Migrating technology and services is a major undertaking that has a lasting impact on a company’s long-term IT development plan and strategy.
Cloud migration strategies are anything but trivial. Even before the unforeseen onset of Covid-19, the public cloud service market was expected to reach more than $623 billion by 2023 worldwide. According to Gartner, Inc., worldwide public cloud revenue was expected to grow 17 percent in 2020. In addition, Hosting Tribunal predicted that 83% of enterprise workloads are expected to be in the cloud this year.
What do experts predict about cloud migration since the Covid-19 crisis began? Research by Technavio expects the cloud migration services market to grow by USD 7.1 billion during 2020-2024. Covid-19 has compounded the process of cloud migration challenges which include regulations, legacy systems, vendors, training, cost, and time.
We’ve detailed five steps to help enterprises best plan their cloud migration and eliminate risks of failures:
#1 Pick the appropriate cloud type
The first step is to decide on the type of cloud (private, public, hybrid) and the cloud provider (Azure, AWS, Google, Oracle, and Red Hat are the largest ones) as each one has nuances that affect the overall migration and development process.
A public cloud for some of your hardware software and other infrastructure can lower costs, reduce maintenance, and receive high reliability from a cloud provider. However, not all applications and infrastructure will be able to run in the public cloud due to regulations or technical obstacles. Your enterprise should define which data and applications need to move between networks managed by on-premises infrastructure or services that can be moved into the public clouds when there is too much demand on internal resources, power failures, or hardware breakdowns. You might opt to run part of an application in the public cloud and another part in a cloud that you manage and host. With hybrid clouds, you can control your private and sensitive assets and yet move them into the public cloud, in phases, as needed.
Identifying the company’s needs, analyzing internal software, and the experience and certification of the team will assist in choosing the best-suited cloud provider. Transitioning to cloud can be difficult, but switching cloud vendors is even more challenging since incompatibilities and dependencies can create strong vendor lock-in. However, once the provider is chosen, it will be easier to progress through the rest of the decision-making process.
#2 Evaluate your applications
Assign a team or officer to review your application/technology portfolio and assess the applications you want to migrate. According to Gartner research Analyst Craig Lowery, as told to Information Week, he has seen a rise in cloud-based services in light of Covid-19, as remote working and conferencing surged. He described the importance of “scalability, reliability, distribution across zones and regions.”
These factors are important to consider, as you might need to modify these applications or use cloud-based architecture to modify them before the migration. These apps might be vendor-specific or might need to be re-engineered so that they can integrate with multiple clouds and protocols.
#3 Never expose your data
Cloud services that store or manage data are also vulnerable to breaches, data leaks, and stolen credentials. Enterprises considering adopting cloud-based services need to be aware of the full security measures and risks of various providers. Your teams need to consider where user data will be stored and what will happen to that data during the cloud migration.
Regulations such as GDPR are strict regarding the protection of data, and the transparency about who has access to customer data, where and under what circumstances. With events such as Brexit and Covid-19, enterprise data protection officers need to be on top of an organizations’ data protection strategy and its implementation. For example, the European Commission warned against processing and storing location data from mobile apps used to trace the potential spread of the novel Coronavirus. They were worried that this would infringe on the principle of data minimization and could create major privacy and security matters.
#4 Test and confirm configurations
Once your teams determine which applications may be migrated to the cloud, you may need to tweak or tune the configurations for optimal performance. This generally is handled in a trial and error approach and multiple iterations are expected. By testing and confirming configurations, organizations can be better prepared to optimize customer and employee experience as well as maximize the technical and business benefits they will receive after the migration.
#5 Deploy with confidence
It is essential in our era of government regulation and consumer privacy concerns, to be confident that your company will remain fully compliant during and after the migration.
For your Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) to get on board the migration process, they need to be equipped to determine whether it is safe to integrate the technologies into the enterprises’ systems. Even if the applications seem to perform as expected in a proof-of-concept, they might not under real-world conditions. By simulating the new cloud environment (servers, APIs, data, network traffic, etc.) as closely as possible in an evaluation environment, the impact of the technologies can be understood, and uncertainty reduced.
This due diligence eventually saves money and time – and gives CISOs the assurance that data will not be jeopardized, and systems will remain unharmed during the migration process.
Accurately evaluate your apps with an end-to-end proof of concept platform
Key to a successful migration is the effective and accurate evaluation of all applications to be migrated. Your teams can streamline your cloud migration program using the prooV proof-of-concept platform. The first and only PoC-as-a-Service, prooV enables you to run multiple proofs-of-concept simultaneously, without ever exposing real data to third-party vendors. By centralizing the PoC process, prooV shortens time to deployment by about 75%.
With prooV, you can make better-informed decisions about your cloud migration, safely run PoCs without damaging company critical applications, easily complying with strict data protection regulations, and achieving smooth operations after the migration is completed.
To learn more about using prooV’s PoC platform for your cloud migration program, request a demo.