Cloud Migration: Cloud Migration Definition, Process, Benefits and Trends
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is the transfer of digital business processes and workflows from on-premise to cloud platforms. This involves moving data, applications, processes, and other digital business components from an existing or on-premise cloud database to a new cloud-based data center.
Cloud refers to computing services that can easily be accessed online. The industry standard for cloud services will be on-demand access and pay-as-you-go subscriptions in 2021. Deloitte’s April 2020 survey found that 50% of CIOs surveyed expect to see the percentage of work done on-premise fall from 59% in 2019 down to 38% by 2021. This is a decrease of 41%.
Enterprises across all industries are moving to the cloud after COVID-19. If your company wants to eliminate the need to manage uptime, it is a smart move. Cloud migration will make it easy for companies to grow and profit, especially if they have a good use case.
Also read: How to Improve Cloud Management System
Cloud Migration: 5 Key Benefits
Cloud migration can help companies in all industries increase efficiency, reduce costs, and work remotely. These are five reasons you should consider cloud migration.
1. Superior scalability and flexibility
Cloud migration increases organizational scalability. It allows companies to instantly commission and decommission IT resources, according to their needs. Cloud migration offers superior flexibility, allowing for rapid expansion and contraction of storage, memory, and processing resources to meet business needs and save money. Data storage optimization is a key benefit of cloud migration. This allows enterprises to meet dynamic business needs without having to plan and map cloud capacity.
These benefits mean that you don’t have to worry about unexpectedly large numbers of users. Traditional on-premise infrastructure would make it impossible to handle such a large number of users. This would result in requests being denied or businesses being hindered. A cloud-ready company has access to almost unlimited computing resources, which allows it to efficiently handle spikes in demand.
This is an example of autoscaling: cloud services can automatically scale up or down based on YoY statistics, time of day, and use of processor resources. This allows for greater flexibility and scalability.
2. Enhanced efficiency and cost savings
It is expensive to scale up your business infrastructure. Planning and implementation can take several months, if not years. It is expensive to purchase the hardware and the dedicated staff required for its maintenance. The hardware will eventually become obsolete, which forces organizations to do the whole process again or risk falling behind their competition.
Traditional IT infrastructure needs sufficient resources to meet peak demand regardless of whether it is ‘average or low’. A U.S.-based eCommerce platform that uses self-hosted infrastructure needs IT resources to handle the Black Friday rush, even though they will not be used for the remainder of the year. A cloud-enabled eCommerce platform can, in a similar scenario, scale its IT resources according to the demand for that year, month, or week, day, hour, or even hour.
Cloud-first organizations have access to the most recent computing resources whenever they are needed. This company doesn’t have to pay for the maintenance and implementation costs required to keep up-to-date. It also does not have to wait months or even years to get the most current technology. It pays only for what it uses and can access them on demand.
Cloud migration also means that IT costs are no longer incurred in a CAPEX but instead become OPEX. It means that IT infrastructure becomes a recurring expense of business instead of a depreciating investment. This increases liquidity and makes it almost always more cost-effective in the long term. Cloud infrastructure is cost-effective, more efficient, and permanently up-to-date.
3. Increased agility
Cloud agility is the ability for a business to create, test, and release applications quickly and efficiently. This isn’t the only benefit of migrating to the cloud. Cloud-first organizations are also better able to adapt quickly to changing business requirements.
A cloud environment makes it irrelevant how large an enterprise is. Small businesses can have access to the same high-tech IT platforms and software as the largest corporations. Businesses can access the most recent resources in a matter of seconds, which allows them to respond quickly to new demands or opportunities.
The cloud supports companies regardless of their location. The cloud allows employees to work from anywhere, at any time. All they need is an internet connection. This feature will be useful in 2021 as many companies explore the possibility of moving to permanent remote work environments.
4. better reliability and maintenance
Cloud vendors are well-known for their global network of high-tech infrastructure. This vendor offers many benefits, including low latency and strong business continuity. Cloud-enabled businesses have faster, more affordable, and simpler redundancy because the vendor typically takes care of data backups. A cloud-powered company rarely (if ever) has to experience downtime.
The maintenance of enterprise software and hardware has been a resource-intensive task in the past. Migrating to the cloud eliminates the need to hire dedicated staff for IT infrastructure maintenance. Instead, the cloud provider manages all aspects of infrastructure so clients can focus on their core business goals.
