The cloud computing model has been widely used for almost two decades, but many businesses have yet to migrate their on-premises infrastructure to a cloud platform. For some, that’s the right choice; there are advantages to managing your own physical infrastructure. However, the expectation of challenges and disruption prevents others from implementing a cloud migration strategy.
But migration needn’t be as difficult as you might think, especially with careful cloud migration planning and help from a cloud company that understands your business’s infrastructure needs. Many large companies are successfully migrating to the cloud. According to Gartner, “more than $1.3 trillion in enterprise IT spending is at stake from the shift to cloud, growing to almost $1.8 trillion in 2025.”
This article explores five steps your company could take to smoothly transition its on-prem data and applications to a cloud platform.
Planning and Implementing Your Cloud Migration Strategy
Building an effective cloud migration strategy is a complex yet essential process. Let’s explore the crucial steps required for a successful migration, from initial assessment and planning to the final stages of deployment and management.
Thorough Assessment and Cloud Migration Planning
The first step in planning a cloud migration is thoroughly assessing your current IT environment. The assessment should cover your infrastructure, applications, data, and operations. It’s crucial to understand what assets you have, what dependencies exist between them, and which are most critical to your business.
Based on this assessment, you can then develop a detailed cloud migration plan. This plan should include which workloads will be moved, in what order, and how they will be managed in the cloud. Your strategy should also include a clear timeline for the migration and a plan for dealing with potential challenges.
Choosing the Right Cloud Service Model
The cloud service model refers to the specific setup and delivery model of cloud computing services. The three primary models include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
- IaaS provides users with a virtualized computing resource over the internet.
- PaaS offers a platform with managed versions of the infrastructure components needed to build and host an application.
- SaaS delivers applications to users over the internet on a subscription basis.
These are broad categories, and there are many subdivisions worth investigating before deciding which model is suitable for your applications.
Many businesses moving from self-managed on-premises infrastructure choose IaaS because it provides the most control and flexibility, but it’s useful to be aware of the other options. Selecting the right service model will ensure that your cloud environment aligns with your business goals, providing the tools and services that best meet your needs.
Detailed Cloud Data Migration Plan
A cloud data migration plan outlines how data will be moved from the existing infrastructure to the cloud. It should identify which data will be migrated, the order of migration, how data integrity will be ensured, and how to handle any potential issues that may arise during the process.
Creating a detailed data migration plan involves several key steps:
- First, you must classify your data, identifying what needs to be migrated and what can be archived or discarded.
- Next, decide on the migration sequence, which usually starts with less critical data.
- Then, establish a method for verifying data integrity post-migration to ensure no data is lost or corrupted.
Finally, it’s important to anticipate potential pitfalls during data migration. They might include data corruption during transfer, compatibility issues with new cloud software, or unexpected costs. With a plan for these scenarios, you can minimize disruptions and ensure a smooth migration.
Security and Compliance Measures
Security and compliance are two of the most critical aspects of any cloud migration strategy. As businesses move their data and applications to the cloud, they must ensure they are protected from threats and meet industry or legal compliance requirements.
Security measures should cover both the migration process and the ongoing data management in the cloud. These might include:
- Encryption during transfer
- Secure access controls
- Intrusion detection systems
- Regular security audits
The choice of cloud service provider also plays a role in security, as they should have robust security measures.
Compliance measures, on the other hand, depend on the industry in which the business operates. For example, businesses in the healthcare sector need to comply with HIPAA regulations when handling patient data, while those in finance might need to consider PCI-DSS requirements.
Testing, Deployment, and Ongoing Management
The final stages of a cloud migration strategy are testing, deployment, and ongoing management. These stages are crucial to ensuring the success of your migration and the performance of your new cloud environment.
Testing involves checking all migrated data and applications to ensure they work as expected in the cloud environment, including functionality testing, performance testing, and security testing. The cloud environment can be deployed once testing is complete and any issues are addressed. Deployment involves moving into production and using the new cloud environment for day-to-day operations.
But the work doesn’t stop there. Ongoing management should include regular performance monitoring, security checks, compliance audits, and necessary maintenance or updates. Properly managing these final stages of your cloud migration can ensure a smooth transition, minimize downtime, and maintain high performance and security in your new environment.
Are You Ready to Migrate to the Cloud?
At Liberty Center One, we’ve helped many businesses to fulfill their cloud migration goals. We offer a comprehensive range of cloud services, including public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. We also provide bespoke cloud migration support—our team will help you to plan and implement your cloud migration.
To learn more, talk to our cloud migration experts today.