Top 5 Post-Cloud Migration Tips

My Post (23).pngIf businesses are aware of the potential post-migration challenges ahead of time, they will be more prepared to take the necessary steps to prevent them.

The benefits of migrating to the cloud are well-documented: increased efficiency, scalability, business agility, simplified management and overall lower costs. Moving operations to the cloud initiates a digital transformation for organizations and allows them to adapt more quickly to new technologies – a capability that is critical in today’s fast-evolving business landscape.

For these reasons and more, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. And, it’s no surprise that the leading factor driving increased cloud engagement and adoption is the enterprises’ desire to digitally transform.

Cloud services are changing the way that IT is delivered and consumed, allowing companies to reach new levels of innovation. But while there are significant benefits, there are also real challenges that companies face post-cloud migration.

Shifting the infrastructure for business-critical applications is not a decision companies take lightly; and, once committed to move, planning and execution must be thoughtfully and carefully conducted based on best practices. But far too often, companies fail to take post-migration considerations into account, which should be done up-front and incorporated into the overall migration plan. This failure results in a tumultuous employee experience, potential issues with underutilization, increased risk and more.

Here are the top five post-migration challenges that every organization must be equipped to handle:

1. Organizational and operational change management: Often, the biggest challenge isn’t the technology — it’s the people and processes that must adapt to it. Employees from all departments should be engaged in migration activity from the onset, although the type and degree of activity will vary.

Consistent with other transformational shifts in information technology, change management is critical for a successful move to the cloud. Focusing solely on the technology will lead to poor results.

Running applications in the cloud changes the roles and responsibilities for many people across different teams — including compliance, human resources and legal — and initiates the need for new positions like cloud architects, DevOps engineers and cloud security professionals. For this reason, it’s critical that leadership provides the proper messaging, education and ongoing training to the company at large to ensure all employees are fully enabled, capable and comfortable operating in their day-to-day jobs.

2. Underutilization & unbudgeted costs: Post-migration, it’s important that enterprises take the proper steps to ensure they get the most out of their cloud-based deployments and solutions. The flexibility and agility of the cloud can be a tremendous benefit but must be controlled and managed to avoid issues such as underutilization, unbudgeted cost, increased risk and compliance. To prevent these problems from occurring, fundamental activities include:

  • Define targets and identify benchmarks in key areas such as performance, cost, availability, RPO/RTO, and compliance.
  • Establish governance with continuous measurement and monitoring along with regular oversight and management review. Historical, operational data must be maintained.
  • Implement ongoing, proactive optimization of the cloud environment across all tiers including cost, e.g. proactive planning and provisioning to leverage the inherent flexibility of cloud using autoscaling, scheduled application and environment health checks, buying reserved instances or using cold storage to lower cost when threshold and trend indicate, leveraging automation and DevOps to monitor environments and actions such as shutting down unused instances, organization or division-wide consolidated billing and analysis.
  • Understand if/how outsourcing to specialized managed service providers (application, infrastructure) would save resources and cost.

3. Testing: Testing is a crucial step in the cloud migration journey; it helps avoid unexpected gaps in business processes, future scalability issues, server breakdowns and database errors. Most importantly, it ensures applications run seamlessly in the new cloud environment.

Testing should take many forms throughout the migration process, as well as post-migration, including security testing, integration testing and performance testing. It must also be ongoing — as applications need to be modified and updated, tests should be re-run accordingly.

Organizations should implement regular health checks — i.e. are the applications and infrastructure operating as expected and are there opportunities to optimize? – Read more

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