Cloud Migration: 5 Steps to Success

Cloud Migration: 5 Steps to Success post image

If you haven’t migrated your business operations to the cloud already, you’re likely falling behind your competitors in terms of production, scalability, customer service, and general organisation. Luckily, it’s not too late to switch.

In this guide, we’ll define everything you need to know about cloud migration. From the different types to the 7 key steps to success. By following this information, you’ll experience a seamless transition of your business processes. With modern business features in place, you’ll also be able to fairly compete with your competitors once more.

What is cloud migration?

On a basic level, cloud migration is the process of shifting all of a business’s processes from on-premise solutions to alternative cloud-based ones. However, it can also refer to the process of switching from one cloud solution to another (known as cloud-to-cloud migration).

In terms of what is transferred to the cloud, typical components include applications, IT resources, databases, digital assets, and other services.

Migrating to a cloud-based solution is considered a key business strategy in the modern world. It can put businesses one step ahead of competitors thanks to such benefits as integration and automation.

Typically, businesses that are still using on-premise setups and legacy servers are plagued with the repetition of tedious tasks, limited data backup, and underperforming security.

Cloud migrating resolves these common concerns by giving you virtual IT resources delivered over the internet.

Cloud networking and migration

A cloud migration involves elements of both cloud networking and cloud computing.

Cloud networking is slightly different from cloud computing conceptually. It refers specifically to the individual virtual components used to support your cloud computing activities, similar to traditional forms of computer networks. Specifically, it encapsulates virtual firewalls, routers, load balancers, and bridges.

The idea of “cloud computing” has more to do with switching from analogue and on-premise to virtual storage and software solutions.

Public vs. private cloud migrations

 Both deliver on-demand IT resources but differ massively in terms of control and responsibility.

With public cloud networks, a vendor supplies a public version of their cloud infrastructure. It’s public in the sense that anyone can migrate their business processes to it. While it’s shared by a multitude of organisations, each individual account is made secure and private from one another.

Private clouds, on the other hand, relates to cloud infrastructure that is made to be used by just one company. Companies like IBM can provide you with private cloud hardware with which our onsite IT team can configure, build, and modify your own private cloud network.

Modification is what really sets these two cloud types apart. On public cloud, modification options are limited, and you generally have to abide by the boundaries set by the vendor. However, the benefits include that the vendor also oversees maintenance and cloud updates.

On private cloud networks, servers, IP addresses, and subnets can all be modified. The limitation of private is the limited external support. Normally, your internal IT team will deal with updates and maintenance, which increases their workload.

The main reasons for cloud migrations

Migrating to the cloud is a surefire means of simplifying and centralising your business processes. Here are further benefits that you can gain from making the switch:

Optimised security

If you opt for a public cloud from a trusted vendor, you benefit from the company’s sophisticated security system. From data encryption to backup, modern public cloud providers can deliver a much more reliable security system than any on-premise setup could.

Compliance

With greater security features comes greater compliance. Internationally, it is necessary for businesses to have robust security measures in place, particularly when it comes to customer and employee personal data. Cloud migration ensures your business is compliant and up-to-date with modern legislation, which also increases your trustworthiness.

Flexibility

No cloud is a one-size-fits-all solution. This is why they’re made modifiable, so that you can pick and choose the specific features and data security measures you need. This makes cloud an economical option, as you only pay for what you need. This cloud trend report found that businesses save at least 20% by moving to the cloud.

Scalability

The level of flexibility offered also makes your computing set-up highly flexible. It’s difficult to predict how your business operations will change over time, but one thing you can be sure of is that the cloud can adapt with you. Whether you increase or decrease in terms of operational scale, the cloud can reduce its functionality or increase it to reflect current demand.

The five key cloud migration steps

Once you’ve decided to adopt cloud networking and computing, it’s time to think about how you logically select, implement, and maintain the cloud. Here are five key steps we recommend you take when planning a cloud network migration:

1.     Set goals

You can’t implement a successful cloud migration without first defining your goals. Not only does this identify what you’re looking for in a cloud provider, but it also gives you a benchmark to measure the success of your implementation.  

Specifically, you should identify:

  • Current system pain points
  • Success drivers
  • KPIs

The business case you build at this stage will inform providers of the type of cloud environment you need.

2.     Budget and selection

Based on your set goals, you should start looking for cloud solutions. To ensure that you select the right one, you’ll need to assess as many cloud vendors as possible. Specifically, you should assess prices, free trials, and the types of cloud offered – i.e., public or private.

This will likely be the most difficult component of your cloud adoption. Finding enough time to individually assess and compare all providers can be draining on your time and resources. However, it is necessary in order to avoid investing in a poor fitting solution.

3.     Migrate

Once you’ve selected a vendor, it’s time to integrate your chosen system into your business. This process starts with infrastructure, which involves configuring all new software, devices, and operating systems.

You need to then connect these new components with old applications you want to maintain from your legacy system. After you’ve completed this application process and the system is ready to be used, you can start migrating your data to the cloud. You may need to change the format of your data in order to fit with the new network.

4.     Going live

With data migrated and the system set up, you can go live with your new cloud solution. Despite rigorous planning, snags can still occur. In order to avoid minimal downtime while going live, it would be a good idea to have your legacy system running concurrently. This way, your business can still operate should the new cloud prove inaccessible.

Have your IT team on hand to troubleshoot any and all errors as they occur. Your vendor should also be available to assist with any problems you may have.

5.     Ongoing maintenance

Even once your new system is operational, it’s vital that you continuously assess its performance and accuracy in the time after implementation. If you’re using a public cloud, your vendor will be handling updates and maintenance, but your IT team need to also assess the health of the cloud periodically.

YourShortlist are here to help

As aforementioned, the selection process is probably the most vital and resource-draining part of the cloud implementation process. However, you don’t have to go it alone.

YourShortlist are experts at finding software providers. All you have to do is detail your business needs and we’ll find a cloud vendor that meets them.

Contact us today to simplify your cloud implementation process.