The phrase “moving to the cloud” makes the complex process of cloud migration sound simple — like all you have to do is choose a cloud service and then move your IT operations to it. However, migrating IT operations to the cloud is similar to moving to a new house. After you find a new home, you need to take specific steps to ensure that the move goes well. The same holds true when you’re moving IT operations to the cloud. To prepare for a smooth cloud migration, you need to take the following four steps.
- Determine what you have
It’s difficult to plan a migration if you don’t know what needs to be moved. For each IT operation you plan to migrate, you need to answer questions such as:
- What applications are being used in this operation, and who is using them?
- What resources are required by each application to run optimally?
- What data must be accessed while using those applications?
These are only a few of the many questions you need to answer before migrating to the cloud. Fortunately, some of the most crucial questions may already be addressed when determining which IT operations to migrate and which cloud service provider to use.
- Determine what you’re bringing with you
Once you know what you have and how it’s being used, you can decide what you want to migrate to the cloud. Just like when moving to a new home, it’s helpful to “clean house” — go through applications and data to see if they’re still needed— before the migration. Moving items that serve no purpose wastes time and resources.
You should also determine whether any changes to the applications and data are necessary before the move. If changes are needed, they should be completed as soon as possible in case any problems arise.
- Determine where everything will go
Before you move to a new home, you need to do more than just map the route you plan to take from your old house to the new one. You also need to map out where everything should go — which furniture goes in which room, which dishes go in which cupboard, and so on. Having to make adjustments later on adds extra work.
Similarly, you need to map which applications and data stores go to which cloud resources before the migration. In other words, you need to lay out your technology.
- Create a realistic migration schedule
When planning a cloud migration, it’s important to avoid having an overly aggressive schedule. Rushing through a migration can be disastrous, as TSB Bank found out firsthand. In April 2018, TSB Bank migrated legacy banking apps to the cloud with disastrous results. Just hours after the new cloud-based system went online, it came to a screeching halt. Millions of customers were locked out of their accounts. Even worse, some customers’ data were found in the wrong accounts.
TSB Bank’s migration failure was attributed to several factors, including trying to migrate everything at once and having an overly aggressive schedule that didn’t allow for adequate testing. When planning a migration, be sure to move operations in stages if possible and build in ample time for testing and adjustments.
Don’t go in alone
There’s a lot to do before moving day. Cloud migration experts can help you complete the necessary steps. Besides bringing years of experience to the table, they can also suggest tools to help automate parts of the process, such as application discovery software and dependency mapping tools.
Synoptek has the experience to help plan and execute your cloud migration seamlessly today.
About the Author
Synoptek is an established firm that provides information systems consulting and IT management services. Synoptek and its predecessors have been providing these services for 23 years.