Outlining A Migration Game Plan

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Once you’ve considered all 6 factors affecting cloud migration, the next step is to outline a step-by-step migration strategy. Outlining a strategy will put you in a better position to evaluate a solution offered by a cloud service provider. Step 1 is to list all the existing apps and data and sort them into groups. Sorting helps you decide which group you can move first and what’s the order you should follow. This brings us to the crucial question: how to sort the existing apps and data?

To sort the existing apps and data, you need to evaluate them. To do that effectively, try answering 5 questions, which are given below:

Q1: How critical is a given app or data for your business?

Make a list of all the existing apps and data. Save the ones that are mission-critical for your business for the last. Start migration with the apps that are not required often and can be rehosted, with little or no change. Migrate the apps or data that need considerable reformatting or rewriting in the later stages of the journey.

Prioritize apps that  require more resources to scale immediately. This way, you’ll able to keep the IT expenses from shooting up. Apps and data that are accessed by collaborators from different locations or used by partners, are important migration candidates as well.

Q2: How ready is a given app or data for the cloud?

Refactoring apps and data for the cloud can prove to be time consuming and expensive. Same with apps, which have extensive scaling requirements. It’s best to replace them, unless they are legacy apps with specialized functionality that is near impossible to replace or there’s a risk of critical data being lost.

App licensing is another factor, which impacts migration cost. So if a license model needs to take into account all available resources, even the ones not assigned to you, the licensing costs will increase when migrating to public cloud.

Instead of evaluating apps one at a time, create profiles for each and group similar profiles. This can help assess their cloud readiness more easily and in less time.

Q3: What are the technical considerations?

An important technical consideration is interoperability or the ability of different software apps or technical systems to communicate with each other. It’s best to migrate apps that are interoperable and can adapt to different cloud environments. This ensures you can add or remove apps and more importantly, switch them between environments as per your changing business requirements without any major disruption.

Consider the special features or layers you’ve added to an app or tech over the years to increase their functionality. Check if the add-ons will interfere with their suitability. Virtualization is another important technical factor. It’s easier and less time consuming to migrate apps that are virtualized or virtualization ready.

Q4: What are the key non-functional requirements (NFRs)?

Nonfunctional requirements (NFRs) of a particular cloud management solution refers to the features it should have and the conditions under which it must operate. Mapping your NF demands will help you choose a service provider, who offers a solution with corresponding NFRs.

Security and usability are critical NF demands. Standard NF demands include requirements about response time, resources required or any other requirement related to performance. Next up are run-time constraints, such as specific software and system resources. Reliability and adaptability of a particular model are also important factors.

Q5: How much of a cost benefit are you getting?

Making a list of the resources required for a group of apps and its cost of migration would help you determine whether it’s beneficial to move a particular app or data to the cloud. If it’s not cost-effective, there’s little point migrating it. If the cost of hosting on cloud is more than that of hosting apps and critical data on on-premises servers, it’s time to reanalyze your strategy.

You need to consider all 5 questions for deciding whether an app is a good migration candidate. While your cloud service provider is going to do a thorough evaluation, it’s better to have an in-depth understanding of your own. This can help ensure you choose a cloud service provider, who understands your pain points and offers a comprehensive cloud management solution.

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