Cloud migration involves moving data, resources, or servers from one location to another. Among other things, the cloud improves its agility and reduces certain costs. But this project only makes sense if it can deliver tangible benefits for your business. In other words, migration is not as simple as it seems. A correct plan with appropriate solutions is essential.
Many businesses are migrating some of their IT to the cloud. Various reasons may justify this decision. An application is experiencing an increase in traffic and it is becoming increasingly difficult to evolve internal resources “on the fly” in order to meet this growing demand. Management wants (or imposes …) a reduction in operational costs all the while demanding a better efficiency of its IT processes …
We could list many other examples, but that’s of no importance. The objective is to rely on the clouds assets to accelerate economic and technical development, enable teams to manage the infrastructure in a more autonomous manner and ultimately, improve the customers experience.
” get more, faster, with less”
The cloud is a technical and contextual answer. Migration is one of the best answers to the new paradigm:” get more, faster, with less.” But how? On paper, it’s easy, but the reality is more complex. Every business has unique constraints, business objectives, and means. Not all have reached the same level of digital transformation. Many are ahead and rely mostly on recent and innovative applications (the cloud). On the other hand, others are organized around “classic” on-site solutions.
More than anything, a successful cloud migration requires a cultural shift that is even more profound than any technological changes. If, after the migration, you are still using the same development methods, but you are doing them in “the cloud,” you will definitely not see any significant gains in terms of productivity.
As everyone knows, the cloud allows businesses to have unparalleled flexibility. It offers the ability to scale resources faster and more dynamically in order to respond to requests in real time.
This flexibility makes it possible to answer two needs :
- Rationalize the use of infrastructure
- Satisfy developers who no longer need to wait for additional resources
But beware of bad habits or excess optimism. The ease with which this migration can be done should not incite one to rush. A series of poorly managed deployments within a short period can lead to chaos. Companies need to implement processes to reconcile speed of deployment in the cloud and stability of the Information System (IS).
And this stability within the overall structure involves forward thinking and asking yourself some essential questions.
What are my objectives?
It is essential to define your priorities in order to consider this mutation in an evolutionary manner. What are your priority needs: to be flexible, to rely on significant resources, to secure your data, to automate tasks in order to focus on your core business or to profit from innovative technologies?
Once these priority objectives have been defined, it is advisable to start with the least strategic workloads and gradually move towards the heaviest ones. This step-by-step ramp-up makes it possible to precisely verify the cloud’s performance and to witness the providers reaction in the event of malfunction or viral infection, for example.
DevOps or cloud? The chicken or the egg?
One of the businesses motivations is to rely on the cloud to implement DevOps practices. And the integration of DevOps requires migration to the cloud. It is inconsequential which motive came first. Isn’t the important thing to understand the interest of this reflection? And this interest is automation. Only automation can both reduce the cost of traditional IT (fewer resources used) while avoiding the errors inherent in manual developments. To control this paradigm shift, CIOs can and should learn from DevOps.
This process is the only way to automate a system that has become complicated by the accumulation of multiple layers of applications.
A universal layer is used to deploy the application’s infrastructure, middleware, and its systems’ runtime during its T lifecycle. The objective? The developer’s line of code must appear faster and more qualitatively than with traditional IT.
Have I mastered my information management system?
Is the interoperability of the proposed cloud solution with the existing storage system optimized? By integrating the cloud into the ICT (Information and communication technology), the company’s IT security policies must also evolve. Are the connections and ports on the terminal connecting to the online platform all properly identified and secured? If confidential data is being transferred to the cloud, which protections should be in place (ex: which VPN should be used, etc.)?
In closing, cloud migration has many advantages. But during migration, a company must also consider its disadvantages. The main issues (data integrity, security, data portability) can have a negative impact on the organization.