Considering a move to the cloud, but uncertain about the best approach? Worry not! Our blog offers exclusive insights, delivering a step-by-step roadmap for a flawless cloud transition with an effective yet brilliant cloud migration strategy. We have covered the fundamental concepts, benefits, diverse strategy types, key steps into migration, and real-world case studies, simplifying your decision-making process. Additionally, you can further explore more about the seven essential ‘R’s for migration, comprehend the key factors propelling this change, and embrace top practices ensuring a future-ready and efficient business transformation.
Leveraging the potential of Cloud technology has become imperative for thriving in the contemporary digital landscape. As businesses increasingly shift towards the cloud to facilitate expansion, it becomes evident that this transition is more challenging than it appears. Many cloud initiatives face setbacks, and extracting the full benefits of cloud investments proves difficult without precision and systematic planning. For a successful transformation, it is crucial to carefully select the right cloud migration strategy supported by thorough planning. Visualizing these strategies as a roadmap can guide your IT assets to their new digital home through well-informed decisions and deliberate execution.
Do you know as per Zippa’s findings, in 2023, a whopping 94% of companies are using cloud services? Well! This surge originated in 2020 when 61% of businesses moved to the cloud due to the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the growing importance of cloud solutions.
But here’s the kicker: Gartner now estimates that by 2027, more than 50% of enterprises will specifically use industry cloud platforms to accelerate their business initiatives, up from less than 15% in 2023. And if that’s not impressive enough, by 2024, there’ll be a significant shake-up: over 45% of IT spending on system infrastructure, software, and outsourcing will move from traditional to cloud solutions. This isn’t just a change; it’s a tech revolution, where cloud migration has emerged as one of the most groundbreaking forces in IT since the early days of the digital age.
A cloud migration strategy details how a company moves its existing applications and associated data from on-site or nearby servers to the cloud. In simpler terms, it’s a plan for transitioning software and data from local servers to remote cloud servers. This shift is often caused by the desire to move away from outdated infrastructures, such as aging servers or inefficient hardware, and embrace the advantages of cloud computing. It includes well-known services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.
A successful Enterprise cloud migration strategy involves prioritizing tasks for migration, developing individual plans for each task, conducting a trial, testing, and adjusting the strategy based on the trial’s results. Also, having a cloud migration document is crucial to guide teams through this process and facilitates a rollback if needed. The end goal? A smooth transition from your in-house setup to the cloud without messing up your day-to-day operations. It’s not only moving to any cloud; it’s about selecting the one that suits your requirements.
Cloud migration is for more than just first-timers. If you already use the cloud, there’s always room to optimize. Thus, whether you are a cloud newbie or a seasoned user, a solid cloud migration strategy is your ticket to a smoother, more cost-effective digital experience. Here, a cloud migration roadmap can come in handy. It can help answer questions like what to move, how to move it, and in what order. They’re often called the 7R of migration, providing insights into crafting a successful on premise to cloud migration strategy presenting a substantial opportunity for your business.
Enterprises stand to reap substantial benefits from well-crafted cloud migration strategies. These advantages include:
A well-rounded cloud migration strategy improves scalability and agility by ensuring organizations access suitable cloud resource management when needed. Furthermore, it facilitates quick and straightforward adjustments to meet evolving business requirements as necessary.
Moving to the cloud can take a long time if you have many sources and different platforms at destinations. However, a good cloud strategy can automate the migration smoothly, ensuring operations continue without downtime. Also, well-thought-out cloud migration planning helps businesses find ways to save money. It involves using cloud resources more efficiently and avoiding unnecessary expenses like licensing.
An effective Cloud computing migration strategy minimizes downtime, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition that minimally disrupts business operations. Additionally, it helps recognize prevalent challenges and potential risks associated with cloud migration, reducing risks and ensuring seamless execution.
Security-centric cloud migration strategies ensure robust and effective implementation of security measures, significantly reducing the likelihood of security breaches and data loss throughout the migration process. Moreover, it guarantees strict adherence to regulatory requirements, thereby mitigating the potential for legal and financial repercussions.
