before beginning your migration, it's important to develop a comprehensive strategy. Your strategy should include a clear understanding of the goals of the migration and how they relate to the overall business objectives. In addition, it would be best if you determined which components will be migrated to the cloud, any potential risks associated with the move, and the timeline for completion.
A good cloud migration strategy will:
- Emphasize the reasons behind this move; cutting costs, technology upgrades, performance efficiency
- Detail the breakdown of all the IT components and infrastructure that will be migrated and vice versa
- Decide which vendor or group of vendors will be employed to host the business' cloud environment.
Step 2: Planning: (How)
Once you have an established strategy in place, you need to create an actionable plan that includes a detailed timeline and set of tasks. This step should involve mapping out each component of the migration process, including identifying resources needed, setting deadlines, and developing a risk management strategy.
A good cloud migration plan will.
- Outline, sequence, and plan out all the crucial steps and details of the migration process
- Include various checkpoints to pause and roll back the steps of the migration should a need arise.
- Contain all the verification, testing, as well as any communication that is required to be carried out throughout the process.
Step 3: Execution:
Now it's time to begin the actual migration process. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, this could involve anything from small data transfers to full application rewrites. It's important to have all the necessary personnel available for the migration to address problems quickly.
Since most of the cloud migration plans are executed on autopilot, it is vital to schedule a dry run in a non-production environment and solve any issues that arise during the pilot.
From this trial pilot migration, create a manual detailing the procedure (pre-migration requisites, production environment requirements, post-migration testing protocols, and rules establishing when to cut over and go live).
Step 4: Optimization.
The last step is to optimize your cloud environment for maximum efficiency. This includes evaluating current usage metrics to identify areas for improvement and troubleshooting any issues that may arise. Performance hiccups, service outages, troubleshooting failures, and data anomalies are bound to happen. Find ways to remediate these issues quickly.
If the issue takes a little longer, devise a rollback, investigate what went wrong in the process, and re-schedule the migration steps. You should also consider security best practices and create an ongoing maintenance plan to keep your system up-to-date.
Real-World Cloud Migration Case Studies
Cloud Migration Success Case Study
In 2018, Spotify decided to move its streaming platform from an on-premise infrastructure to a cloud-based one. The goal was to improve the speed, scalability, and reliability while decreasing operational costs. To achieve this goal, they needed to develop a strategy that included four key objectives.
Reduce Operational Costs: The first objective was to reduce operational costs by eliminating hardware and software licenses, allowing them to streamline their services.
Increase Scalability: The second objective was to increase scalability so that the platform could handle the increasing demand for streaming services without any difficulty.
Improve Reliability: The third objective was to ensure that the streaming service remained reliable despite fluctuations in customer demand or network conditions.
Enhance Speed and Responsiveness: Finally, Spotify wanted to ensure that their streaming service was fast and responsive at all times.
To accomplish these objectives, Spotify chose to migrate its systems to the cloud. The main challenge during this process was finding the right cloud provider for their needs. They chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) due to its cost-effectiveness, scalability, and global presence.
The result was a successful cloud migration that achieved their original goals and objectives. By moving to the cloud, Spotify was able to reduce operational costs, increase scalability, improve reliability, and enhance the speed and responsiveness of its streaming service.
This case study serves as an example of how a well-planned cloud migration strategy can help organizations achieve their goals and objectives while reducing operational costs. As more organizations look to move their systems to the cloud, it’s important to remember that choosing the right cloud provider is key to a successful transition.
Cloud Migration Failure Case Study
In 2016, the Australian Tax Office attempted to migrate its core IT storage hardware systems to a cloud-based environment. The goal of the project was to reduce costs and improve system performance. However, it ended up being a costly failure due to a combination of system design issues, coding errors, and inadequate testing.
As a result of the migration, the ATO’s systems were unreliable and vulnerable to security threats. This caused significant disruption for customers as well as lost revenue for ATO.
A lack of meticulousness toward the design system as well as an unconvincing pre-deployment test plan led to the system's inevitable demise. Takeaway
These two case studies highlight several valuable lessons.
- Careful planning is essential to ensure the success of any cloud migration project.
- Adequate testing is to be conducted before deployment to ensure that all issues are pin pointed before going live.
- In case of any irregularities during the migration process, it is imperative to have an established contingency plan. The short and long-term business goals of a customer should drive the design and development of any cloud-based system and/or strategy. Finally, organizations must accurately manage their expectations for any cloud migration project to avoid disappointment or failure.
Cloud migration can be a daunting and complex gambit, but it can be made easier with the right plan and strategy. Organizations of all sizes can leverage the benefits of the cloud, such as scalability, cost savings, increased security, and reliability. By taking the time to properly plan out the steps for migrating to the cloud, companies can ensure a successful transition and start reaping the rewards of their new system.
Planning a shift to a cloud system but stopped by the lack of resources? Say no more! With Aspired's skilled and experienced cloud developers, you can now easily plan and execute your cloud migration strategy to achieve new horizonsscalability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
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