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5 Best Practices for a Successful Cloud Migration

Article Written by Stefano Bellasio of Cloud Academy

Forrester estimates the total global public cloud market will reach $178B in 2018, up from $146B in 2017, and continues to grow at 22% CAGR. Despite the growth, there are still barriers for organizations such as a general lack of education on cloud and cultural resistance to change, especially in the face of disruptive technologies. As the importance of digital transformation continues to grow, CIOs have been asked to focus on one goal: deliver an exceptional digital experience.

Forward-thinking organizations who are willing to tackle the challenges brought on by cloud and digital transformation understand that cloud migration is not an end-state destination. Rather, they are embarking on a continuous digital transformation journey.

Below are five considerations and best practices teams can use as a framework to set the stage for a successful cloud migration:

  1. Connect with all stakeholders: Cloud migration touches many parts of the organization beyond IT. Connect with all of the stakeholders who may be impacted by the shift to cloud to communicate the opportunity, assess any business concerns, and qualify the business drivers for different roles. Further, run a workshop to identify common drivers, objectives and roadblocks to accelerate this process.

  2. Focus on business over technology: While different teams may have a preference for certain tools and technologies, your cloud migration will be more successful if you can focus on your business and project requirements over the technology in the initial stages. Next, build a high-level view of the tools and services available to help evaluate and select the right technologies and platforms for your migration.

  3. Plan for cloud readiness: It's important to have a broad understanding of the impact that a cloud transformation will have on your applications and the various departments and teams that use them. Start by identifying your full portfolio of applications to determine their compatibility for the cloud and the dependencies that may need to be addressed to get a migration project started. Applications may range from those that are on-premises dependent or have architectural limitations, to cloud friendly systems already running on a virtualized infrastructure or those that can scale horizontally and support JSON or XML document formats. Next, qualify each application against the six migration strategies-rehost, replatform, repurchase, refactor, retain or retire-within your business priorities.

  4. Leverage a proof of concept: Pilots or proof-of-concept projects are an effective way to show a cloud service can live up to its promise. A POC will help your engineers and senior management see the potential of the cloud migration, and it will allow you to investigate and resolve any issues that emerge prior to the full-scale deployment of the production architecture. Use your POC to test fundamentals such as replication, backups, performance, load testing, updates and deployments of any applications, and make sure you have enough resources established within your environment to make it a viable test.

  5. Prepare your teams: Your organization can only move as fast as the knowledge and experience of its team members. When it comes to operating in the cloud, some teams will need foundational knowledge, while others will require next-level skills to leverage more advanced cloud services for security, cost optimization, or machine learning. Rather than just making cloud training available, a structured approach to building skills-through assessment, management and measurement-in the context of your specific infrastructure and technology configuration, will allow you to be more successful at each stage of your migration.

To make the most of a public cloud investment, teams need solid planning, robust understanding and decision-making skills around technology and architecture. In the IT world, failure is inevitable (and usually beneficial), but implementing these steps will help ensure a smoother cloud migration.

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About the Author

Stefano Bellasio 

Stefano is the CEO and founder of Cloud Academy, the leading enterprise training platform. He is an entrepreneur and engineer passionate about entrepreneurship, education and product development, and is currently reimagining the intersection of e-learning, cloud skill and technology at Cloud Academy. 

Published Friday, May 18, 2018 10:35 AM by David Marshall
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