5. Stronger cybersecurity and compliance
Cloud vendors are large corporations that have large client companies that rely on them for their day-to-day business operations. These vendors must place a strong emphasis on cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. Vendors do this by keeping abreast of the most recent security and regulatory trends. This ensures that data is stored and processed securely and without any hassle.
All relevant policies, technologies, and control mechanisms are implemented by the vendor in accordance with industry standards. These elements can be altered to meet the needs of each client.
Cloud Migration Process: 5 Key Steps to Plan
Cloud migration is a complex undertaking that requires the support of all stakeholders. It can also be difficult to make changes or scale back the roadmap once it has begun. Comprehensive planning is therefore essential.
These steps will help you migrate to the cloud successfully. An experienced consultant can offer guidance at each stage of planning.
Step 1: Get stakeholder support and business case approval
Why should you migrate? The simple question of “Why migrate?” can lead to many answers, including business continuity, DevOps, and a perpetual remote working environment. It’s not as simple as answering this question with a couple of words. Management teams often face this problem when migrating to cloud computing.
Start by determining if it is the right time to move to the cloud. You should consider factors like cost, productivity, employee awareness, and short-term and long-term costs. The plan should include meaningful, thorough discussions with all stakeholders at all levels.
Step 2: Make a detailed migration plan
Once you have decided that the cloud would be a benefit to your company and all stakeholders are on board, you can begin to develop a comprehensive migration plan. According to some cloud migration experts, managers often start the process without having a plan in place, and only then do they come up with a comprehensive plan once they have experienced cloud paralysis. It can be costly and time-consuming at this stage to reverse the measures that have been implemented and start over.
Consider the purpose of migrating to the cloud–this is the result of the previous step. Next, evaluate your business environment to determine the key factors that will be important before, during, and after the migration. These include legacy data, critical applications data, and application interoperability. It is also important to consider the business’s dependence on data. You should take stock of data that requires frequent resynchronization, sensitive levels in different databases, regulatory and compliance requirements, and other data.
After considering all of these factors, you can create a solid cloud migration plan. You must consider the following factors: the type of data that will be migrated, the timeline for each class, tools required for migration, data scrubbing requirements, destination volumes, and encryption.
Step 3: Understand which solution is most suitable for your plan
After defining the business requirements and creating a roadmap, it’s time to start exploring the different options available to you from cloud vendors, consultants, or other service providers on the market. The cost of the service should be taken into consideration.
It is possible to calculate the storage volume and quality, the processing power, and other computing resources required, as well as the operating system versions and instance types expected. This will give you a realistic idea of the anticipated costs. Numerous leading vendors offer cloud cost calculators that can be used to estimate costs. If you want to generate realistic estimates, it is important to have as precise input numbers as possible.
Once you have a cost estimate that is accurate, it’s time to compare it to the current business model’s total costs of ownership (TCO). Many top cloud providers have sales teams that will be happy to help you reduce costs whenever possible. Cloud providers offer flexible pricing. Your chosen vendor may be able to help save you even more in return for a long-term partnership.
Step 4: Implement the plan in a phasing manner
Once you’ve worked with your vendor and perhaps a team of experienced consultants to determine which cloud migration solution is best for your business, it’s now time to take action. It is important to minimize disruptions to your business’ operations and to spend as little time as possible on the migration.
Start by mapping out the business environment. This should be simple if you have completed the planning and roadmap creation steps correctly. This is essential to ensure stakeholders don’t lose access to important databases during the migration. Once you have a detailed map of your business operations, it is possible to officially begin the migration of systems and applications to the cloud. This is where the chosen vendor and the consultants will do most of the heavy lifting.
It is important to continue the synchronization and to update all systems after the initial migration has been completed. This will ensure that data and processes are effectively transferred to the cloud. Make sure that all applications that have completed the migration work in their new cloud environment. As the migration process continues, work with experts to sync any modifications in the source data.
Step 5: Make sure everything runs smoothly
Once all data, systems, and applications have been moved to the cloud, it is not over. Although the vendor will do the bulk of the work in maintenance, it will be your job to help ensure that all cloud entities are optimized and secure so that everyone can access them.
It’s a good idea also to keep a few experts on hand to monitor critical infrastructure and operations and forecast workload requirements. These experts can help to ensure data security, compliance with industry regulations such as GDPR, PCI DSS, or HIPAA. It is important to ensure that performance and availability benchmarks are met according to RTO and RPO goals.
