Do you need a strategy to migrate to the cloud?
Does shifting to the cloud help a business reduce costs and improve efficiency? Yes. But, migrating apps and services to the cloud isn’t quite as simple as flipping a switch. A certain degree of planning and strategy is needed to implement any move to the cloud successfully.
As outlined in a fantastic three-part blog series by Stephen Orban from Amazon Web Services, the “migration process” differs greatly from business to business, depending on the complexity of the systems and applications involved.
“The complexity of migrating existing applications varies, depending on the architecture and existing licensing arrangements. If I think about the universe of applications to migrate on a spectrum of complexity, I’d put a virtualized, service-oriented architecture on the low-complexity end of the spectrum, and a monolithic mainframe at the high-complexity end of the spectrum.”
Therefore, we suggest you begin with what Amazon calls discovery and planning—determine what’s in your system’s environment, what the interdependencies are, what’s going to be easy to migrate, and what’s going to be difficult to migrate. From here, you can turn to the most common application migration strategies, first outlined by Gartner in 2011 and later tweaked by Amazon:
This is a strategy that’s also known as “lift and shift.” It’s the most common cloud migration strategy because it’s by far the simplest and most straightforward—applications are moved en masse to a cloud platform without any changes being made to their underlying architecture. The biggest benefit in rehosting is speed. Large-scale migrations can be completed quickly and, in many causes, the migration can be automated with tools like AWS VM Import/Export or Racemi.
Otherwise known as “lift, tinker, and shift.” This strategy is similar to rehosting but involves making small changes and tweaks to the applications or systems being migrated. Of course, those small changes can add up to big savings. For instance, imagine changing one aspect of an app being migrated to open source software, so your business can save on licensing fees.
Refactoring is typically the most costly migration strategy but it can also be the most beneficial. It involves rethinking an application’s underlying architecture and redeveloping it to add new, cloud-focused or cloud-optimized features.
While there are many service provider out there who support re-factoring, one giant, SalesForce is especially focused on this. According to SalesForce App Cloud, “66% of IT teams are integrating 11 or more systems” so that they can immediately access accurate data sets for a true 360-degree view of customers.
Sometimes, migration is as easy as flipping a switch. The elegant simplicity of moving to a new cloud-based product entirely is often the easiest and most effective strategy. This usually means moving some aspects of your business processes to an SaaS product or suite of products, which may or may not be an option for your business, such as moving your CRM system to Salesforce.
Throughout the migration process, you may discover that not all systems, software, or apps are ready for a move to the cloud. In these cases, err on the side of caution. As Amazon warns: “Only migrate what makes sense for your business.” Take a wait and see approach with legacy apps that can’t be migrated, and simply revisit them at a later time.
Finally, there’s the most overlooked option.
Too often, enterprises are supporting systems, services, and applications that are long past their expiry dates. In some cases, businesses are supporting apps that simply don’t deliver ROI to the business and are therefore a costly drain on their IT portfolio.
According to Axia’s Business Development Director Jordan Allred, redundant software/apps are not a major problem for business. The bigger problem is the lack of scalability and flexibility of software and systems to be customizable and still cost effective.
Supporting your migration to the cloud
Cloud-based systems and services help provide significant cost savings to businesses big and small, but they require the proper infrastructure to unleash their full potential.
If you want to take advantage of cloud-based solutions such as Amazon Web Services for your business, a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connection ensures greater scalability, flexibility, and security of your enterprise’s network.
For more information on our fibre connectivity solutions, contact your Axia salesperson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-773-3348.