The cloud is undoubtedly the new digital foundation for businesses. Gartner estimates over 95 per cent of businesses will implement their digital strategies on cloud-native platforms by 2025. However, before reaping the benefits of cloud migration such as cost savings, flexible access and infinite scalability, businesses must first complete a successful migration.
Digitizing and migrating an organization’s IT assets onto the cloud must be planned well. Data quantity, system complexity and available IT expertise are all critical elements of the process. Undermining the importance of any part of this process can cause extended downtime and affect future use of the cloud.
Optimize your cloud migration strategy in 5 steps
1. Assess your business needs & cloud options
Critically assess your business needs and identify which assets need to be digitized, what level of cloud integration would be most suitable and then choose an appropriate cloud model. In the absence of capable in-house IT talent, use the services of a third-party cloud migration provider. Minimizing operational disruption is critical for business continuity.
There are broadly two types of cloud migration:
- A shallow cloud integration involves migrating applications with minimal or no change to the servers.
- A deep integration requires businesses to modify applications during the migration process.
Select a suitable cloud model:
- A single cloud model is enough for one service or application.
- A multi-cloud model, which can include a hybrid of public and private clouds, may be more versatile for multiple projects.
2. Enlist a trusted cloud service partner
Once your migration strategy is finalized, evaluate the list of available cloud providers based on their costs and capabilities. The tools and features they provide should be compatible with your existing data and applications and meet the digital needs of your business. Do not underestimate the value of post-migration support, when more and more sophisticated services are going to become available.
3. Execute & keep a close watch on cloud usage/systems
At this stage, businesses need to set clear deadlines and follow the migration schedule closely so that all assets and systems are properly transferred. Communication with staff and customers at this stage is essential to minimize disruption and frustration.
Cloud usage must be monitored regularly to identify any efficiency gaps and to prevent possible data loss. After the migration is complete, the business must monitor all systems and processes to ensure the smooth running of operations.
4. Enable your staff to navigate the cloud platform efficiently
Help employees adopt a digital mindset and empower them with the right skills to work on the cloud. Prioritize in-house training on how to use and navigate the cloud efficiently. Not only will this boost your people’s confidence, but it will also prevent future disruptions and improve operational efficiency as the business continues on its digitalization path.
5. Be aware of compliance with regional regulations
Clouds are ‘borderless’ but businesses must be aware of local data residency regulations. Cloud compliance should be evaluated alongside step 1 so that necessary regulations pervade every aspect of cloud migration. Errors can complicate processes and hinder work.
In Singapore, one of our clients faced issues with Singapore’s detailed data rules for institutions because of the geographical spread of their data.
To overcome such hurdles, we developed the Arcus Region Migration Automation (ARMS) Platform Plan for the client, which was able to automatically and accurately discover existing data assets in its source region. Our ARMS Platform Plan keeps businesses aware of, and within the scope of data residency requirements. Meanwhile, the Elastic Computing (EC2) version also identified existing resources that were due for upgrades, leading to a more efficient yet compliant cloud migration.
To take the first important step towards digital transformation, businesses must assess their cloud migration plans seriously. Once this step is in place, you’ll find the rest of the journey is more seamless.