Top 10 Things to Consider when Planning your Cloud Migration

Many businesses in recent years have considered migrating to the cloud for one reason or another.

The global COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020 and 2021 has significantly transformed the business landscape. Having remote workers on the team is now the norm for many businesses, as well as the usage of different cloud tools and platforms, often in multiple offices.

While these changes can bring positive improvements to the business, they also potentially introduce new challenges, especially in ensuring seamless collaboration when using multiple disconnected solutions.

This is where migrating to the cloud can act as a potential solution, as moving workloads and resources to the cloud can provide various benefits to the organization, including but not limited to:

  • Improved cost-efficiency
  • More seamless integration between different IT solutions
  • Improved efficiency and accountability
  • Improved communication and collaboration between team members

However, despite all those benefits, migrating to the cloud is easier said than done. Below we will discuss the crucial things to consider when planning your cloud migration to ensure success.

Things To Consider When Planning Your Cloud Migration

While there are numerous factors to consider before migrating your resources to the cloud (some are obvious, some others may not), here are some of the most important ones to consider:

1. Integration and dependencies

A very common mistake made by many businesses when migrating their assets into the cloud is not paying enough attention to dependencies between applications or resources. When businesses identify dependencies too late in the migration process, it can result in additional (and unplanned) downtime, errors, and limited functionality of the cloud system before these dependencies and integration issues are addressed.

When planning your cloud migration process, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the relationships between workloads and resources, so you can identify the proper sequence in which the migration should occur. 

2. Financial cost

While ultimately the goal of the cloud migration process is to improve your business’s efficiency (including financial efficiency), migrating to the cloud will require upfront investments, which can be significant.

Not to mention, the financial cost of the cloud migration doesn’t stop after the migration is done, but you’ll also need to consider potential long-term costs like employee training for the new cloud environment.

Some of the most important costs to consider are:

  • Investing in people and solutions to facilitate successful migration
  • Reconfiguration and adjusting workloads/applications to fit the cloud environment
  • Training users on the new systems
  • Bandwidth costs
  • Costs related to performance issues, including downtime and delays

Careful planning and financial risk management are crucial in ensuring a successful cloud migration

3. Efficiency

Another very common mistake performed by many organizations migrating their assets to the cloud is overestimating or underestimating their resource needs.

It’s important to choose the right cloud environment in order to find the right balance between resource availability and the actual usage profile, so you can maximize cost-efficiency and the ROI of the cloud migration.

4. Data Security

Naturally, you’ll move sensitive/regulated data during the cloud migration process, so preventing data leaks or data loss should be a major consideration.

When planning your cloud migration, it’s crucial to develop and implement comprehensive security policies, including the implementation of infrastructure-wide access control in order to protect the security and integrity of your data.

Also, choosing a cloud platform that offers pre-built security features (i.e., Google Cloud Platform) may also help.

5. Access Control and Mechanism

Assess how your users currently access their applications and resources in the old environment and evaluate how they may have to change the access mechanisms in the new cloud environment.

To minimize adoption resistance, it’s important to consider how the expected user experience may be affected and prepare them accordingly to ensure ease of use.

6. Scalability and Vendor Lock-In

As a business, you must aim to grow and scale, and in choosing a cloud platform vendor, it’s important to also consider whether their solution will be able to scale with you. 

When evaluating your cloud vendor, also consider how easy it is to leave their services, or else you may be stuck in a situation we call “vendor lock-in.” For example, a cloud solution may not deliver up to your requirements, or they just increased their price significantly. If you can’t easily migrate from the cloud service in such situations, it can bring negative impacts to your business’s performance and scalability.

7. Licensing

Still related to scalability, evaluate whether your application is licensed per core, per VM (Virtual Machine), or for the total environment. Different licensing models can significantly affect the total costs. For example, if an application is licensed with a per-core model while your cloud environment doesn’t allow you to configure your cloud environment per core, it can significantly increase the licensing cost.

8. Skill Gap

Especially if you are migrating from a legacy environment into the cloud, you’ll need to prepare your team and upgrade them with the necessary skills in order to ensure a seamless adoption of the new cloud environment.

However, acquiring new skills can be very challenging for some employees, and for some skillsets required in cloud operation, regular training alone may not be enough.

9. Application Architecture

Careful evaluation of each application’s architecture is crucial when planning for cloud migration, not only to ensure compatibility but also to make sure you can optimize each application for the cloud environment.

Remember that one of the main purposes of cloud migration is to improve agility, so it’s important to evaluate the application architecture to ensure it is efficient and agile. 

10. Prioritization

To minimize downtime (and if possible, ensure zero downtime during and after the cloud migration process), careful prioritization is key.

It’s important to identify which applications and workloads should be migrated first (while also considering dependencies), and to do so; you’ll also need a careful identification of your business’s needs and priorities.

Wrapping Up

To ensure a smooth and optimal cloud migration process, you can leverage the help of Google Cloud Partner.

Pythian cloud migration services will help you ensure a seamless and secure migration to your target cloud environment, ultimately allowing your business to maximize the ROI of your cloud environment

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