Transitioning to the cloud has the power to improve performance and make things better for users. Applications and websites in the cloud can easily handle more users or increase throughput. They can also work in places near users, reducing delays for a smoother experience.
These benefits of cloud migration strategies encompass improved agility, cost savings, heightened security measures, and the ability to leverage advanced technologies seamlessly.
Implementing any Enterprise Cloud Migration Strategy works as a powerful catalyst, offering businesses the means to significantly reduce costs, improve efficiency, and elevate overall operational performance. Below are 7 effective cloud migration techniques carefully tailored to different cloud service models.
Strategy Type: Relocating
If you are looking to seamlessly transfer your existing database from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud, a rehosting strategy is an ideal choice. Often referred to as the “lift and shift migration,” it enables a quick and straightforward migration without necessitating changes at the code level.
For rehosting, you can use various migration tools like CloudEndure Migration, where VM Import/Export and AWS Database Migration Service are integral components of AWS migration services specifically designed for AWS. Similarly, Microsoft Azure has Azure Migrate, and Google Cloud Platform offers Cloud Storage Transfer Service to streamline the process. Alternatively, a manual execution is available for those desiring a more hands-on method to boost their cloud maturity.
The relocation process includes two modes:
a. Cold Migration: This involves halting the workload, transferring it to the cloud, and reinstating it.
b. Live Migration: This approach enables the transfer of a virtual machine from one environment to another without turning it off.
When to Opt For a Rehosting Strategy?
Case Study- Maritz Achieved 10x Performance Boost and Slashed Downtime with Oracle Cloud Rehsoting Strategy
Maritz, a longstanding player in the incentive industry, faced significant challenges with an aging IT infrastructure, overloaded staff, and complex processes. Managing over 27 on-premise applications on outdated hardware, the company struggled with performance, lengthy disaster recovery times, and impending skills shortages. They decided to adopt the Rehost strategy, and they enjoyed the benefits,
Strategy Type: Modification
The Replatform cloud migration strategy is an advanced version of the reposting option. It involves making minimal configuration adjustments to applications for better compatibility with the cloud environment without altering their fundamental architecture. This approach resembles the ‘lift, tinker, and shift’ methodology. It is commonly employed to optimize apps for managed platforms like Google Cloud SQL or Amazon RDS, mainly focusing on database interactions.
When to Opt For a Replatform Strategy?
Case Study- Netflix Revolutionized 7x Faster with 50% Cost Savings and Unmatched Scalability!
Netflix faced challenges with an outdated architecture, hindering scalability and agility, through a strategic cloud replatforming initiative. They transitioned the microservice’s architecture using AWS services like EC2, S3, DynamoDB, and Lambda. The results were impressive:
This transformation allowed Netflix to adapt more efficiently to user demands and market trends.
Strategy Type: Re-architecting
The Refactor/ Re-architecture method involves rewriting applications entirely to align them with cloud-native applications. Imagine a traditional on-premise application with a monolithic architecture, and you decide to move to the cloud; in the refactor/re-architecture approach, you would not simplify lift and shift the application; instead, you would leverage the microservices, serverless computing, and other native cloud technologies. For instance, as part of this cloud migration strategy, you can rewrite specific application components to function as independent microservices.
When to Opt For a Refactor/ Re-architect Strategy?
Case Study- Airbnb’s Refactoring Triumph – A 60% Slash in Server Costs
Airbnb, a global online platform that facilitates short-term lodging rentals between hosts and guests, offering a diverse range of unique accommodations, adopted a robust refactoring cloud migration strategy, reshaping and optimizing its infrastructure to overcome performance bottlenecks.
