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Five Steps for a Painless Cloud Migration

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Migrating to the cloud can benefit a business enormously. Migration has provided cost-savings, greater efficiency, greater collaboration, and quicker disaster recovery for hundreds of thousands of enterprises.

However, depending on your goals and the size of your enterprise, moving to the cloud can present a challenge to your time, effort, and resources. Here’s how to make the transition as painless as possible:

1. Do Your Research

Find out all you can regarding cloud services and benefits. If you’re looking at compute services, you can compare your current system requirements to what the CSP provides, such as AWS EC2. You should also have an idea about your potential cost savings for each candidate cloud provider. It will also be helpful to run a projection through a tool, like the Simple Monthly Calculator.

Know what kind of cloud you will need: public, private, or a hybrid of the two. Security concerns and software requirements will help you decide on this.

Just as important is a deep knowledge of your own organisation, including your architecture, level of technology, and culture. Take inventory of all applications widely used in your business as well as databases, websites and the like. Know the compliance requirements for your particular industry, as you will need to partner with a cloud provider that will respect these standards.

2. Ensure the Support of your Leadership

For a big move like cloud migration, it is crucial to have the full support from top management. After all, it is your C-level leadership who will make the push for the move and mark it as a priority throughout the rank and file. To make this simpler, you should give management a clear idea of the benefits you company will reap from migration.

Note that cloud migration is not just a technological change but a cultural one as well. Such a sweeping change could cause friction amongst co-workers as the reorganisation occurs. With top leadership advocating the change throughout the entire business, it’s easier to overcome these hurdles.

3. Set Clear, Concise, and Achievable Goals

Have a clear idea as to what you want to achieve with cloud technology. Studies show that cloud migration often stalls because companies were unable to achieve goals, which were unclear to begin with. Know which apps you want to migrate to the cloud.

In some cases, migration is easily done through processes like Lift-and-Shift, wherein you can take an in-house application and directly replicate it in the cloud without changes. In other more complicated cases, you may want to do a step-by-step cloud migration. Start with the low-hanging fruit first, moving easy and non-essential processes before doing the heavy lifting of critical ones. Note that operations may incur some downtime, but will done correctly this should be kept to a minimum.

4. Run Tests in your New Environment

It is extremely important to know that your systems will correctly run in your new cloud environment even before you migrate. Plan ahead by running pilot experiments with cloud services to find any possible problems. This should include capacity, security, failover and recovery, storage, and performance.

5. Choose Your Cloud Migration Partners Well

Part of a successful move to the cloud is choosing the most reliable and capable partner for providing cloud services. This will entail going over not just their range of services but also their provisions in their SLA. You will want to check their disaster recovery process, their physical and digital security measures, and how they handle and compensate you for downtime.

Cloud migration isn’t hard when you have the right people on your team. If you are considering makign the move to the AWS cloud, contact our cloud specialists in PolarSeven today.

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PolarSeven’s vision is to be a customer centric, Amazon Web Services consultancy, where cloud computing is seen as a key enabler to our customers needs and challenges. “We help our customers achieve amazing things.....”

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