The cloud has evolved to become more than our digital filing cabinet. The developing dependence on remote work capabilities has increased the need and widespread usage of cloud services, and now it’s a natural next step for your business.
That’s a smart move considering cloud services are more stable, secure, and reliable than on-premises infrastructure. Not to mention the accessibility and adaptability that cloud infrastructure provides your business. When you’re looking at growth, scalability, and agility as priorities for your business goals, you can’t go wrong with a cloud service provider.
Knowing you need a cloud migration strategy is not the same as having one, though. We’re here to help you understand the logistics involved in a cloud migration and what your ideal cloud migration plan looks like to better prepare your business, employees, and customers for the transition.
The more prepared you are, the less disruptive the transition will be. Let’s take a look at what successful migration could do for your business.
Cloud Migration Strategy Defined
Whether your business is just getting off the ground or you have years of experience behind you, your business runs off of digital infrastructure. It could be a series of desktop stations, laptops, mobile devices, or a combination of that and more devices and setups.
That infrastructure, if you have no cloud-based capabilities, has physical servers that power it and store the data that your infrastructure relies on. Most businesses these days use a combination of services and providers that utilize cloud-based systems like the Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, or VMware Cloud Services to bring their myriad of technological systems together.
Systems like this can be clumsy, impractical, and difficult to adapt to newer technology. Often, updating them or replacing them is a logistical nightmare that involves costly downtime that could cost your business customers and money in the long run.
There are many reasons you could be considering a cloud migration. Increased efficiency, decreased operational costs, and increased productivity are all benefits of a successful cloud migration strategy.
Just what is a cloud migration strategy? This is no simple matter of moving hard drives or backing up data. A cloud migration process involves detailed implementation strategy, divided into clear steps with obvious triggers, to increase the likelihood of business continuity and aid with any potential disaster recovery efforts.
Benefits of a Cloud Migration
There are many benefits a company can get from a successful cloud migration. With a decreased dependence on physical servers and increased accessibility, businesses have higher efficiency than ever. Crucial customer or business data can also be stored safely, securely, and more easily than ever.
Now that hybrid work models, or completely remote work models, are here to stay, a cloud environment for businesses both big and small just makes sense. If you’re looking to utilize the public cloud or develop your own business’s private cloud, there are all types of cloud migrations that can alleviate financial and processing strain on your business.
To survive and succeed, a business needs to be scalable, adaptable, and proactive. Cloud products, with the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced cloud provider, offer these benefits to any business willing to make the transition.
When trying to expand, grow, or scale your business, agility is key. You need to be able to react adroitly to changing environments, markets, and consumer demands.
In order to accommodate larger or smaller consumer demands, your IT network needs to be scalable. Physical infrastructures are difficult to scale up or scale down, especially quickly. Not so with cloud-based infrastructures, which are easily modified to suit the demands of your business, its employees, and its customers.
Cost-SavingEstablishing an IT infrastructure is a costly investment and the costs never stop coming. Maintenance, updating, and staffing IT professionals to oversee your elaborate network is extremely expensive. Equipment alone for on-premises data centers is an expense that most businesses starting out have trouble financing.
By reducing hardware, square footage, and staffing costs, you’re saving already. A cloud system is by no means a replacement for your irreplaceable IT department (or employees), but integration of a cloud platform will make their day-to-day responsibilities less about patching, updating, and fixing so they can prioritize more high-value IT solutions.
Businesses are handling more sensitive data than ever before. With the increased use of digital forms and transactions, we exchange marketable data fast and with almost zero regard for the repercussions. From cyberattacks to ransomware, security should be a priority for your business.
Cloud-based systems can be more secure than physical networks because the data is usually stored and encrypted, only to be accessed by those given permission. Additionally, thorough security measures are in place, like redundancy measures, auto-patching, and built-in firewalls. With more and more opportunists after your data, cloud security is one of the best features of a cloud-based infrastructure.
Improving your business’s network performance, along with the productivity of the workers who depend on it, is one of the best selling points of the cloud. With low latency and high availability, your network’s performance can handle large volumes of data with little hindrance.
In order to standardize processes, and thus make them easier to update, cloud services allow for your IT infrastructure to be easily centralized. This increases processing speed and productivity in ways that can markedly increase your company’s efficiency.
Strategy is Essential
We’ve emphasized the importance of a successful cloud migration and that’s because an unsuccessful one can have disastrous consequences for your company. No need to panic, though, because a well-developed strategy can mitigate the risks of any potential disasters.
That’s why finding the right provider and partner is key. Risks like downtime and data loss are common when a migration is not implemented correctly. In helping you develop a structured, and clearly regimented plan, those risks are less likely to occur.
