The cloud computing revolution is in full swing, with Australia’s public spending on the cloud increasing every year. But why are more businesses and organisations migrating their workloads and digital assets to cloud platforms? Significant cost savings, greater efficiency, faster innovation, and expanded capabilities are the main reasons for this shift.
However, successfully transitioning your operations to the cloud brings its fair share of challenges. Without clear business objectives, a cloud migration plan, and proper execution and management, cloud transformation aspirations can quickly become failed projects, cost overruns, and business disruption.
That’s why following cloud adoption best practices and sound migration strategies is crucial for companies or business owners undertaking the cloud migration journey. Not sure where to start? Read this guide to learn the most effective tips for creating a cloud migration checklist and overcoming challenges.
Identify Your Business Goals and Objectives
Before starting your cloud migration project, clearly define what you wish to achieve from this shift. Ask sharp questions that get to the heart of why you’re moving to a new environment, such as:
- How can the cloud boost revenues or cut costs?
- What capabilities are we lacking on-premises that the cloud provides?
- Do we need greater scalability and business agility that only the cloud can deliver?
Partnering with a reliable cloud migration services provider is a wise step in helping you navigate this process. The right cloud provider is instrumental in identifying the right migration objectives that facilitate growth in the long run.
Outlining exact business drivers and objectives keeps your migration efforts focused and productive, ensuring you choose the optimal applications and workloads to transition. Documenting your goals will also help you select the right cloud provider that is best aligned to fulfil your business aims in both the short and long term.
Choose the Right Cloud Provider
When selecting a cloud provider, the possibilities can seem endless, but not all clouds are created equal or have the same strengths. Choosing the right one to partner with is critical for your cloud migration project.
Compare capabilities around cloud security, cloud architectures, scalability, tools, and partnerships to find the best fit aligned with your goals. But don’t just look at the major players – specialist providers can excel at meeting niche needs or catering to specific industries. Finding professionals or cloud service providers that deeply understand your workloads and business objectives to transition smoothly is key.
Working with a responsive provider post-migration is important for performance optimisation and delivering ongoing value. So, do your due diligence to ensure you partner with the right cloud services provider that ticks all these boxes.
Plan for Downtime and Service Disruptions
Despite implementing the most robust plans, downtime and service disruptions are inevitable during migration. Therefore, be transparent with staff and customers about realistic expectations and potential impacts of this process.
Schedule any maintenance downtime windows carefully to minimise workflow interruptions. Most platforms provide staging environments in the cloud to help you replicate on-premises infrastructure for testing before cutover. Use this to build contingency timelines and develop rollback plans for unforeseen issues.
With careful planning, proactive communications, and mitigation strategies, any disruptions during migration can be made temporary and manageable. Business owners and managers should approach downtime carefully and patiently to assure people that productivity will be restored.
Develop a Robust Cloud Migration Plan
A sound cloud migration strategy gets everyone aligned on the tactical roadmap. It should cover three main aspects: technical steps, resource planning, and budgeting.
Technical migration steps
You must clearly define the discrete technical steps required to migrate each application and database. Remember, no one-size-fits-all procedure exists because every business’s computer system is unique. So, outline specific actions tailored to each workload’s cloud and cloud computing model adopted by your enterprise.
Detail the human resources, skill sets, and staff training required throughout the implementation phases. Assigning workload owners and subject matter experts to oversee migration streams helps streamline the process.
Migration cost, budgeting, and procurement
How much will the cloud migration cost? You need to understand all costs across distinct migration waves. Catalogue equipment and services needing procurement, like computing resources, network upgrades, migration tools, cloud vendor subscriptions, and other technical requirements.
Establish Crucial KPIs
Migration is just the initial step – proving the cloud’s tangible benefits and return on investment (ROI) comes next. Establish metrics aligned to your defined business goals before cloud migration, then track them after the transition.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) should tie to outcomes like lowering total cost of ownership (TCO), improving system reliability, and boosting application performance and end-user experience.
Monitor progress against baseline benchmarks over time to quantify cloud success. Common indicators include cloud cost savings, system uptime, frequency of new feature releases, and application adoption or usage.
Establish a Communication Plan
Smoothly managing non-technical staff anxiety and uncertainty throughout disruptive change is vital for migration efforts to stay on track. Set regular stakeholder communications about anticipated migration process timelines, training plans, and go-live launch targets.
While at it, remain transparent about potential temporary impacts to certain daily work processes during transition events. Have cloud solution architects and delivery leads proactively engage with application development teams to explain technical changes like premise infrastructure access adjustments.
Also, keep leadership stakeholders updated on milestone progress to address any unwarranted concerns. This upfront planning allows everyone to feel informed and on the same page. It also streamlines the cloud migration process by managing worker expectations and accelerating long-term improvements.
When moving enterprise data and complex applications to a public cloud environment like Google Cloud, don’t underestimate strict data residency, privacy, regulatory and industry compliance considerations that come into play. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and other public clouds also offer diverse solutions for enterprises. Still, it’s best to review potential implications early in planning to avoid unnecessary compliance gaps or issues cropping down the track post-launch.
Data warehouse and data centre considerations are paramount in the migration journey. Assess the scalability and performance of data warehouse solutions provided by different public clouds. This includes evaluating the capabilities of AWS Redshift, Azure Synapse Analytics, and other relevant services to ensure they meet the requirements of your data-intensive applications.
Carefully assess whether prospective cloud providers have adequate regional data centres or zones to meet your expanding obligations over time. You can validate this by examining providers’ published compliance certifications, implemented security controls, and the cloud governance framework.
Although leading cloud vendors offer robust and maturing capabilities to aid customers in staying fully compliant, you still retain ultimate enterprise accountability. Therefore, get written commitments and confirmation details upfront from cloud providers before proceeding, then verify assurances along the journey to avoid any regulatory penalties later.
Successful migration to public clouds involves a holistic approach encompassing licence management, data warehouse considerations, legacy systems integration, and careful scrutiny of the source environment. By addressing these aspects with diligence and leveraging the capabilities of leading cloud providers, enterprises can unlock the full potential of the cloud while ensuring compliance and data security.
The cloud migration journey brings immense opportunities and potential pitfalls if not approached methodically. You can execute a successful migration that unlocks new cloud capabilities by clearly defining business goals, choosing the right provider partner, planning for disruptions during data migration, developing robust technical plans, monitoring success metrics, and communicating transparently.
While cloud migration challenges will arise, focusing on strategic aims and employing professional assistance smoothens the transition, resulting in successful cloud migration. With the best migration strategy and executive commitment, you can transform operations to harness the cloud’s full value. The future is undoubtedly cloud, and with diligence and purpose, your enterprise can confidently seize it.