Migrating applications to the Cloud can bring significant benefits to a company but it’s not something you do without a lot of careful planning. So, let’s examine some of the key considerations you need to think about and plan for before you make the leap.
Demand for the Cloud is Only Growing
According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3 percent in 2019 to total $206.2 billion. Of this growth, IaaS (infrastructure as a service) will drive the most spending, but Gartner is also suggesting most companies will look for a cloud provider that offers both IaaS and PaaS (platform as a service). The research firm noted that SaaS continues to be the largest segment of the cloud market:
“The increasing adoption of SaaS applications and other cloud services impacts the management, dissemination and exploitation of enterprise content,” Craig Roth, research vice president at Gartner. “Organizations are steadily — but not exclusively — shifting their content environments to SaaS. Gartner expects that by 2019, the current enterprise content management (ECM) market will devolve into purpose-built, cloud-based content solutions and solution services applications.”
Another key stat from Gartner, “More than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud by 2022.” Much of this spending is related to moving business applications to the Cloud, in addition to content services and collaboration services.
Some of the key benefits to running your business in the Cloud:
- Increased scalability
- Improved application performance
- Enable your IT team to focus on critical business activities.
Creating a Cloud Migration Strategy
So, we know companies are moving their applications and services to the Cloud but they aren’t just waking up one day and saying, “let’s move application X to AWS.” They are spending time reviewing their requirements, assessing the risks and planning for unexpected surprises along the way.
Choosing a Cloud Provider
The first thing you may decide to do is choose the Cloud provider where you will move your applications and services. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google are three of the big IaaS/PaaS providers, but there are others. You may also be considering moving to a cloud version of your current application hosted by the application provider. Once you make the decision, you’ll need to understand all the details around how to set up your cloud environment and move your applications to it.
Developing the Migration Plan
With a provider decided, you can start to prepare and plan which apps you will migrate and in what order. You’ll also want to make a note of what applications you will not want to move and how that might affect the applications you do move. Some of the things you need to think about and plan for each application:
- Do you need to set up interoperability between other Cloud-based applications (including any third-party applications) and on-premises applications?
- Does the provider offer the right level of security and does it adhere to compliance requirements?
- Will you need to conduct any application rework (development changes) to enable it to work in the Cloud
Data Migration Considerations
Of course, it’s not just the application you are migrating, it’s all the data. For each application, you should take the time to analyze all the data it contains and determine how much of it you do need to migrate. To ease migration, you should organize and clean your data before you migrate, getting rid of the ROT (redundant, obsolete and trivial) content and archiving the information you no longer use but need to keep.
The work involved in cleaning up your information can help improve the performance of your application, decrease storage costs and reduce the risk of your information getting into the wrong hands (always plan for security breaches). A file and content analytics tool can help you analyze the information in your application and let you organize it, getting rid of the ROT and archiving (and placing under records retention) the information you need to keep. You may also need to implement transformation processes to transform your data before you move it.
Deciding Which Apps to Migrate
It makes sense to plan to move one application at a time, but how do you decide which one? Do you?
- Need to move to a cloud-based application because your on-premises version is having performance or security issues?
- Want to start with a less important application to try out your migration process plan so you can tweak it for the more important applications to come later?
- Want to take advantage of new capabilities in the cloud-based application that will drive more work efficiencies or improve customer experience?
Testing the Migration Process
Once you do select the order of the applications to migrate and perform the migration of the application and its data, you need to validate the migration was successful and the application is working as expected. Be sure to outline a test plan that includes application capabilities testing, access, and permissions, integrations, as well as performance testing. Testing is a critical component of every migration plan.
Planning for Cloud Success
As you lay out your cloud migration plans you’ll need to look at the applications you want to migrate, the tools you’ll need to perform the migration, the governance requirements that will be put in place, as well as your expectations for performance improvements, cost savings, and security. Migrating to the Cloud is not simple, but the benefits are many when you plan and implement it right.
Looking for tools to help with your information analysis and data migration? Check out Everteam.discover.