If you are moving from primarily an on-premises business to one with a cloud-based server infrastructure, it could be described as cloud migration.
Cloud migration and all that comes with it including having a comprehensive identity and access management solution, are especially relevant right now. Many businesses planned for a fall return to the office following the pandemic, and now, major enterprise organizations are pushing that out again, until at least 2022, if they have plans to return at all.
So what exactly is meant, in specific terms, by cloud migration?
The Pandemic and a Speed-Up of Cloud Migration
As was touched on, while cloud migration isn’t necessarily an entirely new concept, the pandemic has sped up the pace at which companies have to embrace the idea.
The pandemic has been frustrating in some ways, but ultimately the outcome of making decisions like complete cloud migration may end up leading to more agility, cost-efficiency and innovation in how businesses operate.
In general, cloud migration is a process of moving digital assets, IT resources, services, assets, and applications either partially to the cloud or perhaps entirely to the cloud.
Cloud migration can also refer to a situation where you move from one cloud to another.
Most frequently, the term does refer to the process to move any digital assets from old, legacy infrastructure or on-premises data centers to the cloud. You don’t necessarily have to be moving all your assets for it to qualify as a cloud migration.
The cloud is just a reference to a set of computer services that you access over the internet. The cloud is accessible on-demand and offers self-service, which is ideal for remote workers.
Thanks to the cloud, things that at one point had to be on-premises can now be stored in a data center anywhere in the world.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?
When you migrate data and services to the cloud, you’re positioning yourself as a better digitally-driven and forward-thinking business.
The primary benefit of a cloud migration is the fact that you then have access to pretty much unlimited resources.
Other benefits of cloud migration are:
- Reduced costs
- Increased flexibility and agility
- Faster innovation abilities
- Better management of customer expectations
- Simplified IT
When you move to a cloud operating model, you’re getting the benefits of AI, automation, and analytics. It can save you up to 50% on operations.
It tends to be both secure and compliant, which is a crucial priority if you’re moving toward a more remote workforce.
What Is the Process of Cloud Migration?
Moving to the cloud might representative a transformative shift in your business. You’ll need to start by defining your strategy and understanding your business case for the migration.
You have to look at this migration as something far outside of just being a technology-driven goal. You need to have business outcomes that you set and expect to meet because of the migration. These need to be measurable goals.
Not every resource is going to make sense to include as part of your cloud migration. It may not provide you the return on investment you need, so this is something to be mindful of.
You’ll have to then plan to manage risk.
From there, once you have a robust strategy, you actually begin moving to the cloud.
You’ll need migration tools to keep things moving along smoothly.
Some of the challenges of cloud migration include:
- You’re not going to be able to move every legacy application easily. Are you going to keep these legacy apps or get rid of them?
- If you’re going to rebuild applications in the cloud, how will you ensure optimal performance?
- Who are the people who will be in charge of cloud management within your organization?
- Do you truly understand the complexity of what your migration is going to look like?
- Do you have buy-in from all key stakeholders?
- Are there any security or compliance risks that perhaps you’re not taking into account?
- What are the comfort levels of your employees when it comes to cloud technology and new technology in general?
- Downtime is a considerable risk of cloud migration that needs to be appropriately planned for. Your in-house servers could be temporarily offline, so what can you do to work around this and reduce damage?
Overall, modern businesses find that cloud migration benefits well outweigh the risks, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be prepared with a strategy and an eye toward what can go wrong to perhaps better avoid these scenarios.