To best counteract these risks or lessen the likelihood of them altogether, choose a cloud journey that takes into account where your infrastructure is right now, what demands will be made of it during and after the transition, and what contingencies can be put in place to lessen the risks.
A proper cloud migration strategy takes legacy systems, dependent applications, data storage, and operational capabilities into account. When you’ve got the right strategy for your business, you can be confident that you’re on your way to a cloud-based system that works for you.
Types of Cloud Migration Strategies
There’s no one-size-fits-all to cloud migration. Every company and its infrastructure is different, so the demands placed on a migration are different. As such, there are several different strategies that you can select from to bring about the best results for your business.
Known as the Six R’s of migration, these are the six most common cloud migration strategies you can use as guidance when developing your own cloud journey.
This requires lifting your existing tech stack and moving it from on-premises to the cloud. Using an exact copy of your current environment, you simply copy and paste to the cloud. This method involves the least amount of hands-on change or integration for those looking for the fastest ROI.
This involves the infrastructure-as-a-service business model from a cloud provider, helping you lift and shift from physical to cloud structures. If you don’t have a long-term strategy for sophisticated cloud capabilities, or if you see no use for them, your business may benefit from rehosting over any other method.
This is an elevated version or rehosting, involving a few more steps and adjustments to better suit your business and its infrastructure to the cloud. Though it has optimizations and upgrades, your core network infrastructure will remain unchanged.
Like rehosting, this is a sound strategy for companies that want to increase their cloud usage and dependance to increase their system’s productivity, but don’t want to make drastic changes to their infrastructure. With replatforming, you get the best of both worlds. The ease and security of a conservative approach, with the benefits and capabilities of a cloud-based network.
Sometimes referred to as replacing, repurchasing usually involves moving existing applications and data to a software-as-a-service platform. Through this, businesses are able to reduce the costs with very little hassle or risk.
The challenge presented by repurchasing comes with the learning curve. Implementing new software involves training and curbing your team of their long-held familiarity with legacy applications. Going from it to cloud-native features can be somewhat jarring, depending on the team. However, this is usually a cost-effective and timely solution for those seeking a cloud migration that can replace outdated systems.
Here is where we move into much more complex methods of migration. Refactoring, also referred to as rearchitecting, involves building your application from the ground-up, so to speak. Businesses who choose this route are looking to fully leverage the computing and processing capabilities of a cloud version environment that their on-premises network cannot provide.
Whether it be auto-scaling or serverless computing, this method involves developing new code and applications to leverage the advanced cloud capabilities. Though it is usually the most expensive, it has the potential compatibility for many future cloud processes.
When you’ve analyzed all of your applications to prepare for cloud migration, you may find that some of them have outgrown their usefulness. Whether it’s a process that will not work with the cloud or one that is simply no longer viable, do not try to find a way to make them work.
Your first instinct is right when it comes to these processes. It’s time to shut them down. Though it can be hard to do, usually it is the best thing for your business. The savings can improve other processes or even be devoted to applications that can be salvaged for migration.
The cloud migration method that never was, retaining involves taking a look at feasibility and deciding that cloud migration isn’t right at this time. Maybe your industry has strict compliance protocols that make public cloud provider usage unlikely. Perhaps a cloud application does not integrate with an application you’ve spent a great deal of time and investment prioritizing.
Regardless of the reason, consider putting a cloud migration on the back burner and coming back to it later. Whatever it may be, you can always address a cloud version of your infrastructure at a future date when it looks more achievable for your business
Your Cloud Migration Strategy Starts Now
Consumer demand is shifting constantly and at dynamic and unpredictable rates. Consequently, your business should be prepared for anything. Cloud-based systems are a huge part of adapting to growing needs and preparing your business for the unexpected.
Whether it’s prioritizing security, adaptability, or cost-cutting measures, developing your cloud migration strategy can help to address any number of your business’s priorities.
The right cloud migration plan can streamline your business’s processes, while increasing accessibility for employees and customers alike. When you add the increased security measures cloud systems integrate as a default, cloud-based systems are the future of your successful business.
When developing this plan, it’s important to find one that’s right for your business as it exists. Be realistic and pragmatic about what is achievable and affordable for your business. Expectations and detailed development are crucial parts of developing a successful plan.
Last, but not least, choose a partner that can guide you through this process. Moonswitch can help you develop the cloud migration strategy that addresses your business’s infrastructure priorities and keeps you on track. Such a plan will reduce downtime and data loss, ensuring a smooth transition for your business, its team, and all those who rely on it.
Contact us today for a consultation on what the right cloud migration strategy is for you.