The cloud computing has become such a buzzword in the past few years, yet much of the hype is grounded in reality. Cloud computing can certainly be a game-changing technology for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Through cloud infrastructure, you can reduce costs, leverage better data security, and have more visibility and control over your data.
If you are interested in taking advantage of cloud computing, however, it is critical to formulate a cloud migration strategy. Unfortunately, we simply can’t snap our fingers and take advantage of everything that cloud computing has to offer. Instead, we must be strategic and develop a plan before migrating.
Therefore, below you will find six effective strategies for moving to a cloud platform.
Six Cloud Migration Strategies
By following any of these strategies, you will be on your way to leveraging many of the benefits of cloud computing.
With re-hosting (also called lift and shift), the essential idea is that you are migrating your system or application as-is to a cloud environment. Essentially, the goal is to make as few changes as possible to your current system or application. This results in a quicker and faster migration, as most re-hosting can be automated with already-available tools. But having said that, by emphasizing speed, you aren’t able to utilize all of the native features of cloud technology. Depending on the system, this may actually mean that you will be paying more for running your new migrated system on the cloud.
Also called the “lift tinker and shift,” re-platforming is similar to re-hosting, yet there are a few key differences. The most notable difference is that re-platforming requires some changes. For instance, a company may want to reduce the amount of time spent on managing database instances. To accomplish this goal, it can migrate to a database-as-a-service platform or migrate its application to a fully-managed platform. While these changes may lead to more efficiencies in the long-run, it is critical that these changes—no matter how slight—are put through a comprehensive re-testing process.
Refactoring can be thought of as the complete opposite of re-hosting. With refactoring, you will be making a complete change to your system or application so that you can leverage all of the features of cloud computing. While the cost of changing your systems can be high, the long-term goal is to save money by making use of the cloud’s native features. Before starting with refactoring, you and your colleagues should develop a plan and ensure that the investment will be worth the costs.
With repurchasing, you and your organization move to a different product. In other words, you switch the legacy application for a new, yet similar application on cloud computing. One common example of repurchasing is migrating from a legacy application to a software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) solution (for instance, Salesforce). Typically, the cloud application provides some simple steps to follow, but the job may be more complex depending on the system or application that you are migrating.
This essentially means that you are retiring systems or applications that your organization no longer needs. According to Amazon, 10 to 20 percent of an enterprise IT portfolio is no longer useful and can simply be turned off. If there are any users of these systems, they can be directed to other alternatives. Ultimately, retirement can help focus your team on things that people actually use.
By retain, we mean keep the system in place for the time being. You may want to retain certain systems or applications because they are too critical to be touched or require more thought before potential migration. Depending on the circumstances at your organization, patience may be a virtue.
Effective Migration Strategies
By keeping these migration strategies in mind, you will be in a much better position to move to your chosen cloud platform. As always, ensure that you and your team know exactly how and why you are migrating in a particular way. Set some goals and do your best to follow them. Adopting a methodical, rational approach toward cloud migration will help you avoid unforced errors and better take advantage of everything the cloud has to offer. Best of luck!