With the increased demand for remote work options, it’s become necessary for more companies to migrate their documents and communications to the cloud. Here’s your chance to learn what cloud migration services are as part of this ultimate guide to cloud migration.
What Is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is moving some or all of an organization’s capabilities, such as databases, timeclocks, or CRM, to the cloud and cloud-based services.
What Is the Cloud?
The cloud is a catch-all term for any information accessible through the internet. Your social media account and all of the pictures and videos you share on your personal accounts are in the cloud.
The simplest way to tell if something is in the cloud is how you access that information. If you have to connect a USB or physical hard drive to your computer, your information is not on the cloud. If you need an internet connection, and log in to an account to access that information, it is in the cloud.
What Are Cloud-Based Applications and Services?
Cloud-based applications, services, and programs are only accessible through the cloud. This allows the programs to run on any device that has an internet connection.
The most common cloud-based application is email services like Gmail and Outlook. As long as you have an internet connection, you can use any device with an internet connection to log in to your email account.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Migration?
You’ve heard a lot about cloud and cloud migration, but why migrate to the cloud? Here are some of the most significant benefits cloud migration can bring your organization.
- Increased workplace flexibility – During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies shifted to remote work solutions, and employees learned to love it. They saw the benefit of being able to work where they were, and there is a growing demand for hybrid and remote work options. Cloud migration is at the center of making those demands a reality. Remote and flexible work environments are only possible when an organization has migrated to the cloud. Once migrated, employees can perform their work wherever they are, as long as they have an internet connection.
- Better and more expansive storage options – Your on-premise solution is restricted in how much data it can hold. Cloud-based storage is significantly more expansive. Rather than being limited to the memory available on a physical hard drive in your office, the cloud leverages the power of the internet to provide exponentially more storage.
- Simplified IT support and management – Your IT team’s list of duties and responsibilities is significantly reduced by migrating to the cloud. There’s no need to install, update, and maintain essential programs on each computer in cloud-based computing. This frees up your IT team to focus on bigger problems than making sure everyone has up-to-date licenses and the latest firewall.
- Simplified integration with other applications and programs – It’s not easy to integrate programs. Even programs designed and developed by the same company can have difficulty connecting and working the way you want. However, that problem isn’t as common in cloud computing. Cloud-based applications have a simplified integration process with other cloud-based applications. Since both applications are built to run on the cloud, they are easier to integrate because they share that same foundational programing. This removes a large amount of the time and headache that used to be required to integrate cross-platform software.
- Disaster recovery security – In the past, if a pipe burst and flooded the office, all of your information would be damaged. Natural disasters like a fire could be a death sentence to your organization because essential documents would be destroyed. Cloud migration decentralizes your data, which protects it. Rather than needing weeks or even months after a disaster to get back on your feet, your business can have little to no gap in service.
- Better scalability – The cloud is highly flexible since it is accessible at any time on any device and can grow right along with your company’s needs. At every point in your company’s growth, the cloud can provide you with what you need without giving you the runaround and forcing you to pay for things you don’t need. The cloud can quickly keep up with rapid growth and success.
- Reduced costs – Cloud-based systems cost less to operate, manage, and maintain.
- Access to a broader workplace market – Workplace flexibility is in such high demand that remote jobs attract up to seven times more interest than similar in-person roles. When your organization migrates to the cloud, you open the doors to any remote worker. Rather than just trying to find the best candidate within twenty miles of your office, you can find the best-qualified candidate in the nation.
How Do You Migrate to the Cloud?
The biggest part of migrating to the cloud is researching and ensuring you have a well-crafted plan before migrating. The more time you spend preparing and making sure everything is prepared, the fewer problems you will encounter.
Here is a practical guide to cloud migration in only six steps.
1. Decide Your Level of Integration – Why are you migrating to the cloud? What are your final goals? Are you planning to use it only for disaster recovery, or are you trying to provide a remote work solution for your company?
The size and scope of your goal will determine what information and services need to be migrated. Larger goals will require more planning and testing to migrate effectively, while smaller projects can take less than a week. By having a clear idea of the size of your project, you are better able to create and manage all stages of your migration.
2. Choose the Right Applications – Which applications you choose to use is up to your company and your needs. Still, it’s vital to ensure your applications integrate and function with your cloud architecture. Not every application works on the cloud or is easily integrated with other cloud-based applications you want to use. Some may require tweaking to work on the cloud, while others may require in-depth code changes. During this phase, you identify vital applications involved in the migration and perform a complete analysis of architecture, complexity, and implementation to see how they could integrate into your migration plan.
If the app is already virtualized, has low security and privacy and regulatory requirements, and can tolerate latency, there is a good chance that it will easily migrate to the cloud.
3. Choose a Cloud Provider – There is a wide range of cloud providers like Amazon Web Service (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Each one provides tools and third-party plugins that can be used as part of the migration process. Determine which provider best fits your company’s needs.
4. Maintain Data Integrity – If not appropriately managed, sensitive information can be exposed during cloud migration. Before starting the migration process, establish procedures to ensure data integrity, such as keeping an audit trail and performing data validation at every step.
5. Establish an End-to-End Approach – Most service providers already have an established methodology to address every aspect of the migration process. This should include any necessary framework to manage complex transactions. Verify that the framework can work with your migration and establish a plan including key milestones to measure your progress.
6. Execute the Migration and Test – With all the planning out of the way, it’s time to put the strategy into action. If everything has been arranged properly, it should be easy to migrate. Once you have followed the migration roadmap you made in step five, perform a test to validate that everything works as expected, and you’re finished!
What Are the Challenges with Cloud Migration?
The most common challenges with cloud migration are:
- Lack of Strategy – Migration can be complex and requires rigorous end-to-end cloud migration planning. Too many organizations stumble into cloud migration and assume it is an automatic procedure, which creates unnecessary complications.
- Data security and compliance – The migration process can present some security risks. Transferring large volumes of sensitive data for applications across different environments puts your data at an increased risk.
- Measuring Success – When migration is rushed or mismanaged, KPIs are often ignored or never established. This makes it challenging to evaluate if migration was successful or worth the investment.
- Vendor Lock-In – Many cloud providers offer different services and specialize in different industries. When a company doesn’t do its due diligence, it’s easy to get locked into a provider that cannot give you the support you want.
Choose Excel SoftSources for Cloud Migration
Excel SoftSources cloud migration services make migration easy. We can help you at any step in the migration process, completely manage the migration, or step in and augment your existing migration plan when needed.
Contact us today and find out how we can work together.