There are many reasons why moving critical data and enterprise applications to a Cloud-based system is an excellent idea. Chief amongst these are security, scalability, remote access and support.
However, migrating to the Cloud can present some challenges and pitfalls, but planning your migration well should help to avoid these.
Here is our checklist to get you started:
- Know who will be in charge of the migration – before you begin any part of the process you need to establish who in your team, or which external resource will take responsibility for the migration from start to completion. This is a highly-specialised role, requiring a system architect with experience of scoping, planning, implementing and monitoring the full process.
- What level of Cloud integration is required? There are two basic ways in which you can migrate: shallow cloud integration or deep cloud integration. As the names imply, the shallow option requires far less ‘heavy lifting’ of data and applications, whereas a deep integration leverages far more of the Cloud’s inherent computing power to improve application capability.
- One Cloud or more? Before you choose a provider, do an analysis of what different providers offer so that you can decide whether to use only one provider or split your hosted services across multiple providers. For example, one provider may offer better AI capabilities, while another may be less expensive to scale to larger support. Using a single provider may also lock you into a limiting contract, whereas using multiple providers may prove easier to manage from an SLA perspective.
- Measure performance against your business’s requirements – it’s all well and good to migrate to a Cloud service, but does the service and performance you receive meet and/or exceed your business’s KPIs? Some KPIs you might measure against include uptime, support response time and site/application performance (site load times, conversions and User Experience analytics).
- All at once, or staggered migration? Part of the risk analysis and planning for your migration should take into account whether it is necessary and/or advantageous to migrate your entire application stack at once or adopt a staggered approach. There are various factors to consider here – what will your end-user experience be, and what should be prioritised as a result? What is the contingency plan should there be issues? Do you migrate your internal applications first (the ones most central to your team) or your external-facing applications (the ones most central to your clients)?
- Spend time on your data migration as a core part of the overall process – migrating data (as opposed to applications) presents its own challenges, for example, how will access to that data be achieved during migration? What new access permissions will need to be in place immediately to avoid issues for staff and/or clients who may need access urgently? How will the migration process affect day-to-day business?
- Aim to make the switch-over as seamless as possible – planning your ‘switch-on’ once the migration has been implemented is critical from a user experience perspective. The two most common approaches are to switch over all at once, or in stages. Both approaches require significant testing prior to implementation, although with the second approach there is the opportunity to test with smaller groups before deploying to full production.
- Ongoing analysis – once your full migration has taken place, you should continue to monitor and assess your service provider’s capabilities to ensure you’re getting the best out of what they have to offer.
For help planning, managing and implementing your Cloud migration, contact Cambridge Support today on 01223 736 200 or email email@example.com.