Strategy Type: Replacement
This cloud migration strategy is known as “drop and shop.” It includes swapping out an on-site application with cloud-native vendor-packaged software, typically shifting to a Software as a Service (SaaS) application with similar features. This procedure might involve adjusting licensing arrangements and transitioning from on-premise licenses to new licenses offered by the cloud provider for their solution. The upgraded cloud version offers improved efficiency and cost savings with a streamlined migration process.
When to Opt For a Repurchase Strategy?
Case Study- Spotify Achieved Soaring 40% Cost Reduction and Turbocharged Development with GCP Migration
Spotify, a global music streaming leader, grappled with scalability challenges tied to on-premise servers. The company adopted a repurchase cloud migration strategy to overcome these hurdles. They transitioned to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and are now ripping the benefits. What does a successful cloud migration strategy look like? See for yourself!
Strategy Type: Decommission
This cloud migration strategy focuses on eliminating or downsizing applications that are no longer useful or productive in your IT portfolio. Any application deemed unworthy of migrating to the cloud can be removed or scaled down. This strategy involves assessing all applications based on their utility, dependencies, and cost to the company. It is a less active cloud data migration strategy than other strategies, as no migration is involved.
When to Opt For a Retire Strategy?
Case Study- Autodesk’s Cloud-First Leap with AWS – 400+ Apps, 97% Efficiency, and a 58% Footprint Cut!
Autodesk, a leading technology company, strategically transitioned from a hybrid model to a cloud-first approach, partnering with AWS for a large-scale migration initiative. They successfully employed a “retire” cloud migration strategy, aiming for efficiency and innovation by shifting from a hybrid model to a cloud-first approach. Look at the perks!!
Strategy Type: Hypervisor-Level Lift and Shift Migration
Comparatively new among the other Cloud migration strategies, this strategy facilitates seamless migration of workloads between on-premises platforms (e.g., Kubernetes or VMware) and their cloud counterparts (e.g., GKE or EKS). The relocation approach minimizes downtime and disruption and doesn’t necessitate code rewriting or hardware acquisition. It ensures uninterrupted client connectivity, requires minimal configuration changes, and keeps operating expenses low by eliminating the need for staff retraining or hardware upgrades. The strategy also provides cost predictability by setting clear scalability limits.
When to Opt For a Retire Strategy?
Case Study- Coca-Cola’s Delivers Zero-Downtime Migration, 40% Cost Savings, and Unmatched Business Agility.
Coca-Cola addressed on-premises data center challenges by implementing a Relocate Strategy, utilizing Hypervisor-Level Lift and Shift migration. This involved migrating 600+ workloads, including critical SAP applications, from their VMware environment to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The move aimed to enhance agility, reduce costs, and improve disaster recovery capabilities, showcasing a practical Cloud migration strategy example in action.
Strategy Type: Hybrid Cloud
The Retain strategy, also known as re-visit, involves revisiting critical applications or parts of digital assets that require significant refactoring before migrating to the cloud. In some cases, it becomes obvious that certain applications are better suited for on-premise arrangements or have recently undergone upgrades, making them suitable for retention. Other reasons for retaining applications include latency, compliance, regulatory constraints, or simply because it’s not cost-effective to migrate them.
When to Opt For a Retain Strategy?
Case Study- Siemens Shifts Cloud Migration Strategy to ‘Retain and Optimize’ Amid Integration Challenges
A global engineering giant, Siemens, initially aimed for an aggressive cloud-first approach but faced integration, data governance, and standardization challenges. They revised their strategy to “retain and optimize.” Their achievements were:
Following these five cloud migration phases, you’ll be well-equipped to craft a comprehensive and successful cloud migration strategy tailored to your organization’s unique requirements and goals.
Organizations must define their business goals for transitioning to the cloud during the initial preparation phase. These goals include flexibility, financial savings, operational efficiency, and increased scalability. Construct a business report for moving each application to the cloud by outlining the expected total cost of ownership (TCO) in contrast to the current TCO. Leverage cloud cost estimation tools to project future expenses accurately, factoring in realistic assumptions such as storage utilization, computing resources, instance types, operating systems, and specific performance and networking prerequisites.
