Cloud computing is taking the enterprise IT industry by storm—but are companies migrating to the cloud effectively?
Even with its extensive list of benefits, cloud computing may not deliver the expected results when compared to traditional data centers if businesses do not move their workloads the right way.
The worrying fact is that many companies are still not efficient in utilizing their cloud infrastructure. This year alone, enterprises are expected to waste $14 billion paying for resources they don’t need.This is where having a cloud migration strategy matters.
Why does a cloud migration strategy matter?
A cloud migration strategy is a framework for businesses to plan and migrate their IT architecture to the cloud to achieve operational excellence. As best practices such as rightsizing are utilized, many of the pitfalls that cause cloud waste can be avoided. It also gives cloud architects and other team members clear guidelines on managing the organization’s cloud ecosystem.
Imagine moving from a house to an apartment. Without a proper plan, you would waste time trying to determine what is going to fit in the apartment—that’s how inefficient cloud management is without an appropriate strategy. Additionally, enterprises can also shrink or expand their architecture as cloud migration strategies are flexible to scale. This further reduces costs as businesses can avoid over-provisioning as a means of meeting fluctuating resource usage.
Building a successful cloud migration strategy
Assess the current on-premise infrastructure
A solid migration strategy begins with a thorough understanding of the existing IT infrastructure. Many organizations believe that using the cloud is only a matter of moving data and applications online, which is false. If the architecture is already disorganized, migrating to the cloud moves the problems elsewhere rather than being a positive change.
Ideally, businesses should look into their current IT backbone and determine which assets can be moved or removed from the environment. Applications with fewer dependencies should be shifted first to speed up the migration process. Stakeholders must also be involved throughout the assessment stage. They need to work together to determine which applications are prioritized for migration as well as understanding what to do after the process is over. A code dependency mapping tool like Panoptics makes it easy to identify and visualize dependencies between applications and databases. This helps to prevent errors during the migration process while protecting core resources from breaking due to unplanned application changes.
Choose the ideal migration strategy
Different companies have different preferences in moving their workloads to the cloud. Some may want to maintain their existing infrastructure while others are looking to change their IT operations after migrating. If the organization is happy with its current IT architecture, rehosting (also known as lift-and-shift) is the ideal migration strategy. Rehosting involves little to no coding requirements as applications are replicated on the cloud without making any changes.
Replatforming is applied when businesses want to reap more benefits from the cloud. In re-platforming, applications and databases are given minor—not extensive—tweaks to take advantage of the cloud stack, i.e. PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS products. This strategy is best suited for companies looking to improve the efficiency of their IT operations without spending a significant amount of money on their cloud ecosystem.
Illustration of the cloud stack in terms of how each business unit uses it (image source)
Another popular strategy is refactoring, which completely transforms an organization’s IT architecture to make full use of the cloud. Every application and database will be reconstructed from scratch and implemented to work with innovative cloud concepts like DevOps, hence driving operational efficiency to an all-time high in enterprises.
Refactoring is the best choice for organizations that are looking to rehaul their existing applications and use cloud-based alternatives for the foreseeable future.
Optimize the cloud ecosystem
Optimization involves reducing cloud costs by trimming resources to meet the needs of enterprises without affecting operations. This process is continuous, which means companies should always be optimizing their cloud assets. Monitoring and analysis are two critical practices in maintaining an optimal ecosystem. All cloud resources should be monitored to discover usage metrics, which is then measured against performance benchmarks. For example, an organization may find out that its cloud instances only reach a maximum utilization rate of 40% every month. This finding can then convince the organization to use cheaper, lower capacity instances, freeing up budget to spend on other vital areas of the business.
Secure all assets and set governance policies
Security is arguably the most crucial aspect of a successful cloud migration strategy. Today, businesses lose $3.6 million on average to a security breach—that is without factoring in fines like GDPR non-compliance, which can increase to $20 million in severe cases. Your organization should not be losing millions as a consequence of weak security.
All cloud assets must be protected to prevent security threats. Most cloud platforms (e.g., Azure and AWS) already include industry-grade security features and controls in their plans. However, it’s still the responsibility of organizations to secure their sensitive data. Strict authorization controls should be implemented whenever a cloud resource is accessed. For instance, all assets must be clearly defined to identify who has access to what data and when. This reduces the risk of unauthorized entities gaining entry to your IT infrastructure and making malicious changes.
How Panoptics allows enterprises to plan cloud migration strategies more effectively
A successful cloud migration strategy revolves mainly around comprehensive planning and management after migrating. A comprehensive code dependency mapping software like Panoptics enables enterprises to have an intuitive, complete view of their IT architecture. It also gives them the ability to observe every dependency between applications and database assets—both physically and in the cloud.
No matter which cloud migration strategy your company decides to undertake, Panoptics gives you the control and analytics you need—from classifying asset complexities to identifying security vulnerabilities—to make migrating to the cloud better, quicker, and more cost-effective.
Ready to plan and execute a successful cloud migration strategy?
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