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The subtle art of moving to the Cloud: 11 things to consider
Migration to the cloud is like moving to a new house: backbreaking, time-consuming, but pretty satisfying in the end. You pack your life into boxes, deliver them to the new place, and, eventually, after everything is arranged, breathe out a sigh of relief.
The same goes with cloud computing – you can’t just get there. There’s a lot to think about and get ready for.
1. Proper inventory.
Migration projects start with figuring out what’s in place, if those items are needed and how they will work on the new platform. This preparation stage is always about deciding what is useful enough to keep and what doesn’t make sense to store.
2. Cost-related factors.
It’s actually pretty simple: if the costs of making your legacy app “cloud-ready” are less than maintaining it on-premises than it’s worth it. To determine if the migration is justified from a cost standpoint, you need to take into consideration the costs of converting, implementing, and integrating the cloud-based app with your existing architecture.
All the modern IT systems today are invariably connected to the Internet, which makes them vulnerable to hack attacks. The fact that cloud computing is a distributed network also makes it easier for companies to quickly recover from such attacks. What you need to do to minimize, the problem is to examine your cloud provider’s security measures and risk mitigation capabilities.
4. Migration approaches.
While considering moving to the cloud it’s important to understand not only why but also how to get there. You can choose one of the approaches within the migration strategy which suits your business needs best. There are three of them to consider: rehosting, replatforming, and refactoring.
5. Cloud compatibility.
Another thing you need to figure out in advance is whether it’s possible to host your software on a remote server. Sometimes companies have to replace much of their existing IT infrastructures to make their legacy systems compatible with the cloud. A more cost-effective option might be to use the hybrid cloud, which is capable of addressing most of these compatibility issues.
6. Shift in responsibility.
Although it might be viewed as a totally positive feature, it’s more controversial than it sounds. When something goes wrong at the cloud’s provider’s end, the only thing you can do is to log the issue with the vendor and wait for the resolution. Your IT department becomes powerless to address many problems. It’s actually neither a good thing nor a bad one, but a new reality you should get used to in order to move your business forward.
7. Data management.
It is another tricky issue in cloud service adoption. Which browsers does the cloud service support, and how does it handle data loss? Can the cloud provider or the user organization recover that data, and what’s the turnaround time? In what locations is customers’ data eventually stored?
Unfortunately, you can’t get away from downtime. But what you can do, is to have applications with offline syncing. This means, if you suffer downtime you can keep working and all your updated files will sync to the cloud automatically once the issue is resolved.
Let’s be honest, there’s little to think about: one of the main reasons for moving to the cloud is its ability to scale to one’s business requirements. The thing is that it can be done without you needing to be forward-thinking and have too many plans. With managed services, it can even be done automatically. With the proper support for scalability in your application, it’s like having a magical house that can be expanded or narrowed down to any size you need at that moment.
If you want to increase productivity, think of the processes that can be automated. For example, you can schedule automatic updates across your software, so you don’t have to worry about slower operation times. Automation can save so many business hours in productivity.
11. Cloud service management.
There are two options here. You may try to manage the cloud migrations all by yourself, which often turns out to be a painstaking experience. Imagine your house needs repairing. Could you handle it on your own? And, more importantly, would you like to? It’s far more labor-intensive, takes a lot more time, and there’s a higher chance you’re going to get it wrong. Or you can seek the assistance of a vendor to bolster your project. It makes sense if you want to lift a burden of dealing with a massive infrastructure migration off your shoulders. A trusted partner can optimize and re-architect your data, providing a prescribed, personalized cloud solution.
While moving to the cloud, preparation is key. It ensures a smooth transition of your system and its capability to use all the benefits of cloud services. Once you get there, you’ll know… and you’ll breathe out in relief.
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