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Cloud Migration Strategy
Tech Talk
Tech Talk Posted on Aug 27, 2019   |  4 Min Read

What do you think is the prime reason organizations move to the cloud? Is it because of security and data concerns? Is it due to the rising need to modernize data storage facilities? Or is it to reduce cost and enhance the performance of IT operations?

While you assess this information, let us share another critical insight about the global computing market size. That it is expected to grow from USD 445.3 billion in 2021 to USD 947.3 billion by 2026– thanks to significant advancements from Cloud providers including Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft.

Cloud Migration Introduction

Fuelled by this bouquet of benefits, businesses tend to try out new technologies without adequate due diligence – as a result, a large number of users consider switching Cloud vendors in just six months. It counters the intended impact of Cloud adoption, but the lack of sustainability also negatively affects ROI margins. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully formulate an enterprise Cloud migration strategy that encapsulates parameters like available technology resources, human talent, security paradigm, resilience requirements, and future adaptability, among others. Understanding these in greater detail is the first step towards inking a Cloud migration roadmap in today’s crowded marketplace. From the global giants mentioned above to clusters of local providers, there are various options to choose from, so finding the proper methodology aligned to a particular business is critical.

Let’s now take a closer look at the Cloud migration strategy considerations:

10 Key Parameters on Your Cloud Migration Checklist

  1. I. Data Center Location

    A country might have explicit laws around data sovereignty which prohibit the transfer of specific data types to offshore locations. In that case, a locally available data center will be required to avoid fines and penalties in the longer run. This is a critical factor determining vendor selection but is often overlooked at the assessment stage if more weightage is given to cost and infrastructure components.

  2. II. Storage and Archival

    Robust data archival capabilities are among the biggest motivators for moving to the Cloud, making businesses immune to infrastructure attacks. How fast and accurate business data is received will underline the success of any Cloud migration. Every provider will have its own governance rules and archival features for data recovery during disaster events.

  3. III. Security Ripples

    Detractors of Cloud implementation often cite security vulnerabilities as a primary reason for holding on to on-premise systems. Taking sensitive data and core business applications to a distributed, always-connected environment means there could be more vulnerabilities and additional touchpoints for cyber attacks. Before migration, therefore, it is essential to conduct end-to-end impact analysis, assessing for any disturbance in business workflows and security checkpoints.

  4. IV. Resilience Objectives

    24/7 service availability is among the primary motivators for adopting Cloud technology. However, this isn’t always the case. Consider the 2017 global outage when Amazon Web Services suffered a prolonged downtime impacting thousands of businesses worldwide. Not only should uptime requirements be mentioned in the SLAs, but a provider should also be validated for high resilience, response times, and the ability to recover before making the shift.

  5. V. Solution Component Set

    There’s no one-size-fits-all Cloud environment that’s ready to take on any use case. The Cloud provider mix available will also differ accordingly, bringing a comprehensive set of solutions and services and scalability and resilience features to the customer. Expectations must be communicated at the get-go to align services to the required environment type – multi-vendor, public, or a private-public hybrid scenario.

  6. VI. Unique Configurations

    Depending on the size and nature, customers may look for specific configurations and a high degree of adaptability from their Cloud provider. A healthcare major, for example, may look for dedicated tenancy and more excellent security controls to help operate as a pseudo-private Cloud. The solution should also be ready to support the standard SaaS products (Salesforce, SAP, etc.), which are likely to be part of most technology stacks.

  7. VII. Vendor Lock-in

    The inherent flexibility of the Cloud is what’s drawing both small and large businesses alike to this new environment. In this context, a customer must easily opt-out, switch providers, or return in-house at relatively short notice. This means that applications developed on the Cloud (Cloud-native) shouldn’t be coupled to a specific provider, and this needs to be incorporated into the SLAs.

  8. VIII. Operational SLAs

    When initiating any digital transformation project, the customer’s existing Service Level Agreements mustn’t be compromised. The assessment stage should identify provider constraints that could influence business SLAs and hold back improvement targets. The Cloud computing migration strategy should take all of this into account and prescribe independent service dashboards which can be used to resolve any post-implementation conflict around SLA adherence.

  9. IX. Accreditation Due Diligence

    With so many Cloud providers available in the market, it is imperative that organizations carefully audit prospective partners before finalizing their migration strategy to the Cloud. To take from our earlier example, a healthcare business (whether it’s a clinic or a hospital chain) would likely store Personal Identifiable Information on the Cloud, making specialized certifications mandatory, in addition to the more widespread GDPR.

  10. X. CI/CD capabilities

    To ensure implementation is rapid and agile, quickly adapting to emerging requirements and testing results, the Cloud service provider should offer Continuous Improvement/Continuous Delivery capabilities. This will help complete the project in an agile mode, completing the transition within set timelines and ROI targets. Simply choosing a basic application install and set-up without Cloud-native development competencies is not recommended.

The ROI Argument for your Cloud Strategy

An expertly calculated Cloud application migration strategy will always balance the technology costs incurred and FTE investments with the potential gains derived from the Cloud. Research suggests that Cloud-hosted SaaS applications can help generate 1.7 times greater ROI than on-premise applications– this is mainly because the provider offers upgrades and improvements over time as part of original SLAs, without any additional spending.

ROI Argument for your Cloud Strategy

Therefore, even as sunk costs syndrome remains a significant challenge for businesses looking to embrace Cloud technology, the ROI argument speaks for itself. There are minimal upfront costs for hardware or infrastructure in the near term, while operational efficiencies will continually increase in the long run. This, combined with the benefits we outlined at the start, is precisely why the Cloud is emerging as the new normal, transforming businesses across sectors, sizes, and IT maturity levels.

To explore Cloud possibilities at your organization and formulate an individualized migration strategy, talk to our Cloud migration strategy consulting experts.

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