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A Quick Cloud Migration Checklist for Enterprise CIOs

Cloud migration isn't a task that enterprise tech folks look forward to. This is a daunting task. A small misstep can cause costly and time-consuming delays, outages, and business disruptions.

However, no enterprise CIO will deny that the cloud has numerous benefits. That's why more and more companies are migrating their enterprise tools and IT workloads to the cloud. Gartner predicts that worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a CAGR of 18% to hit USD 304.9 billion in 2021.

As the cloud continues evolving to deliver greater value, organizations seek to adopt the agility of the cloud to keep pace with dynamic markets. For the CIO, the focus is on ensuring a smooth cloud migration.

In this article, let's discuss a few best practices to get cloud migration right. This cloud migration checklist may come in handy for enterprise CIOs looking to make their cloud migration successful.

cloud migration strategy
  • Create a clear migration strategy first

A migration strategy is about preparation and defining clear business motives for the migration. A great way to start is to conduct a pilot migration to identify possible pitfalls and define expectations. Then you can create a plan to migrate in phases starting with the least business-critical workloads. This will give the confidence and experience to proceed with widespread migration.

But obviously start small and grow isn’t the only approach. While creating a migration strategy, you can also look at other routes as outlined in Gartner's five Rs

  • Rehost – Also known as the 'lift and shift' strategy, it involves the quick migration of business applications to the cloud for specific use cases. One reason for selecting this strategy is to create an opportunity to provide skill development opportunities to the team.
  • Re-platform – It's also called the 'lift, tinker, and shift' strategy. It involves moving key elements like the databases to a managed database service provided by cloud providers. This will allow you to save on licensing costs and perform a quick change to reduce the management and operations overhead.
  • Repurchase – Also known as the 'drop and share' strategy, it involves shifting from one solution to another. The incentive is to meet the changing business needs and leverage the latest features.
  • Refactoring or Re-architecting – This can be a difficult strategy to implement. However, it also has the potential to be extremely rewarding for organizations. It involves organizations choosing to refactor or re-architect their applications to meet business needs. It is often done when existing applications are incapable of scaling and providing desired features.
  • Retire – In this strategy, organizations get rid of resources that are not used at all.
  • Establish a governance framework

Establishing a governance framework enables organizations to set policy-based rules to prepare for secure cloud adoption in various business processes. Since security and compliance are top concerns for organizations moving to the cloud, the framework must take into consideration the risks of using third-party services. It also documents organizational structures, roles, objectives, responsibilities, and policies.

  • Optimize the cloud network

Public cloud providers use the public internet as the default network. For some large enterprises, the public internet might be too slow and not secure enough to meet their business goals.

That is why some third-party cloud providers, like AWS and Azure, offer a dedicated network connection to its infrastructure from company offices.

If a dedicated network connection is not necessarily needed, it's still worthwhile to look for a better, faster service from your internet provider.

  • Upskill the team on cloud migration

A big challenge that companies often face is the lack of available talent to drive the cloud migration. This can be a barrier to cloud adoption and usage. So, a better approach is to train and upskill your staff in your chosen cloud platforms as early as possible.

It is a wise approach to establish a series of training sessions designed to keep employees up-to-date on various cloud concepts. This gives your organization a chance to adapt to the new ways of doing things promptly.

  • Ensure software licensing

You must document all enterprise applications while creating your cloud migration strategy. It's crucial to manage software licensing in the cloud. Some software licenses are under BYOD (Bring Your Own Software and License) program while others have specific usage rights per number of concurrent users.

You must closely study all licensing rules for the cloud. You can also talk to the vendor or use software asset management (SAM) to simplify the process. This is crucial to managing cloud costs by optimizing resources.

  • Adopt automation

During cloud migration, a CIO must ensure that the service is not disrupted as downtime could critically affect business revenue. To reduce the risk of downtime, you may consider automating repeated patterns in your process wherever possible.

Implementing automation can lower the risk of disruption and speed up the cloud migration process. Various tools can help you automate the migration of virtual machines and data. One can also use scripts to automate certain tasks.

  • Monitor usage of cloud services

Monitoring cloud usage is important to ensure that cloud budgets are efficiently utilized. You need to monitor your usage, identify the different services you are using, collect logs from apps, and ensure information security requirements are being met. You should also monitor for industry compliance and security.

  • Tap the expertise of the cloud service provider

Instead of trying to tackle all the issues in-house, you can leverage the support and expertise of cloud service providers. They are equipped with the right solutions along with vast experience in helping other businesses with cloud migration so why reinvent the wheel?

While the benefits of cloud migration are quite clear, the process of cloud migration is not easy. Conducting migration smoothly and efficiently may become easier by following this checklist. Of course, if you need some help with your cloud migration initiatives, then ITPN can help.

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