This is part of Solutions Review’s Premium Content Series, a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories. In this submission, GCSIT President Michael Norring offers four key steps to cloud migration success and how to ensure them.
If the past two years have taught us anything it’s that moving business functions to the cloud is almost always a good idea. From remote working to growing globalization of companies, remaining agile and accessible are keys to organizational success. Microsoft reports that over a period of one month, they saw an increase of 775 percent Teams calling and meeting users. But there is no “one cloud fits all” solution. It’s better to think of “the cloud” as a tool, rather than a destination.
Whether pursuing a public, private, or hybrid cloud solution, scalability and agility are key benefits of all three. The unlimited size of the public cloud means businesses can scale capacity and computing power either up or down in just minutes—but pricing can be a concern. The private model, however, offers a more customized set-up and is dedicated to a particular business, but also has its own pricing and capacity challenges. The key is knowing what functions should reside, for your business, in either, or, or both.
Just like with any tool, learning how to use it efficiently is the only way to move forward. Migrating to the cloud can help improve operational performance, security, and workload adaptability. Here are four steps to ensure your cloud transformation is a success:
Have a Strategy
No matter how your cloud journey begins, it’s important to remember to go slow to gain speed. Prioritize objectives over technology, that way success metrics will be available across the organization. Do not fall into the trap of “lift and shift” functions into the cloud. Cloud deployment requires clean installations and a new delivery model. To meet expectations and requirements, IT must think differently. The agility of all technology architecture, including the infrastructure, should be a core focus. In selecting infrastructure, leaders must look beyond hardware specifications. To ensure performance, scalability, and security requirements are addressed efficiently and are not barriers to enterprise experimentation and competitiveness, IT should understand these requirements. Rushing ahead will cost you momentum in the long term.
Architecture Analysis and Optimization
Many businesses have long relied on the patch system to maintain operability through IT changes. Fixes are made to existing systems, rather than completely rebuilding them—without much thought to speed and transparency. However, moving to the cloud guarantees a focus on mobility, flexibility, and efficiency. Choosing computing architectures for systems architects must break the problem down into different domains based on platform, expected load, and security requirements, then specify optimal infrastructures for each. SaaS solutions can be the first step in optimizing the current and future state of technology available. An analysis of your current system and applications can help leaders determine what makes sense to migrate now and in the future.
Find a Partner
Moving to the cloud is difficult—full of complex systems and decisions. In order to navigate this migration, you should have the best players on your team—both leading and providing the cloud service. The partner you have should have proven experience and be held to measurable insights and recommendations. The cloud migration services market was valued at $119.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 448.34 billion by 2026. This means the market is saturated with options, do your due diligence to choose the right one for your business.
This step should be the simplest if you’ve completed the others because there will be tests and more tests before implementation. How you choose to migrate—either wholly or in pieces will depend on your necessities and complexities. They both have pros and cons and should both rely on small tests taking into account the size of your applications.
By 2025, researchers believe that there will be over 100 zettabytes of data stored in the cloud, meaning that around half of the projected global data storage amount of 200 zettabytes will be stored in the cloud. In comparison, only 25% was stored in the cloud in 2015. The move to the cloud is escalating. In order to maintain agility with IT resources for an ever-changing world and ensuring security, moving to the cloud is the clear solution.
Small, medium, and large enterprises face a variety of challenges—many unique to the size and type of each. When evaluating IT solutions, however, three of the most prevalent issues that leaders face includes security (83 percent), managing cloud costs (82 percent), and governance (79 percent). For highly regulated industries, the industry move to the cloud can be overwhelming. But with the right strategy and partner, you can begin seeing the benefits of your cloud migration sooner than ever.
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