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What is a Cloud Migration Strategy & Why Do Enterprises Need One?

Migrating to the cloud must be at the forefront of enterprise strategies today. 

Cloud migration is the act of moving enterprise data, infrastructure, and applications to the cloud. This transition can happen from on-premises servers to the cloud or from one cloud platform to another. However, migrating to the cloud is not an easy task for enterprises. Organizations can face a series of technical and functional challenges during cloud migration.  

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 Current and estimated projections of the cloud industry by Gartner (image source) 

Businesses must ensure their imminent cloud infrastructure meets all operational needs while keeping security tight and spending low. Without an unlimited budget, businesses should try to find an optimal spot between functionality and cost when implementing cloud solutions.  

Without a well-planned cloud migration strategy, enterprises risk facing costly consequences to their IT infrastructure and financial health.  

A cloud migration strategy is typically comprised of three phases: planning, execution, and maintenance 

During the planning phase, businesses must determine the goals for their cloud infrastructure and decide which cloud platform to use to achieve those goals.  

Businesses should have answers to the following 4 questions at the end of the planning phase.  

  1. What types of data, applications, and workloads are to be moved to the cloud?  
  2. What resources should be moved first and last?  
  3. Is the data backup strategy defined?  
  4. What should be done to the central infrastructure while the migration is happening?  

After aligning your goals with the right cloud platform, it’s time to execute the migration strategy. During the execution phase, businesses must reduce downtime and disruption as much as possible, while aiming to spend minimal time migrating.  

Lastly, during the maintenance phase, businesses must sync changes made to data during the migration process to keep the new cloud infrastructure updated. Also, undergoing compliance checks are important to meet regulations (e.g., HIPAA and GDPR) and ensure there are no security vulnerabilities in the system.  

The Different Types of Migration Strategies 

Lift-and-shift migration 

Lift-and-shift migration (also known as rehosting) moves the entire infrastructure from one environment to another, essentially acting as a carbon copy, hence the name.  

Rehosting 

Rehosting is an excellent migration strategy for enterprises with limited expertise or capacity in cloud computing. Businesses don’t have to tweak their current infrastructure in lift-and-shift strategies, making it the easiest, fastest, and most cost-effective way to leverage the cloud in operations.  

However, moving to the cloud is not guaranteed to be a good move if the existing infrastructure is already inefficient and bloated. Doing so merely moves the problems from one platform to another without any net benefits.  

Re-platforming 

Crosscode cloud powered database

Businesses gain more benefits from the cloud if they use re-platforming instead, a variant of the rehosting strategy. In re-platforming, organizations make changes to their infrastructure before migrating.  

For example, an organization may use a new cloud-powered database and content delivery network when migrating to the cloud to fit its cloud strategy better.  

This creates opportunities to optimize and improve the efficiency of the soon-to-be-implemented cloud architecture, which generates a more significant ROI for enterprises.  

Repurchasing

Repurchasing involves switching from legacy systems to cloud-based providers (SaaS). 

An excellent example of repurchasing is when your company decides to move and process all financial data with the help of a cloud-based accounting SaaS instead of using locally hosted software. Repurchasing also includes moving from one SaaS to another, e.g., migrating from QuickBooks to Zoho.  

Refactoring 

Refactoring is the most time-consuming and expensive migration strategy initially as it involves rehauling the entire infrastructure at the code-level.   

Instead of just changing platforms and applications, your company will completely revamp the code, architecture, and dependencies of your IT backbone to gain the maximum benefits possible from migrating to the cloud.  

Where a traditional IT infrastructure is monolithic in nature, refactoring introduces cloud-based concepts like microservices, containers, and serverless builds to further improve performance and cost-efficiency.  

For example, a company may refactor its local database to be split up in multiple containers via Kubernetes. This makes database configuration significantly easier while enabling the company to scale their database in clusters to meet demand more flexibly.  

Despite the high technical requirements, refactoring generates the most significant ROI, and benefits for organizations as businesses pay a lot less in terms of cloud spend compared to every other migration strategy.  

The Advantages of Using a Cloud Migration Strategy 

Crosscode cloud computing

Scale services efficiently 

With a cloud migration strategy, businesses will find it a lot easier to scale applications and workloads compared to “blind” cloud implementations.   

Especially with refactoring and re-platforming, enterprises can scale their services, knowing that they have a framework in place to avoid wasting resources and money—two of the most common cloud challenges faced by businesses today. 

Cut down on setup costs and cloud spend 

By following the three-phase cloud migration strategy, enterprises can significantly cut down on setup costs and cloud spend.

Secure cloud environments 

Security and compliance are two crucial factors for enterprises to be aware of when they migrate to the cloud.  

Thankfully, cloud migration strategies already include best practices that secure cloud environments and comply with national and state regulations. Of course, businesses should also keep their ecosystem updated and run security audits frequently to further protect their cloud infrastructure. 

CodeLogic Simplifies the Cloud Migration Process for Enterprises 

Crosscode cloud migration strategy2

It’s clear that having an accurate overview of the entire IT infrastructure is crucial in executing successful cloud migration strategies. With CodeLogic, enterprises have access to an intuitive and interactive map of their system’s environment and the ability to observe every dependency between applications and database assets in detail.  

No matter which cloud migration strategy your company decides to undertake, CodeLogic gives you the control and analytics you need—from classifying asset complexities to identifying security vulnerabilities—to make migrating to the cloud quicker and more cost-effective.  

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