The next step is to craft a detailed migration plan. This plan should outline the step-by-step process of migrating workloads, specifying which ones will be moved and in what sequence.
Moreover, organizations must choose their preferred cloud structure and pinpoint any required modifications to current applications or data. Considering how much you rely on your data, determine if there’s data that needs frequent updates, compliance rules, or less crucial data that can be moved early in the process. It aids in determining whether data needs cleaning, the appropriate destination volumes to utilize, and whether encryption is essential for data both at rest and in transit.
The migration phase involves the actual transfer of data, applications, and other tasks to the cloud. Moving data is a big part of this process. If your data isn’t available to users during the move, it can cause problems for your business. The same goes for keeping everything updated after the initial action. Before moving on to the next task, each part of the workload should be tested in the new environment. It’s also essential to find a way to keep track of any changes made to the original data while the move is happening.
Organizations enter the operational phase once they successfully transfer workloads to the cloud. In this stage, they handle tasks in the cloud, like watching how well everything is working, managing resources, and ensuring security and compliance. Throughout this phase, organizations should make ongoing improvements based on feedback and data, tweaking things as needed to optimize cloud operations. Beyond real-time monitoring, it’s crucial to assess the security of stored data in the cloud to ensure compliance with regulations like HIPAA and GDPR.
The final stage in the cloud migration process is optimization. In this phase, organizations explore avenues to enhance their cloud environment and efficiently utilize resources. This includes fine-tuning how they operate in the cloud, finding ways to save money, and adding features or services designed for the cloud to boost performance. Optimization is an ongoing process, with organizations always looking for ways to improve how they use the cloud and get more value for their business.
Wondering why there is a need to migrate in the first place. Here are the factors that propel the need for a comprehensive cloud migration strategy and navigate the course for a seamless and successful transition.
Business objectives, such as cost reduction, increased scalability, and agility, are crucial in shaping its cloud migration strategy. For instance, the enterprise might opt for a cloud provider with a more economical application pricing model if the goal is to cut costs. Additionally, considerations include the architecture and requirements of each workload to be migrated, available skills, time constraints, and budgetary constraints to achieve the desired objectives successfully.
In a comprehensive cloud migration strategy, adaptability and scalability are key components. AWS offers services like Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), enabling organizations to dynamically adjust the scale of their resources and effectively respond to changing demands. This ensures efficient performance and cost-effectiveness. The flexibility provided by these services allows businesses to handle workload fluctuations and prepare for future growth effectively.
The characteristics and readiness of applications significantly impact the cloud migration strategy. For example, applications needing high performance or constant availability may require a specific cloud provider. A detailed discovery process for each application is necessary, and the migration strategy should align with clear goals, milestones, and awareness of potential risks.
Moving to the cloud involves spending money upfront. There are costs for changing to SaaS (repurchase cloud migration strategy), transferring resources, and training staff to use and manage the cloud. Additionally, there might be expenses for running both the cloud and the company’s old systems simultaneously until the migration is finished. Thus, a business might decide to stop using or retain specific workloads.
Throughout the cloud migration process, organizations encounter security challenges related to data transfer and must adhere to privacy and regulatory compliance standards. To ensure a secure migration process, leveraging AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) alongside the AWS Key Management Service (KMS) is crucial. This combination will facilitate secure access and enable robust encryption measures for enhanced data protection. It also helps address security vulnerabilities and ensures alignment with regulatory requirements. Moreover, businesses may keep sensitive data on-premise while moving the rest to the cloud, bolstering overall data security.
Consider adopting these top 10 best practices for optimizing your cloud migration strategy.
Clear communication of the cloud migration plan to all stakeholders is essential. Discussing goals involves developing a transparent and documented business plan with explicit timelines and milestones. These goals should encompass the present state of your existing infrastructure and straightforward methods for assessing the progress and success of the cloud migration. Additionally, it’s essential to document the strategy’s objectives, including starting points and key performance indicators (KPIs), for monitoring progress and ensuring a successful outcome aligning with your chosen Cloud migration strategy.
