5 key elements for a successful cloud migration

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As organizations continue to increase their cloud investment to drive business forward, cloud adoption has become integral to IT optimization. Cloud migration allows businesses to be more agile, improve inefficiencies and provide better customer experiences. Today, the need for stability and flexibility has never been more necessary.
An optimized IT infrastructure is different for each organization, but it often consists of a combination of public cloud, private cloud and traditional IT environments. In an IDG cloud computing survey, 73 percent of key IT decision-makers reported having already adopted this combination of cloud technology, and another 17 percent intended to do so in the next 12 months.
However, for businesses that are worried about disruption to their operations, adopting a cloud infrastructure doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Companies can start reaping the benefits from cloud technologies while continuing to run assets on existing on-premises environments by incorporating applications into a hybrid cloud model.
5 steps to successfully migrate applications to the cloud
Migrating to a cloud environment can help improve operational performance and agility, workload scalability, and security. From virtually any source, businesses can migrate workloads and quickly begin capitalizing on the following hybrid cloud benefits:
Greater agility with IT resources on demand, which enables companies to scale during unexpected surges or seasonal usage patterns.
Reduced capital expenditure becomes possible by shifting from an operating expenses model to pay-as-you-go approach.
Enhanced security with various options throughout the stack—from physical hardware and networking to software and people.
Before embarking on the cloud migration process, use the steps below to gain a clear understanding of what’s involved.
1. Develop a strategy.
This should be done early and in a way that prioritizes business objectives over technology.
2. Identify the right applications.
Not all apps are cloud friendly. Some perform better on private or hybrid clouds than on a public cloud. Some may need minor tweaking while others need in-depth code changes. A full analysis of architecture, complexity and implementation is easier to do before the migration rather than after.
3. Secure the right cloud provider.
A key aspect of optimization will involve selecting a cloud provider that can help guide the cloud migration process during the transition and beyond. Some key questions to ask include: What tools, including third-party, does the cloud provider have available to help make the process easier? Can it support public, private and multicloud environments at any scale? How can it help businesses deal with complex interdependencies, inflexible architectures or redundant and out-of-date technology?
4. Maintain data integrity and operational continuity.
Managing risk is critical, and sensitive data can be exposed during a cloud migration. Post-migration validation of business processes is crucial to ensure that automated controls are producing the same outcomes without disrupting normal operations.
5. Adopt an end-to-end approach.
Service providers should have a robust and proven methodology to address every aspect of the migration process. This should include the framework to manage complex transactions on a consistent basis and on a global scale. Make sure to spell all of this out in the service-level agreement (SLA) with agreed-upon milestones for progress and results.
IT optimization drives digital transformation
The results of IT optimization—including accelerated adoption, cost-effectiveness, and scalability—will help drive business innovation and digital transformation. Adopting cloud with a phased approach by carefully considering which applications and workloads to migrate can help companies obtain these benefits without disruption business operations.
Learn more about improving IT flexibility and IBM services for extending workloads to cloud by reading the smart paper “Optimize IT: Accelerate digital transformation”.
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