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6 Steps to Migrate to the Cloud

By Brian Garoutte

Many companies make the decision to move to the cloud, but they don’t always know where to start. Today we are going to be discussing 6 steps to help you migrate to the cloud. This should help jump start your journey!

Before we jump in, we are going to discuss the types of clouds. According to Forbes, “The prediction is that 41% of enterprise workload will be run on public cloud platforms by 2020. Another 20% will be private-cloud-based, while 22% will rely on hybrid cloud adoption. Further data cited by Forbes, suggests only 27% of workloads will be on-premise by 2020. This would spell a 10% drop in absolute terms in just one year – as the same number for 2019 is at 37%.”

So, with that in mind…

Public Cloud
A third party company offers a public cloud (ie Amazon, Microsoft, Google). While the instances are separated, it provides shared resources among all users. Some of the benefits of using a public cloud are scalability, reduced costs, and using a pay-as-you-go model.

Private Cloud
Just like it sounds, it is a cloud used only by one company. It can either be physically hosted in a data center or they can hire a third-party company to host the cloud for them. Some of the benefits of using a private cloud are scalability, flexibility, and reducing costs. One disadvantage is that you will still have additional costs such as acquisition and maintenance.

Hybrid Cloud
Then, of course, you have the hybrid cloud which is a combination of both public and private clouds. This can really be any combination that makes sense for the company. Many times, a company will continue to host critical data and applications on their private cloud and non-critical data and applications on a public cloud. Some of the benefits of using a hybrid cloud are flexibility, security, scalability, and easier integration. Most of all, having the best of both worlds.

In picking the cloud that makes the most sense for you, we see many using the public cloud, but we’ve also seen several companies start with the hybrid cloud first before moving to strictly the public cloud so they can ease their migration to the cloud. That said, any of these options are possible in starting to migrate to the cloud.

With the types of cloud in mind, we are now going to talk about the steps for migrating to the cloud.

Step 1: Turn it into a Project
Before you start doing anything, set the expectations up front that it will be treated like a project and project management principles will be used in preparing, executing, and reviewing the project. This will ensure things move forward and there is a target completion date. There is nothing worse than deciding to do it, but then you don’t know who is responsible for what or when it is expected to be done. Make sure to set the company up for success by planning from the beginning. Being able to designate a project lead or champion, which help ensure the best chance of it being successful.

Step 2: Take a Comprehensive IT Inventory
In addition to treating it like a project, one of the first steps to get started should be creating an inventory of everything within the IT infrastructure. This ensure nothing is overlooked during the process and there won’t be any surprises later. Going through this exercise will also help you identify what workloads should be prioritized. Whether you plan to migrate everything or migrate at a slower pace, this will give you the opportunity to create a migration plan.

Need some help? Check out our blog on What Should You Move to the Cloud First?

Step 3: Review Cloud Options
Going back to the types of clouds we discussed earlier, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each cloud. Keep in mind, the type of cloud can be changed down the line either by design or if needed. For example, if it makes more sense to start with a hybrid cloud and eventually move everything to the public cloud, that is doable. Remember, migrating to the cloud is journey and not an overnight process. Regardless of what or how you plan to migrate your infrastructure, it will take time.

Step 4: Create a Roadmap
Now that you have taken an IT inventory and reviewed the cloud options, it is time to start to create a cloud migration roadmap to help lay out the long-term plan for the migration. Whether this takes a few weeks or a few months, make sure the roadmap makes sense for your company and you aren’t trying to meet an unrealistic goal. Rushing the process will only create more problems down the road. Having an accurate roadmap will help everyone stay on track and on target.

Step 5: Migration Plan Implementation
While seemingly one of the harder steps, implementing the plan may be where you run into the most roadblocks. But the more flexible and agile you can be, the faster you can get past the roadblocks and continue with the implementation process. Don’t be afraid to make changes if needed, just make sure they are warranted changes and not just because you missed a deadline.

Step 6: Review and Refine
Even though this is the last step, you can continue to review and refine until you feel like the migration is 100% implemented and all the goals have been met. You can also use this as a chance to reflect on the project and share any best practices you learned from it.

Want to Learn More about a Public Cloud Migration Strategy?
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Tags: Move to the Cloud

azure cost optimization

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