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Management

Introduction

From fashion to electric gadgets and virtually every other thing we deem important, many of us love to get involved with the latest trends. Apart from the fact that trends usually evolve to suit current needs and eras, sticking to the latest trends ensures a certain feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. This is particularly true for an ever-evolving industry like IT.

It is little news that the IT industry is fast becoming cloud-oriented, and as expected, there has been a remarkable increase in cloud migration in recent times. While this may be good news for many businesses as it helps them stay ahead of the competition, cloud migration is not something to engage in without proper analysis and careful deliberation.

Cloud migration is a serious business decision with many advantages as well as disadvantages. Unfortunately, many businesses are not aware of the future negative effects that come with cloud migration before they rush into it, and through making such hurried decisions based on half-knowledge and the need to follow industry trends, tow a path that may be unhealthy for their businesses in the long run. 

Cloud Migration Potential Issues:

There are undoubtedly numerous benefits attached to cloud migration that makes it so attractive to individuals and businesses alike. In fact, in recent times, cloud migration has been described as the smartest option for IT executives and internet users. First of all, cloud servers offer a certain speed advantage that physical servers don’t have. It takes way less time setting up a cloud server than it does procure a physical server that usually takes a couple of months to distribute in a colocation data center.

Cloud servers are available on-demand and on a pay-as-you-go basis. This makes it more cost-effective to some organizations than physical servers. Cloud servers are also more scalable and flexible, making it a better option on the surface. However, cloud servers are not always the best option for everyone. In fact, depending on your internet needs and the applications you wish to run, physical servers can even be a better option than cloud servers.

Companies who are big on security, cloud compatibility and compliance usually would prefer physical servers to cloud servers. Again, depending on your needs and usage, cloud servers can prove to be more expensive for some organizations in the long run. Apart from these, there are also some difficulties involved in using cloud servers that make it necessary for organizations considering cloud migration to first take the time to analyze the advantages and disadvantages alongside their business needs in order to make the right choice.

There are particularly 2 major challenges to watch out for when it comes to cloud migration:

Application and Data:

If you have decided on cloud migration, then you should definitely think of smart ways to reduce downtimes through application and data disruptions that are common with cloud servers. Downtimes are disastrous for any business venture and the ability to effectively manage them and ensure hitch-free application and data accessibility is key to running a successful business entity.

Security:

Good businesses are built on trust. Not only do clients trust that the businesses are legitimate and reliable in the discharge of their functions, but they also trust these businesses with certain important data and personal information that should be kept away from any unauthorized access.

Cloud servers and cloud migration are generally considered to be less secure than physical servers. This means that businesses intending to carry on cloud migration should prioritize data security and consider employing advanced security measures to avoid data theft, protect intellectual property and prevent unauthorized access.

Cloud Migration Checklist.

Many individuals and businesses have attempted cloud migration without access to expert guidance and have made a series of avoidable mistakes in the course of doing so. As a potential cloud migrant, it is important to learn from the mistakes your predecessors have made and watch out for them in the course of your own cloud migration.

To effectively carry on cloud migration correctly, it is essential that you tick all the boxes in the following checklists:

  • develop Cloud Migration Strategies; Like with every other project, it’s always important to have a plan to follow to guide you through the process seamlessly. Going through cloud migration without cloud migration strategies is tantamount to an agreement to make mistakes in the process. Now, how do you develop your cloud migration strategy or plan? The first step is to know what you want and what is required to fulfill those wants. By building your requirements document, you can then effectively make a plan on how to achieve your goals based on the resources at your disposal. In planning, you would need to outline why you need to engage in cloud migration, carry out a SWOT analysis and access your environment. You may also wish to establish the migration-architect system to help you in the planning process.
  • shallow Cloud Migration or Deep Cloud Migration; The next stage after planning is choosing the method you wish to use in moving your applications from the data center to the cloud. You have two options here: either you go with the shallow cloud migration (also called “life-and-shift) or you choose the deep cloud migration, it really depends on which one executes your plan more effectively. Shallow cloud migration involves moving applications to the cloud exactly as it is without making any changes. It’s more or less a “copy and paste” situation and any changes made are just to make it adaptable to its new environment. Deep cloud migration, on the other hand, requires the use of simple to advanced methods in modifying applications as they migrate to the cloud.
  • single Cloud or Multi-Cloud;  Another checklist you need to tick is the single cloud or multi-cloud checklist. This means that you can either decide to migrate your applications to a single cloud provider and have it adapted to run in a single environment or have different applications run in different cloud environments. Running your applications on a single cloud is relatively very simple and makes the cloud migration process very easy. However, there is the problem of vendor lock-in. This means that you are limited and stuck to one provider and in the event that you wish to change to a different provider, you would have to start the migration process all over from scratch. Again, persons who use the single cloud have less bargaining power with their cloud providers as it relates especially to pricing. On the other hand, multi-cloud migration means that different applications are run on different clouds. 

This arrangement affords you higher flexibility and increases your bargaining power/leverage over cloud providers. The downside is that your customer experience and satisfaction depends on how reliable each cloud provider is.  You may also decide to make your applications cloud agnostic so you can run on a single or multi-cloud provider at the same time.

  • analytics; When involving in cloud migration, it’s important that you have a system in place to help analyze performance to ensure that they are at a tangent with your expectations. You can establish cloud key performance indicators (cloud KPI’s) to help you determine how smoothly the cloud migration is going, detect problems and provide information on the completion of the cloud migration.
  • set Standards;  You are not migrating just for the present but the future also. To optimize your future cloud performance metric, set a measurable standard or baseline to run your cloud migration on. This will also help you detect faults that may arise early-on in the migration process.
  • plan for data migration; To plan for data-migration, you should involve your migration architect to assist as it’s a very complex and important process. Other checklists to tick include refactoring, prioritizing components, switching overproduction and reviewing resource allocations. 

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