Determine which applications and services to move first based on business priorities, technical complexity, and risk assessment. Start with low-impact workloads that may not require expensive changes. Adopt a gradual method, focusing on one aspect or application at a time to minimize disruptions and effectively handle risks. Analyze the current IT infrastructure, applications, and data thoroughly. Identify applications that can benefit from cloud-native features. Once the assets for migration are decided, the strategy should outline plans for shutting down older systems.
While cloud costs may appear low at first glance, they can quickly rise due to the dynamic nature of the cloud environment. What worked well in on-premise setups might become expensive in the cloud. Companies can use cloud cost calculators from major cloud vendors like Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and Google Cloud to avoid unexpected costs. These calculators help teams estimate the total cost of their planned cloud setup and offer real-time guidance for optimization.
Moving to the cloud means changing a setup proven to work. Even with a clear plan and careful execution, it’s essential to have backups and safety measures in case of unexpected issues. This is when a disaster recovery plan (DRP) becomes necessary. Many organizations have a DRP but often forget to update and test it. When creating a strategy to move to the cloud, organizations must ensure their DRP is reliable and ready to be used.
Using the cloud is quite different from using in-house technology, especially when an organization is shifting from old-fashioned systems to the cloud for the first time. Employees have to learn how to work with a particular cloud provider, and this training isn’t a one-time thing because there are always updates. Therefore, the strategy for moving to the cloud must also think about the time and money spent on this ongoing training.
Cloud migration extends beyond relocation; it includes comprehensive testing to ensure the new setup functions seamlessly. The plan should outline a testing schedule, and post-testing performance evaluation should align with the short- and long-term goals reflecting your cloud migration strategy.
Picking the correct cloud provider is crucial for the organization because it’s a long-term commitment. The choice of a cloud provider doesn’t just rely on what it offers now but also on its future plans for technology. If the provider isn’t keeping up with the latest tech, the organization might lose its competitive advantage. To manage this risk, some organizations use more than one cloud provider. This multi-cloud setup allows them to benefit from the best features offered by different providers in accordance with your cloud migration strategy.
It’s crucial to monitor performance and security in the cloud environment constantly. Emphasize adherence to security rules and conduct regular assessments of system functionality. Utilize AWS CloudWatch for vigilant monitoring and AWS CloudTrail to verify rule compliance. Document each phase of the cloud transition strategy to facilitate collaboration and ensure alignment with established rules and goals. Integrate AWS Developer Tools into the workflow to streamline collaboration and code deployment, enhancing overall efficiency throughout the cloud migration journey.
The cloud is undergoing continuous evolution with constant changes. Some cloud services have limited controls on the organization’s side, so middleware tools should be used for automation. Implement necessary processes for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD).
Some companies shift to the cloud to ensure their infrastructure stays ready for the future. Cloud providers consistently introduce new features as part of their ongoing cloud transformation initiatives. It’s the organization’s responsibility to stay current with these features and upgrade as needed. A plan for regular updates should be part of the strategy to make sure the organization gets the full advantages of using the cloud.
A well-crafted cloud migration strategy is imperative for businesses looking to leverage the benefits of cloud computing. Such a strategy ensures a smooth transition of applications and data to the cloud, aligning with organizational goals and objectives. It enables cost optimization, enhances security measures, and positions the business for future scalability and innovation.
You can sit back while we run the forefront, guarantee a swift, technically resilient journey to the cloud, align with industry standards, and empower your business to thrive. You can experience a transformative partnership where we prioritize fast data transfer, security, and financial optimization to drive your business forward.
Ultimately, a thoughtfully executed cloud migration strategy, with specialized Cloud consulting services, allows companies to stay competitive, improve operational efficiency, and capitalize on the flexibility and advancements offered by cloud technologies. This strategic approach is a technical endeavor and a crucial driver of business transformation and success in the evolving digital landscape.
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