Migrating to cloud has been one of the most popular discussions within the IT industry in the past decade. While a lot has been written and spoken about the topic, many organizations still struggle to find the starting point for this transformational journey. Half-baked goals and fuzzy directions can seriously dent an organization’s effort to gain operational efficiency and maximize ROI by modernizing their IT infrastructure.
While there are multiple factors which need to be taken into consideration while planning a migration to the cloud, there are a few which you absolutely cannot overlook. These factors need to find a place in your checklist when creating a strategy for your cloud adoption:
1) Data Laws specific to your region
As an organization, you must be compliant with local laws when it comes to data storage and regulations associated with it. While mission-critical and low-latency applications require physical proximity, privacy laws have been a crucial factor when it comes to moving things into the cloud. Regions with strict privacy laws — i.e. GDPR — call for detailed planning before moving ahead with execution.
2) Making the most of past investments
Many organizations either don’t think deeply about the expiration of their existing data centre’s equipment or, if they do, it ends up dominating their cloud adoption planning. Fragmented and staggered migration leads to projects running on isolated islands or slowing the overall cloud adoption speed. It’s always advisable to treat the migration as a single, centralized project instead of looking at various components individually. This will help optimize existing investments while implementing a balanced approach when it comes to future ones.
3) How much does it ACTUALLY cost?
So, you’re now all up in the cloud and feel great about it! You’d love to move the rest of your infrastructure as well, but your first month’s bill was way beyond what you expected. This is a pretty common scenario which arises when organizations don’t consider the “hidden” costs which come with migration. While the overall proposition often looks tempting, it’s advisable to check details such as data transfer costs, data recovery costs, hardware upgradation costs and more. If you anticipate a lot of dependency on your cloud service provider in the initial months for support or training, you also need to add that to your overall budget.
4) Exit should be easy as entry
Let’s accept that things can go wrong. And when they do, you should always have the flexibility of moving out without much hassle. Migrating to cloud takes a lot of time and effort. One often-overlooked aspect is careful evaluation of Service Level Agreements (SLA) with the cloud service provider. Should you decide that the present solution is not the best one for you, you should be well aware of the terms and conditions which allow, or prevent, you from seamlessly moving existing services.
While deployment models, data security and compatibility issues are other important factors to take into consideration, the above-mentioned points form the bedrock of a robust cloud migration strategy. Whether a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, the best way to ensure profitability and long-term success is to strike the right balance between agility, efficiency, innovation and security.