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How to Plan a Successful Cloud Migration Strategy

Cloud computing is taking the enterprise IT industry by storm—but are companies migrating to the cloud effectively?

Futuristic technology interface

A cloud migration strategy is a framework for businesses to plan and migrate their IT architecture to the cloud to achieve operational excellence. However, 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. Enterprises should have an effective cloud migration strategy in place to avoid spending their budget on resources they don't need. 

Building a Successful Cloud Migration Strategy

1. 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. 

2. Choose the ideal migration strategy

Rehosting

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 an 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

Replatforming is applied when businesses want to reap more benefits from the cloud. In replatforming, 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. 

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lllustration of the cloud stack in terms of how each business unit uses it (image source)

Refactoring

Another popular strategy is refactoring, which completely transforms an organization’s IT architecture to make full use of the cloud. Every application and database is reconstructed from scratch and implemented to work with innovative cloud concepts like DevOps, hence driving operational efficiency to an all-time high. 

Refactoring is the best choice for organizations that want to rehaul their existing applications and use cloud-based alternatives for the foreseeable future. 

3. Optimize the cloud ecosystem

Monitoring and analysis are two critical practices in maintaining an optimal 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. 

4. 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.

CodeLogic Helps With Cloud Migration

A successful cloud migration strategy revolves mainly around comprehensive planning and management after migrating. A comprehensive code dependency mapping software like CodeLogic enables enterprises to have a complete view of their IT architecture.

No matter which cloud migration strategy your company uses, CodeLogic provides 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. 

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