A responsive and efficient feedback loop is crucial in any business process, particularly when it comes to cloud migration. No matter how minor their grievances may be, ensure that no stakeholder is left out during, after, or before the migration process.
Top 7 Cloud Migration Trends Shaping 2021
Businesses have reacted to the post-pandemic crisis by investing in cloud solutions in order to improve communication and productivity in remote work environments.
These are the seven main trends that organizations are using to migrate their workflows into the cloud.
1. Cloud to cloud migration
Cloud solutions have gained popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been the focus of attention since global lockdowns were implemented. Innovation continues to be a key focus. Organizations that have already moved to the cloud find new cloud-based solutions from competitors more attractive for meeting their business requirements.
A company might move from one cloud provider to the next, such as Azure to AWS and vice versa. The existing vendor’s physical and virtual machines, as well as associated configurations, storage, operating systems, and applications, are transferred to the new vendor.
This is a popular trend among companies who need to move to cloud providers quickly and without having to transfer all data back to their in-house data centers. Cloud vendors are taking note of this trend and making it easier for clients to switch cloud providers quickly.
2. Lift and shift migration
This trend is very popular with cloud users because of its quick turnaround and low cost. Lift and shift migration, also known as rehosting, shallow cloud integration or cloud integration is a method of migrating on-premise applications to a platform that requires minimal architectural changes.
Only the applications that are being migrated have been modified enough to allow them to work in a cloud environment. This trend is called “Lift and Shift” because it involves slight changes to workflows that are ‘lifted and shifted’ to cloud environments.
This method is preferred by organizations migrating their workflows from the office to the cloud because it requires minimal refactoring. This has a downside. This trend can mean that organizations may not reap all the benefits of moving to the cloud. Because cloud-based applications have many advantages that cloud-tweaked applications don’t, in terms of functionality and cybersecurity. This could lead to higher long-term costs than other migration options.
3. Move and improve migration
This trend, also known as re-platforming is very popular with enterprises who want to modernize their legacy applications and move them into the cloud. This is a step above lift and shift, as the applications enjoy more benefits by being cloud-based.
You can automate or scale certain aspects of an application, which gives them a dynamic edge. It also makes them future-ready. It is also cheaper and more time-efficient to improve and move existing workflows rather than create new ones for the cloud. This trend may lead to a migration that doesn’t meet the company’s long-term technological requirements, depending on the use cases.
4. Rip and replace migration
This cloud migration trend, also known as refactoring or re-architecting, is preferred by organizations that want to get the best. This involves removing all legacy applications and rebuilding them to become ‘cloud native’. It is the most resource-intensive option. The organization will need to either re-skill, upskill or hire expert consultants to help with this project. This migration trend, regardless of which route you choose, unlocks all the benefits offered by the cloud. Before you do this, ensure that your company is able to reap the full benefits of the cloud.
5. Drop and shop migration
This trend, also known as repurchasing is popular with organizations that find it difficult to scale up and maintain their in-house CRM, HRMS, email, and payroll systems. Instead, such organizations choose to hop over to mature software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions available with third-party cloud vendors at low prices. Enterprises that have legacy applications that are difficult to rehost or replatform or refactor should consider the drop-and-shop migration trend.
6. Retention of legacy applications
Many companies are moving their applications and workflows to the cloud across industries. But just because something is popular doesn’t mean that everyone should follow the trend. One counter-trend in cloud migration is the recognition that an application or workflow is important and can’t be retired yet, but is not ready to migrate to the cloud. It’s often a good idea not to migrate in such cases. As mentioned above, it’s crucial to have a compelling business case for migration before any process can begin. This is something that is evidently lacking in this instance.
7. Retiring existing applications
After taking stock of your business environment, you will realize which applications are no longer needed on-premise or in the cloud. Forward-thinking companies are more likely to depreciate these assets than to migrate them to the cloud or retain them. Although this trend is not common, it is growing in popularity as more managers reevaluate their business operations and reconsider whether certain workflows or applications are necessary. Resigning can help companies save money, improve their cybersecurity posture, and streamline daily operations.
Cloud migration is similar to physically moving offices from one location to the next. This requires careful planning and preparation. It is worthwhile and will allow for greater flexibility and lower costs for companies that have relevant use cases.