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How to conduct a cloud migration: a step-by-step guide

date: 16 February 2021
reading time: 5 min

A vital part of modernising your existing software infrastructure consists of moving everything to the cloud. And if you decide to move forward with your digital transformation, adopting cloud technology is definitely a must, and the benefits that this kind of platform provides are impressive:

  • security – cloud technology makes it easier to meet compliance requirements and prevent data breaches,
  • flexibility – if you need to add any extra features or remove a few, you can make these adjustments at any time,
  • scalability – it’s easy to scale up or down, and extra bandwidth is available on demand,
  • cost-savings – no need to hire expert staff or invest in system upgrades; and you can usually “pay as you go”,
  • business continuity in case of emergency – even if you experience a major failure within your internal infrastructure – you’re covered under cloud services, so you don’t have to worry about losing access to your data and your downtime is minimised,
  • efficient collaboration – the cloud allows you to share information easily and work on the same project and files with team members in different locations,
  • automatic updates – you don’t have to do anything regarding upgrades, and you’ll always be able to work in the newest version of the software.

Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Now, let’s take a look at how to successfully migrate everything you need to the cloud, so that you can do it the smart way.


5 steps to successful cloud migration


1. Set up your business goals and requirements for the cloud migration

You have to know why you’re doing this and what you expect from your new solution. Improve system availability or business agility through deployment frequency, boost your scalability and collaborate more productively. Write everything down and build the requirements of all potential stakeholders in your organisation. And if you need any help with shaping your cloud migration vision and strategy, you can always seek assistance from external experts.


2. Build a migration team

You cannot undertake an extensive cloud migration with a bunch of random people; you need to engage professionals with certain areas of expertise, for example:

  • a solutions architect – an experienced specialist who builds and maintains the solution architecture,
  • a Dev-Ops engineer with expertise in cloud systems – responsible for making collaboration more efficient,
  • security and compliance expert – responsible for managing access to your cloud-based resources and meeting all security requirements, as well as any government privacy regulations.

Discover cloud services


3. Decide what kind of cloud services you want to use


Select a service model

  • SaaS (Software as a Service) – this kind of platform manages everything for you: from apps and runtime, down to storage and networking.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service) – these platforms provide a framework for delivering and managing customised applications, and they also take care of some other things (like storage and virtualisation).
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – platforms like this are the most flexible: you can manage almost everything besides actual hardware, although it requires a lot of effort to maintain. Should be considered only when PaaS or SaaS is too restricted for your case.


Of course, this is just a general overview of cloud service models – your migration team will be able to provide you with much more information, and help you select the best fit based on your requirements.


Choose a solution type

  • public cloud – infrastructure is delivered to all organisations via the Internet; this is the most scalable option, however, it doesn’t offer the best security,
  • private cloud – dedicated exclusively to your organisation, so you can control your entire system, including full privacy options, however you lose on scalability and take more maintenance costs inhouse,
  • hybrid cloud – combines public and private solutions, so you can choose to control more sensitive data in a private cloud and also scale with ease via a public cloud.


Select your level of integration

  • deep – making significant modifications to the application, so you can take full advantage of your new cloud solution,
  • shallow – making minimal or zero changes to the application, but do not expect to use all of the cloud-based features.


Choose a service provider or providers

There are plenty of available options, where most popular are AWS and Microsoft Azure. You can bet on a single cloud provider or decide on multi-cloud solutions – depending on your requirements.


4. Create a plan

Don’t just grope around in the dark – you need to have your migration team prepare a solid plan! This should include:

  • setting up migration priorities – so that the most crucial things have first priority in the cloud migration process,
  • establishing milestones – in order to monitor progress and keep track of the pace and efficiency of your work,
  • preparing a schedule – in order to have a general idea of the project timeline; this will also help you estimate costs,
  • determining KPIs – so you know if the results of the cloud migrations meet your expectations.


5. Begin the migration: monitor, test, and adjust.

Proceed with your cloud migration and follow your plan, but don’t be too conservative about it. You need to keep your finger on the pulse, monitor the situation and test your assumptions, as well as your chosen options and features. This will allow you to modify your plan, whenever needed, and make adjustments to the selected cloud solution accordingly.


Conclusions

In order to conduct a successful cloud migration, you need to have a solid strategy that takes the nature of your products/services, and your business needs and goals into account. Also, this is not something that can be handled without any experienced experts onboard – experts who can plan, execute and verify the migration process. Remember, this is a significant step in your digital transformation journey!

So, if you need any help with your cloud migration, or you want to know more about how the cloud can help your business develop – feel free to contact us!

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