Top 7 Factors to Consider Before Migrating to the Cloud

In a post-pandemic world, cloud migrations are inevitable. In fact, it’s at the heart of emerging business models in a hyper-connected world. As we forge ahead towards Web3, the cloud will archive data and make it more widely available and easily accessible. Regardless of how each business decides to use cloud platforms, the emphasis remains the same—connectivity and probability.

This article shares the top seven things to consider before planning a cloud migration project.

Contents

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?

Migrating to the cloud comes with a whole host of benefits. Some of these include acceleration of business growth, enhanced operational efficiency, improved productivity, flexibility, robust cybersecurity, and seamless accessibility.

Cloud migration is also crucial to cutting down technology costs. For example, you no longer have to purchase and maintain servers in your on-premises data center. You also don’t have to deal with hiring personnel, utilities, overheads, and much more.

However, despite countless advantages, making a move up to the cloud demands careful consideration. Here’s a list of the top 7 considerations you need to make before you move enterprise operations to the cloud.

Top Considerations Before Moving to the Cloud

1. Why Are You Moving to the Cloud?

Define your reasons for cloud migration. Before you do anything, ask why we are moving to the cloud. Cloud migrations take a lot of effort and demand justification.

To understand which areas might benefit the most from cloud migration, you must have a comprehensive view of your business. This approach will help you figure out what to focus your attention on during the cloud migration’s planning phase.

Asking questions will also help you choose the most suitable cloud computing model and get the best return on investment.

2. Public, Private, or Hybrid?

Before committing, you must decide whether you want to host your workloads on a public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure.

On a public cloud, you will receive services over a public network (not a private one), and it will also be available for others to use. This is a popular cloud computing model used by the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). You also share resources and only pay for what you use, so public clouds can be highly cost-effective.

In contrast, on a private cloud, you’ll have your own dedicated infrastructure managed by either your in-house team or a third-party provider. You will have your own dedicated hardware located on or off-premises, running a private network. In highly regulated industries, this is usually the only option.

Hybrid clouds combine the best of both worlds. By combing private and public cloud infrastructure, you can stay compliant while scaling your infrastructure up or down to meet seasonal demand. 

In this scenario, businesses usually store sensitive data on a private cloud while running the application layer in a public environment.

3. How Will Cloud Migration Transform Work Culture?

Although cloud migration may seem like a technology strategy, it’s much more than that. Moving to the cloud will kick off a massive organizational sea change, and many may not be ready for it.

Managing workflows in the cloud may demand staff to learn new skills (especially cloud computing) and change how they work. More often than not, cloud migration transforms organizational culture into a highly collaborative environment.

You might have to adapt your human resources methods and supervision tools. You might also have employees demand remote or hybrid working options. All this together must be considered before committing to a cloud computing model.

4. What Is Your Current Infrastructure Utilization?

It is critical to evaluate your current IT infrastructure utilization before even thinking about cloud migration. Organizations that follow a traditional IT model often purchase hardware based on utilization spikes and end up with underutilized equipment.

The key here is to identify ways to save money. So, dive into performance and capacity reports and see if you could leverage underutilized or unused capacity for other workloads and avoid new investments.

Why move to the cloud if you can already support new workloads at scale? Why do you need to spend more money?

The best time to migrate to the cloud is when your in-house hardware is more than three or four years old. By aligning your cloud migration strategy with your hardware life-cycle policy, you can make the most of available resources without spending money unnecessarily.

Are you looking to migrate your tech product or infrastructure to the cloud fast and efficiently?

5. What Is the Cloud Services Provider’s Infrastructure Availability?

A suitable cloud services provider will have the infrastructure ready for your workloads. As most cloud vendors leverage open standards for backup and recovery and infrastructure tools, it’s critical to check if it will support your online database backups or middleware and your advanced monitoring tools.

The location of the cloud services provider’s data center is also important. If there are some industry-specific data center location restrictions or if your users all reside in a specific geographical area, you have to make sure to consider these factors before committing.

It’s important to ensure that proposed availability service level agreements (SLAs) perfectly align with your business requirements.

6. What Are the Realistic Costs and Timelines?

Once you choose a cloud services provider, you have to consider realistic costs and timelines. You must manage expectations and your cloud migration project in a manner that fits your budget.

Every industry vertical will have different demands, resources, and perceptions of appropriate cloud migration costs. In this case, even if moving to the cloud makes perfect sense for your business, cloud costs and the time it takes to complete cloud migration might present some significant challenges.

You need a cloud vendor with a reliable, robust, and proven cloud migration methodology. The best approach is to plan while being prepared for surprises. This is because no cloud migration model will come without the occasional hiccup.

7. Disaster Recovery and Backup Policies

Backups will be crucial to your cloud migration. So, make sure that you have backed up anything and everything before embarking on a cloud migration project.

At the same time, diving into the cloud vendor’s backup and disaster recovery policies is also important. Business continuity is critical, so make sure to define both your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).

 

Bottom Line

In the near future, the cloud will become a business imperative to deliver enhanced user experiences and maintain a competitive advantage. So, if you haven’t already digitally transformed your business, it’s best to start planning for the inevitable.

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