Plan Your Cloud Strategy Before You Plan Your Cloud Migration

Many companies are still hesitating about adopting cloud. No wonder; moving to cloud means a major change in your approach to technology. This isn’t the kind of change you want to rush into—you need to take your time to develop a strategy and plan how to execute it. These are the steps to take:

  1. Identify your business goals. Understand what you hope to achieve by moving to cloud. Cloud is a technology solution, but underlying the choice to use cloud is a set of business problems, not strictly technology problems. Know whether you’re hoping to reduce costs, increase your flexibility to respond to business opportunities, or make security and compliance simpler with environments certified and supported by your cloud provider.
  2. Evaluate cloud providers’ ability to meet those goals. Once you know what you hope to accomplish by moving to cloud, you can assess how each cloud provider will help you achieve those aims. If your primary goal is cost, assessing their pricing plans will be a major part of your evaluation. If you want an environment that will enable your software developers to build applications more rapidly, you’ll want to spend time looking at the APIs and toolkits available on the platform. If meeting industry compliance standards is your main aim, rule out any provider that doesn’t have certified environments before you start comparing other features. But don’t pick a cloud provider just yet!
  3. Evaluate migration challenges. It’s also important to understand how easy it will be to start using the cloud. This means you need to consider how easy it will be to move from your current infrastructure to the cloud. Different cloud vendors offer different tools that can help you with this effort, including libraries of preconfigured images and data migration tools.
  4. Consider all integration issues. Using the cloud won’t completely eliminate your own infrastructure. Even if you move everything to the cloud, you’ll still need bandwidth to connect to it. And it’s far more likely that you won’t move everything to the cloud. You’ll likely move a few applications and services at a time. Some legacy applications may not be designed for the cloud and you may never move them. You’ll need to figure out how you’ll handle the technology you’re keeping on site and make it work with the cloud.
  5. Plan your cloud migration. Once you’ve considered all the factors and selected a cloud provider, it’s time to get ready to move. This requires detailed analysis of the applications you’ll be moving, their data, and any dependencies. You’ll need to figure out how to migrate the workload without causing downtime that impacts the business. Don’t forget to allocate time to train your staff to support the applications once they’re in the cloud.

Do you need help figuring out your cloud strategy? Prescient Solutions helps Chicago and Schaumburg businesses make the transition. We’re a Microsoft Partner, with deep expertise in Microsoft Azure cloud and all the Microsoft products that underlie your IT and support your business. Contact us to learn how our IT consulting and managed services can help you successfully execute your cloud strategy.

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