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How to Create a Successful Cloud Migration Plan

An image which shows a hand pointing at various aspects of a cloud migration plan

Have you ever wondered what it takes to develop a cloud migration plan?

Businesses with on-premises IT infrastructure have many reasons to consider migrating to the cloud. That’s because the cloud offers multiple benefits, such as:

  • The potential for substantial cost savings, by only paying for consumed resources;

  • Access to cutting-edge technology without capital expenditures;

  • Virtually limitless scalability to address fluctuating business requirements;

  • Improved security posture and regulatory compliance;

  • Better access to data to support a mobile workforce.

But, it’s not enough to just decide you want to take advantage of cloud computing. If you really want to achieve the most benefits, you need a cloud migration plan.

A methodical approach to cloud migration provides a high probability of success in meeting your objectives.

Let’s take a look at what your cloud migration plan should encompass.

Essential Steps in a Cloud Migration Plan

For a successful cloud migration plan, you’ll need to prepare with the following steps.

Keep in mind that communication between all parties involved remains critical to your plan’s success. If you have an internal IT team, you’ll want a technical architect or another key member leading the migration and overseeing communication with everyone involved.

If, however, you don’t have an internal team, don’t worry – you have options (more on that, below).

The important thing is that you effectively communicate with your team about any expected changes.

Related: 4 Key Benefits of a Virtual Infrastructure (click image to learn more)

Determine your business objectives

Before engaging in cloud migration, establish the specific objectives you hope to achieve.

It might be something as simple as saving money, adding new functionality to your environment, or scaling up to meet emerging business requirements.

Go in with a goal in place, and you’re much more likely to achieve it.

Determine the migration’s scope

Once you specify your goals, you’ll need to determine what a migration might actually require.

Here, you’ll need to conduct a realistic evaluation of the migration’s prospective costs, timetable, and your organization’s available resources.

In determining the scope, try beginning with a small migration project first, addressing a subset of your IT environment. By starting small, you’ll gain a more accurate sense of what to expect.

Worker looking at his IT asset list
Related: Why Does Your IT Asset List Matter So Much? (Click image to learn more)

Choose a deployment model

Based on your business objectives, scope of the migration, and in-house technical resources, you’ll need to choose from a software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud deployment model.

Each one offers various benefits and drawbacks, and you may find a combination of models best suits your business needs.

In this step of planning your cloud migration, you’ll probably want to discuss these options with your cloud provider to determine the best course of action.

Select a reliable cloud partner

Choosing the right cloud partner is a huge factor in creating a successful cloud migration plan.

You want an experienced partner who offers the services you need to meet your goals.

When making your choice, look for a company with an established track record. Additionally, they should be able to answer any and all questions you have about the process, and be able to offer feedback and advice.

A man working at a network operations center (NOC)
Related: Why a Managed Network Operations Center Makes Sense (click image to learn more)

Prioritize your workloads for migration

Workloads should be prioritized for the migration based on several factors, such as their importance to your business and the complexity of the move.

Often, it pays to start with small, self-contained applications. These smaller applications can be easily migrated and evaluated for performance after the move.

Document existing performance baselines

How do you measure the success of a cloud migration? By comparing data both before and after the move.

Make sure to collect baseline performance data before migrating workloads or systems, and then compare it to data after the switch. This allows you to decide whether or not you achieved your original objectives.

Create a data migration plan

As part of the migration, you’ll need to move the data required for your applications to your cloud provider’s storage.

Then, after the necessary data is in place, migrate your applications according to priority.

Before putting them back into general use, thoroughly test them out in their new environment. This way, you can deal with any issues that appear before releasing them to the rest of your team.

In this key step, you’ll want to work with your cloud provider to determine the best methods of transition.

Review applications against baselines

Finally, after the move, you’ll want to evaluate whether or not you achieved your original objectives.

After migrating your workloads, compare new performances against your original baselines.

Choosing a Partner for Your Cloud Migration Plan

Moving to the cloud for your technology needs offers tremendous benefits, from cost savings to ease of scalability.

But, with the challenges involved, it’s understandable if you’re left with questions.

Which deployment model should you use? How long should you expect it to take? Will all of your applications function as before? What if you don’t have an IT team?

No matter your situation, there’s always help available from a trusted partner, even if you don’t know where to begin.

Ideal Integrations, with the help of our cybersecurity division, Blue Bastion, can help, with a full slate of cloud offerings to choose from.

We support all cloud deployment models in our data centers, and can help walk you through which options best suit your needs.

Simply contact us at 412-349-6680, or fill out the form below, and let our security and IT experts will gladly outline your options and best solutions.

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