FileWhopper Blog

News and Perspectives from IT Experts
February 26, 2020
Hanna Welch

What Everyone Should Know About Cloud Migration – Part I

We have come up with a detailed roadmap for effective cloud transitioning. Check out Part I.
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Migrating to digital platforms may be a bit of a challenge if you do not have a clue where to start. However, one of the best places to test the waters is within the cloud’s system. In most cases, it is easier to transition one application after the other as it helps acclimate the entire culture of your business. At the end of the day, it is not only the technical department within your organization that benefits but the entity as a whole. This as well makes your organization move ahead of its competition and avoid getting operational glitches due to lack of knowledge in other departments.

Despite the obvious benefits stated above, there are certain circumstances where a more ambitious approach is more appealing and better suited. For instance, the business may find itself in a dire condition of needing to move all of its interdependent systems to the cloud at one go due to technical issues, and with that comes the demand for a solution that will tackle high-complexity problems while handling increased risk. For such cases, we have come up with a detailed roadmap for effective cloud transitioning.

Part One: Planning

Define Your Goals

Before diving into cloud migration, you need to be able to define your company goals. For starters, you need to understand what your business truly needs from a cloud environment. You need to identify whether the transition has got more to do with a focused transition of an app or a comprehensive digital transformation strategy. If you are planning to create something new, what is it for? Are you developing an internal system to benefit your employees or a hub for your B2B partners and clients? By defining these key elements, you will be able to come with a focused plan that is tailored to promote productivity in your company. It will also help you know the right time to migrate and ensure the success of your future migration.

Craft an Action Plan

The use of a template may seem ideal, but it actually limits you. There are many ways in which you can migrate to the cloud. Come up with a plan of transition that will work best for your business based on its needs and goals. It is recommended to highlight as many points as you can during the planning process, even though it might appear as if more resources than necessary are being spent on planning. Regardless, a high-quality plan will always produce the best results.

Design a Strategy

When you have a plan, you need a strategy on how to execute it. In most cases, it is best to first transfer one legacy app or rebuild/ restructure an existing legacy application. An alternative approach will be to focus on developing a new application. During the process, you should understand the potential risks and how much your business can handle. Come up with an outline not only for your first migration but include everything that is to follow by priority. By doing this, you will be able to analyze things from a bigger perspective, thereby coming up with long-term solutions that will help your business grow.

Take note, while on the planning process, it is important to bring both the stakeholders and technicians to the team. Although these two groups speak entirely different languages, having them both involved will help you address both technological risks and financial issues. Now, to breach the gap between these two, you might need a well-established business analyst.

Perform a Risk Analysis

Although it can be exciting to transition to the cloud, you need to consider the risks that come with it so that you can prepare your business for any unexpected changes that might happen. The idea of ‘go big or go home’ is quite attractive but comes with a lot of risks. Now you should ask yourself whether your business will be able to handle them. Being ambitious can be rewarding, but it carries a lot of risks. We have seen and had the pleasure of analyzing a lot of businesses that have gone big and succeeded and those that have failed. In most cases, the ones that succeed are those who have weighed their risks and done proper evaluations. When you know and understand the risk behind your plans and strategies, you will be able to minimize any chance of failure. That said, it is not bad to be ambitious and grab things by the neck while you go big, but it’s all dependent on whether you have done proper risk evaluations before jumping in at the deep end.

The same can be said about the companies that prefer to get their feet wet before taking the plunge. You also need to consider resources and time frames to see whether your company can transition at a slower pace. Remember, if your transition’s aim is to stay ahead of your competition in the industry, then moving slowly will simply invite your opponents to catch up. Whatever option you select, you need to understand that the strategy should be the best for your business and not anyone else. It has to be a solution that works best for your business. Moreover, do not transition just because it is a trend and do proper risk evaluations.

Highlight the Technical Details

At this point, you already know the order of operations. What’s left is to outline the technical requirements for your transition. To achieve this, you will need a resource architect who has experience working on cloud services. If you don’t want to rely on an outsider, you can send some of your technical team members for training. This is advantageous if you have time as it means whatever issues your business might be facing, your team will be trained and skilled enough to handle them.

Address Resource Changes

Transitioning to a cloud is not a simple task as it can go on for years until your business is fully transitioned. What is more, the whole process creates a new format for consuming resources. This new demand or strain on resources can be alleviated by an experienced team of cloud architects and software developers with a proven track record in cloud development. If you decide to send your team for proper training, then you will make things easier as they will take charge of administrative tasks and application management. Your team should be part of the planning process and the implementation of the migration procedures.

Add More Team Members

Remember, while your current technical department is learning the ropes or engaged in the transition process, there needs to be someone handling other developments and system needs. Therefore, to alleviate the strain on the workforce, you need to add more team members. We know that hiring can be a challenge, especially if the organization has big projects in the pipeline. Therefore, it is recommended to ask a consulting agency to help you find the right candidate.

Set Up a DevOps Team

If your company does not have a DevOps team, then the transition period should be the right time to create one. Once established, you need to harness their skills through extensive training programs and workshops and offer training with cloud-based certifications. The benefit of having a DevOps team is the ability to develop and market high-quality software fast and efficiently.

Develop a Timeline   

A specific timeline is important as it plays an important role in a well-executed plan. With a timeline, you are able to keep your team on track. You should be able to measure velocity together with progress in order to keep your timeline updated.

Of course, complex projects may derail from the actual timeline. However, with proper management in place, a well-motivated team can make up for the lost time and get back on track when the unexpected happens.

While setting up your time frame, we advise coming up with something that goes hand in hand with your business goals. For instance, there are some businesses that prefer to speed up things so they are able to meet their ambitious goals, while others will prefer a slower approach to try and mitigate risk. Taking things slowly can seem practical, but it will mean a lengthy timeline, hence more resources used due to increased communication and maintenance periods. On the other hand, rushing the process may crash the whole migration.

Part 2: Development

Setting Up Your Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure determines the tone of your whole migration process. Therefore, whatever decision is made during this period is vital as it will have a long-term impact.

Cloud infrastructure requires a shift in the way data storage and latency are managed. With cloud infrastructure, back-up strategies are more straightforward, less risky, and more cost-effective as it does not need physical management of hard drives or other backup devices.

Are you interested in finding out a bit more about the cloud migration process? Then proceed to part two of this article for all the details and information needed.

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