To stay competitive, companies are leveraging innovative technologies such as AI, smart devices, and edge computing. These technologies allow them to create new business models, improve the efficiency of their operations, improve customer satisfaction and position themselves for the future.

IDC’s Futurescape 2020 illustrates how seriously companies view cloud technologies and how rapidly they’re integrating cloud services into their future IT plans.

  • By 2021, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will rely on a mix of private clouds, public clouds, and legacy platforms. 
  • By 2024, 70% of organizations will spend more on cloud applications and platforms to reduce the cost and complexity of customizing enterprise applications.
  • By 2025, 60% of enterprise IT infrastructure spending will be on public cloud services and a quarter of enterprise IT applications will run on public cloud services.

As these numbers indicate, IT and business leaders increasingly view the cloud as essential to achieving effective IT operations and enabling future business opportunities. Some of the biggest innovators are using the cloud to achieve their goals but for many, embracing these new types of technology means transitioning to the cloud (and adopting a cloud migration strategy).

Related Read: 9 Reasons Businesses Choose Cloud Computing

Unfortunately, many cloud migration strategies are ineffective or flawed and fail to deliver on the expected business goals. Often, a migration is unsuccessful because it’s done as a quick fix to a problem with no thought given to dependencies, interoperability, or integration with existing IT environments. An unsuccessful migration will not contribute value to the business and may create costly problems down the road. 

What a successful cloud migration strategy requires

IT environments are typically a complex mix of legacy systems, old and new hardware, branch office systems, departmental SaaS subscriptions, cloud-enabled applications, and new cloud development. So successfully migrating applications from these diverse environments requires careful planning and, often, the expertise of a cloud consultant. The following are four important elements of an effective cloud migration strategy:

1. Know your IT applications and how they interact

While taking a current inventory of IT systems is vital to a cloud migration, you also should know how those applications and systems interact with each other. This helps address potential disruptions, reduce troubleshooting due to changes that may occur during the migration and allows for a dynamic migration strategy.

2. Weigh migration benefits and risks

Any cloud project should be evaluated on its value to the organization. Moving workloads to the cloud might improve agility or efficiency in some process or support a key business goal. A thorough evaluation of the expected value and benefits gained from migrating as compared to the costs and possible risks of the move can greatly improve the success of a project. Performing this evaluation may also help shed light on the right cloud for your project.

3. Evaluate services and providers

A single migration project may involve multiple cloud platforms, services, and providers, each chosen based on the unique needs of an application and its users. A managed service provider, like TierPoint,  can not only manage the cloud platform, they can help you conduct an assessment, research cloud options and create a roadmap for the migration and beyond. Managed service providers also work with key technology partners, like Nutanix, Dell and VMware, to offer additional cloud platform options and services, like hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), managed IT security and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

4. Refactor legacy applications

For many companies, the decision to modernize an application requires an evaluation of the various migration approaches and then to select the one that that solves their specific problem while also meeting their business goals.  Based on factors like compute requirements, regulatory considerations, software licensing issues or hardware requirements companies can choose to refactor, replatform or rehost their legacy applications. 

Rehosting involves a “lift and shift” approach and simply moves an application to a cloud environment with no changes.  Replatforming an application may include minimal changes to adapt to the new cloud platform but the fundamental features and functions of the application are the same.  Refactoring typically requires dividing the application into components that can be “containerized” and optimized to run in the cloud. It is important to note that not all applications are worth the cost and the risk to move to the cloud. 

Cloud migration experts can help you achieve your goals

An investment in the cloud can position a company for future growth, but it requires careful planning and support from cloud services experts with experience in a range of cloud platforms and hybrid IT environments. 

In our experience, businesses struggle with the following:

  • Understanding the proper sequence of events needed to prepare for the cloud transition
  • Prioritizing technology initiatives with limited in-house IT resources
  • Building a team with the expertise to handle the various aspects of a migration

Due to these roadblocks, many companies turn to professional services providers for help. A good professional services provider with years of experience in cloud migration can help you:

Moving to the cloud doesn’t need to be difficult. At TierPoint, we offer Professional Services to support an organization through the entire cloud migration process. Our team of cloud advisors can help you to work through your cloud strategy and consider your options. Contact us today to learn more.

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