4-minute read time
Moving to the cloud is an enormous step for any organization. It’s a step that’s worth taking because the benefits that cloud computing offers can be a game-changer.
However, many find that cloud migration is a daunting process whose outcome depends mainly on proper planning and preparation.
Following our preparatory steps for painless cloud migration, you’ll enjoy all the benefits the cloud offers without suffering any headaches on your journey there.
Step 1: Assess Your Current IT Infrastructure
Before you can set sail on your cloud migration journey. you must take a thorough inventory of your IT assets. It is essential to understand the systems, applications, and data you have, where you have them, and why.
What often happens when an organization embarks on a scavenger hunt to understand its current IT infrastructure is that it discovers:
- Unaccounted assets
- Hidden dependencies
- Other surprises
These discoveries can stand in the way of a smooth migration to the cloud.
You’ll be able to make informed decisions about what to move to the cloud and what to keep on-premises once you clearly understand your IT landscape. These goals are what the next step is all about.
Step 2: Clearly Define Your Cloud Migration Goals
Now that you have a solid understanding of your current IT infrastructure, you must clearly define your migration goals. You can start by asking the following questions:
- What business objectives do I want to accomplish by migrating to the cloud?
- What IT infrastructure pain points do I want to address by moving to the cloud?
- Are there any specific benefits of cloud computing I hope to realize (e.g., increased scalability, cost savings, improved security, etc.)?
Remember that your cloud migration goals should be a yardstick to measure your success. They need to be specific and include deadlines.
For example, you might set a goal like “Reduce IT costs.” While that may be true, it’s more effective to use a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound):
“Reduce IT costs by 25% within the next 18 months by eliminating the expenses associated with in-house servers (e.g., energy consumption, maintenance, upgrades).”
Step 3: Pick the Right Cloud Service Provider
After setting crystal-clear cloud migration goals, the next step is to pick a cloud service provider to help you reach them. The provider needs to offer the capabilities necessary to meet your cloud migration goals (e.g., HIPAA-compliant file hosting), but it should also:
Have an Excellent Security Track Record
Avoid providers who have experienced multiple breaches.
Be in a Healthy Financial Position
Only choose a cloud service provider that is financially stable enough to overcome unfavorable economic conditions.
Work with Organizations Like Yours
Get a provider with experience working with organizations similar to yours – in size and industry.
Have an Excellent Reputation
Look for a provider with a positive reputation in the cloud industry. They should have plenty of positive reviews from real customers published online.
Offer Comprehensive Customer Support
Ensure the provider is ready to promptly resolve any issues you might encounter—regardless of when they occur.
You want to choose a cloud service provider that strives to be your trusted IT partner – not just a vendor. The cloud migration journey will be much less stressful with the right provider on your side.
Step 4: Create a Detailed Cloud Migration Plan
Once you’ve selected a cloud service provider, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and create a detailed migration plan. A solid migration plan will help you keep your migration on track and minimize downtime by serving as a roadmap for you to follow.
The plan should outline the specific actions you need to take to move your organization to the selected cloud service provider’s environment by describing the following.
- Tasks: The individual tasks you must complete to execute the migration.
- Timelines: The expected timeframe for each task.
- Resources: Each task requires personnel, hardware, and software resources.
There’s no need to make creating a cloud migration plan more complicated than it needs to be. An Excel spreadsheet can get the job done. It provides a convenient way to keep all the information organized and readily accessible.
Step 5: Ensure Everyone Is on the Same Page
The last preparatory step for a painless cloud migration is just as important as the previous ones. Everyone involved in the migration must be on the same page, including owners, managers, employees, and IT staff. Without it, confusion and chaos may arise.
Everyone must understand the benefits of cloud migration, why it’s essential, and their responsibilities in the migration process. That way, everyone involved will be motivated to work together to make the migration successful.
Cloud migration doesn’t have to feel like a leap of faith. Following the five preparatory steps described in this article can make the process painless and free of doubt.
Make the Cloud Safe for Your Business Data
Cloud providers implement multiple layers of best-in-class security solutions to protect their servers. However, these technical measures are half of the picture in cloud security.
What users do to protect their endpoints comprise the other half of the story.
Ensure your cloud data is protected after your migration with these best practices and strategies.