Cloud technology is an integral part of the digital revolution that has a transformative impact on how we do business. Shifting to the cloud from an on-premises solution is a practical decision with numerous technical and business benefits. Most organizations have moved at least one service in the cloud, and the hybrid model is becoming a common approach to managing applications as well as databases efficiently. According to Forbes, a survey by LogicMonitor in which 300 influencers were interviewed reveals that 27% of respondents expect 95% of workloads to run in the cloud by 2022.
Businesses should capitalize on the possibilities and opportunities the cloud provides before migrating their workloads and services. Here are some tips to streamline the migration process in 2021 and make it as simple as possible.
Cloud migration services guarantee many potential upsides, but they represent a major tech upgrade and you must consider everything carefully in advance. Assess your budget so that you know how much the project is going to cost. Which applications and systems are you looking to transfer to the cloud? Will the migration lead to system downtime or is it prone to any inefficiencies? If so, how will this affect business operations and your ability to offer regular customer service?
You can answer these questions by conducting a step-by-step audit of your existing IT infrastructure. Map every element and related workflow to the new cloud deployment. Streamline wherever possible, and ensure that you are running the latest version of all software. Add provisions to accommodate new applications and functionality so that cloud technology enables wherever your business wishes to go long-term. Invest in the resources you need to get there, including migration servers, analytics, content services connectors, and integration with third-party tools.
The ideal approach is to perform a technology assessment and build an inventory of your current applications, hardware, and systems containing data. This will determine the processes that match the cloud and those you should keep in-house. For instance, some bandwidth-intensive applications do not suit cloud hosting, while CRM software is an ideal fit.
Data security is paramount when it comes to IT initiatives. It begins with understanding user roles and permissions so that you know who has access to the data being migrated and how they will access it. Let’s consider an example. If you determine whether an employee uses their PC frequently at the office, at home, or a cafe, you will be bringing VPN solutions into the equation.
In any scenario, there are multiple options and configurations for protecting access to enterprise data in the cloud. Many platforms simplify Role-based access control (RBAC) that you can use to look into application, network, and management layer access. This gives employees access rights to only the information they need to perform their job duties. Also, you can natively configure standard security protocols and effortlessly spin up new resources from the cloud. For instance, if you require encryption at rest on your existing storage array, lookup encryption management options that you can configure.
Notably, certain activities introduce security vulnerabilities into an environment. An instance is accidentally assigning a public IP address with open inbound ports when deploying a new virtual machine. You can mitigate such risks by reviewing existing on-premises security policies and requirements before applying them to cloud resources.
This is a major undertaking for any organization, be it an SMB or a large enterprise. Companies often manage several documents and they realize just how challenging it is when the time comes to migrate some of them. So, before making the transition, evaluate the content you need to migrate and decide what you can do without. There will be files ranging from client databases to SaaS products, and they are likely scattered across multiple locations. Based on this, think about your next step. If it is a large-scale migration that involves physical equipment, the associated costs will be higher. Smaller migrations over a high-speed and reliable Internet are simpler and easier on the budget.
When you migrate your architecture to a cloud-hosted server from an on-premises one, you are changing how you invest in IT services. The consumption-based model of cloud services categorizes them into OpEx for your company. You spend on what you use monthly and avoid large upfront costs. This matters because if you do not manage expenses correctly, employees may add features and functionality unnecessarily, leading to a spike in fees. Hence, access control is important.
Additionally, charges for cloud services vary. They depend on the resource type, size, performance level, transactions, and data source. Understanding the pricing of resources will enable you to come up with the most cost-effective solution. Review your design for both technical feasibility and estimated cost. It is possible to fulfill the same technical demand and lower expenses by incorporating different choices into the design. For instance, if application usage varies significantly by month, you can group application servers into a scale set. Autoscaling will correspond to usage metrics or schedule in contrast with single static VMs.
These are the libraries that your business requires to create and run an application. Understanding what your enterprise application or workload needs and how it interacts with other elements is an integral part of shifting to the cloud. Consider a scenario where your company has a three-tiered application consisting of web, app, and database servers. If a single server moves to the cloud, you add distance which affects performance application. This system also adds to costs by charging for network outbound data transfers.
There are multiple tools that help businesses map application dependencies and plan for them in the cloud. You can use them to collect data about on-premises enterprise workloads and combine tooling with interviews of application owners to gain a deeper understanding of this framework. For example, you may not know that an application is utilizing file share or temporary data storage. Not gathering this information upfront can result in problems during the actual process. Resource dependencies contribute to your final design and migration plan. So, seek the advice of your CSP to determine which resources to move together and in what order.
Involve Your Staff
Setting up the cloud does not appear to be difficult when one has a solid plan, but there are business processes behind every technology. Furthermore, there are complexities to take into account such as setting up databases and configuring administrator dashboards. The important thing is to bring your team on board from day one. Identify employee needs, manage expectations, and encourage users to look forward to cloud computing.
It is important to note that you are not only moving data. You will be managing security, authentication, integration with third-party software, compatibility, testing, monitoring, and other variables. This is why you will need all the cooperation you can get especially during testing, training, and future upgrades.
Optimize Your Management Approach
The management process is just as important as the actual migration when you shift software to the cloud. Begin by employing a customizable approach to managing cloud subscriptions. Consult a service provider who offers necessary functionalities such as HR integration, role-based provisioning, and a single repository for subscriptions. This allows you to easily monitor services as they are not on a traditional on-premise deployment. Having cloud subscriptions in a central repository also facilitates complete visibility into business operations and eliminates redundancy, making for a seamless migration.
In this digital world, almost everything connects to cloud computing as the technology facilitates jobs, applications, and platforms. The future is bright in the IT industry which will ultimately be better for business everywhere.
At Clouve, our experts can help you with deploying your enterprise operations in the cloud. From designing, migration, and systems configurations to monitoring and maintenance, we provide complete coverage. Please contact us to learn more about what we can do for your business.