When business leaders take notice of companies undergoing cloud migrations, they want to know what are the benefits? And what would it take to undergo a cloud migration? While not wanting to be left behind is a good motivator to consider a cloud migration, there are many additional benefits that can be tailored to suit your business. Here’s why your business should move to the cloud and the steps you can take to develop a cloud migration strategy.
What is a Cloud Migration?
The definition of a cloud migration is the process of moving data and applications from traditional on-premise architecture to the cloud. A cloud migration strategy can be thought of as the plan or project roadmap that will guide the process of moving your business to the cloud. Without a solid cloud migration strategy, the migration process can easily drag out, waste time, drain resources and ultimately, the effort may prove to be unsuccessful. However, with a clear cloud migration strategy, your business can experience increased efficiency and process management like never before.
Why Should Your Business Move to the Cloud?
One of the first steps in planning a successful cloud migration is determining the purpose and goal for your business. Why do you want your business to move to the cloud? What is the expected ROI? While you may understand the benefits on a theoretical level, it will be difficult to succeed without an informed and calculated ROI.
There are many cloud migration benefits and reasons that companies choose to make the switch. Here are a few benefits that the cloud offers:
- Scalability – Some companies feel that they are growing beyond their storage capabilities, or that on prem systems can’t provide the access to data that they need for data analytics. Cloud migration offers cost-effective data storage solutions that can be scaled up or down based on demand. This agility means that businesses only pay for the storage that they need. Some businesses opt to go with a hybrid cloud strategy, connecting their cloud data systems with on-premises data repositories. Scalability is a measurable solution to a common business challenge; outgrowing your current resources.
- Accessibility – Other businesses opt for cloud storage as a central access point to company data for analytics and insights. Encryption, user roles and other security measures help to keep business data safe. Data lakes are often hosted in the cloud, so if your business has a data lake or is interested in creating one, cloud storage could be the way to go. Cloud integration involves tying together data sources, business applications and disparate resources to increase efficiency and empower greater oversight for company data and operations.
- Efficiency – If increased efficiency could help you lower your business costs, then a cloud migration may be the solution you are searching for. With increased server resources and the opportunity to automate tasks in the cloud, businesses find they can streamline their processes. What’s more, when employees have access to the data they need, they are empowered to do their jobs more effectively.
Once you have determined the goal of the cloud migration and calculated an estimated ROI, it is time to decide what data to move to the cloud.
Undergoing a Cloud Migration
When developing a cloud migration strategy, once you establish a goal, you can then determine the data and applications that will be involved in the migration. From there, you can plan out the specific cloud migration steps. Throughout the migration process, keep sight of your goal and ROI; they will serve as motivation and keep your business moving forward. Cloud migrations can be a long journey, and one that must be bought into by employees at all levels of your business for maximum success. The attitude and involvement of your company leadership and the team in charge of the cloud migration can set the tone for the rest of the business.
If you haven’t experienced a cloud migration, there can be ambiguity regarding the cloud migration process. It does not involve beaming your data into the sky, nor is it like uploading some files into Google Drive. A cloud migration must be planned and executed in stages. Much like a development project, you can take an agile approach to cloud migration. Following the agile process will provide you with a migration plan to follow.
Here is a list of considerations and steps to include in your cloud migration strategy:
- Create a team to manage the project;
- Determine the data and applications you are migrating to the cloud and break down the migration steps for each;
- Establish the requirements and constraints for the cloud based architecture;
- Document potential migration challenges that you foresee during the process and create a plan to address them;
- Set your project budget and ideal ROI;
- Develop a project timeline;
- Establish benchmarks and evaluation criteria for the cloud migration strategy;
- Spearhead change management and keep employees informed of the project progress; and
- Providing any necessary training on how operations might change due to the migration.
At various stages throughout the cloud migration process, you will want to evaluate progress that has been made to ensure the plan is still aligned with the business needs. Keeping sight of your goal and milestones will help to keep the project on track. Additionally, as part of the migration process, test to ensure that all of your data was successfully migrated to the cloud. In your cloud migration strategy, it may be helpful to indicate test cases that will determine whether the project was successful.
As a final tip: always allocate more time than you think is needed for a cloud migration. Particularly for enterprise level businesses, cloud migrations can take months as you migrate your data, run your systems in parallel to ensure that all the data was moved correctly and test in the new environment before switching over your systems completely. There are bound to be snags and challenges along the way. Having a buffer in your timeline will help those in your business not to lose faith in the process. Remember to always keep sight of the benefits and the end goal.
While the list above consists of general factors that will be included in a cloud migration strategy, the biggest decisions that will impact your cloud migration is the business/tools that you choose to work with.
Developing a Cloud Migration Strategy
Here are some questions that will help you determine the best tools and migration strategy for your business:
- Do you have the resources to manage your cloud migration in house?
- Are you looking for a company to complete the migration process for you?
- Will you manage your cloud system after migration or would you like to outsource cloud management and application maintenance?
- Are you moving the majority of your company’s data to the cloud? If, instead, you were looking to migrate certain data and specific applications, an SaaS solution could be the top choice for your business.
- Are you looking to embrace the benefits of a complete cloud migration?
If your business is ready to take the plunge, a world of opportunities are available. The cloud solution that you choose will shape the cloud strategy for your business.
Work with 7T and Snowflake for Your Cloud Migration
As a cloud integration service provider, 7T works with businesses to host their CRM portals, ERP software, mobile apps, data lakes and other digital platforms in a cloud environment. Additionally, as a certified Snowflake partner, 7T develops and implements cloud migration strategies for businesses that are looking to implement Snowflake data solutions.
Other common cloud services and tools include: data streaming services, ETL/ELT, monitoring and data visualization tools. These examples are not exclusive but they are main components in many cloud migration plans.
If you are looking for a cloud migration partner, 7T is ready to help. We get to know the ins and outs of your business and develop a data migration strategy that will bring in the maximum ROI. To schedule a consultation session, fill out the interest form below or contact the team at 7T today.