Cloud Journey: The Steps to Cloud Migration
In the past few years, we’ve been seeing more enterprises starting to adopt the cloud into their business processes and operations. If you’re still not in the cloud and currently considering your options, this article is for you. Fully migrating into the cloud is a big step and might feel overwhelming. However, getting familiar with the cloud journey will help you make better decisions for your business.
What is Cloud Journey?
A cloud journey, or a cloud migration, is the process of moving your company’s data center capabilities into the cloud, so your business operations can be run on a cloud-based infrastructure managed by a cloud service provider. However, a cloud journey is more than just a technical change. The process involves various essential changes to the way you run your business — the entire IT framework, critical business processes, and multiple business departments.
What does Cloud Journey look like?
A successful cloud migration requires a series of steps which summarizes its planning and execution. Let’s take a closer look at the steps.
Step 1: Strategic Phase — Roadmap
This phase involves several key actions. First, you should start by determining your business goals of migrating to the cloud. You also need to evaluate how adopting the cloud may implicate your business in various ways — the benefits, risks, compliance, security, and data control. Second, you need to assess your current IT capacity and capabilities and whether training programs and additional resources are needed. Based on the evaluation, you can then create a roadmap of your cloud migration. Incorporating new technology into a business can be complex and risky, so a roadmap is vital to ensure a successful cloud journey.
Step 2: Experimentation Phase — Initial Adoption
This phase is the start of cloud adoption. At this stage, you can start with SaaS solutions (HR, CRM, collaboration, office productivity, etc.). SaaS solutions are the easiest and safest way to start adoption and testing because they’re usually less business-critical and don’t require tight integration with core business systems. At the early stages, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) can also be used for non-critical applications, such as test and development environments, batch processing, and data archival. Meanwhile, PaaS solutions (production, warehousing, ERP, etc.), which let you move an entire infrastructure to the cloud provider, are the key to business-critical actions. This means that implementing them requires more planning, pilots, and proofs of concept, and will often mean transitioning operations to a new, cloud-based solution.
Step 3: Optimization Phase — Full Migration
Once you’re convinced that the cloud model can provide you with the expected benefits and impacts, this is the phase where you step up to a more mature cloud strategy. The decisions and executions made at this stage revolve around topics like cloud-first strategy (choosing cloud-based solution for every new IT service/application/system required), cloud migration strategy, cloud governance strategy (determining which business tasks are performed where, defining access policies, and implementing monitoring and security tools that cover both on-premises and cloud environments), and general optimization of workload and costs
Step 4: Innovation Phase — Post Migration
Even when the migration is completed, the journey isn’t. This phase is when you start channeling the potential and benefits of the cloud into innovations. With the agility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency it provides, the cloud allows you to develop and release new services and products or business models to reach a greater market and more efficiently serve their customers.
The four steps above summarize what a cloud journey looks like. It may seem long and complex, requiring you to take various actions and make various decisions. However, if it benefits your business as well as allows you to stay agile and significantly grow, it’s certainly worth the effort.