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Cloud Migration 4 Key Phases of Moving to the Cloud

Cloud Migration Process

Migrating your operations to the cloud is the cornerstone of a successful digital transformation. The move promises not only increased scalability and operational agility, but can also save your business time and money. 

However, the process of moving your on-premises system to the cloud is often a long multi-phase process. Being able to know the exact steps you need to take to have a successful migration is vital — to make sure that you hit the ground running.

In this article, we’re going to go over the four key phases of migrating to the cloud, so you know everything that you need to know to ensure that cloud migration is successful for you.

Phase 1: Planning and Assessment

The first phase is to assess your organisation’s needs and plan accordingly. After all, not knowing what you need and what you’re capable of is going to lead to a messy migration process all around — and so being aware of your existing infrastructure and processes and their shortcomings is key. 

There are a few things to consider within this process: 

  • Risk Identification and Assessment: You need to be clear on what could cause risk for your business — and how you can mitigate and handle said risks. What could possibly go wrong during the migration process? What critical processes and infrastructure do you have? What can you do protect them during migration? By doing so, you prevent the chance of any nasty surprises making the process more difficult — or even catastrophic.
  • Identifying dependencies: Certain things within your organisation will be dependent on other things — and taking away those dependencies could result in a fatal error. Therefore, identifying what is dependent on what can help you reduce the chance of catastrophe in this area.
  • Begin the creation of a migration strategy: With all of this information, you’ll be able to begin developing a migration strategy. This will be your guidebook for the rest of the migration process — using the information of your needs and provisions to help inform the whole journey.

The ultimate goal here is to be able to understand the scope, costs, and benefits of the migration — letting you create a solid foundation for the migration process.

Phase 2: Designing the Migration

Next, you’ll need to scope out the design of your migration. This phase is where the conceptual becomes practical, transforming strategies into actionable blueprints. 

The first step within this phase is creating a detailed architectural design that outlines how your applications and data will live in the cloud. 

This design should consider the cloud provider’s services and how they align with your business requirements, ensuring the architecture is scalable, secure, and efficient.

Here, you should also select the cloud services that you’ll use to power your processes. This selection is crucial as it impacts not only the performance and scalability of your applications but also the cost-effectiveness of the cloud solution. 

Services might include computing instances, storage options, database services, and networking capabilities. 

Designing your migration must also include a comprehensive security strategy that aligns with industry standards and regulatory requirements. 

You should also consider how you’ll handle data migration. What method will you use? In what order will you migrate information over? What redundancies will you have in plan to avoid data loss? How will you verify that all the data has been moved over successfully?

Phase 3: Executing the Migration

Here, you’ll actually undertake the migration process. This will be the physical action of moving over to the cloud, and getting your cloud implementation up and running. While it may seem like a simple switchover, it’s a lot more complex — and requires a lot of work, which is why so much planning is required beforehand.

By this point, you’ll be aware of what you have to do to ensure that the migration happens successfully. However, these are the most important things during this period —

  • Deployment: The first step here is deployment — which is the process of actually rolling out your cloud infrastructure and ensuring that it’s up and running correctly. This means transferring data from your existing infrastructure and also setting up applications that you’ll need.
  • Downtime Management: As you migrate to the cloud, you’ll need some downtime — where systems will be down so you can set up the new ones. Making sure that this is done in the most efficient and effective way is vital, as extended amounts of downtime can lead to lots of disruption and could possibly even cause damage to your business if done carelessly. When will this happen? Can you manage the downtime so that your business critical processes remain unaffected?
  • Supervision: As with any process, having a careful eye watch over the process to ensure that it’s successful is incredibly important, as it will mean that you’re aware of everything that’s happening.

Phase 4: Post-Migration Optimisation

Once the process of migration is complete, there are still certain things that need to be done — which will ensure that your migration is continually successful.

  • Tuning and Right-Sizing: Making sure that your cloud optimisation is fine-tuned for your needs will ensure that you aren’t overspending. Are there any cloud resources that you’re not using? Can you scale anything down? 
  • Implementing Best Practices: Making sure that you’re constantly following the industry standard and aware of what best practice is so you can follow it and make sure that you’re successful is vital.
  • Keep Updated: Cloud computing is ever-evolving. Providers are continually tinkering with their services and releasing new features. We recommend keeping up-to-date with the latest features and making sure your security patches are up to date. 
  • Upgrading Your Implementation: Need more horsepower? Ready to move other processes over to the cloud? Just as you can scale down resources, you can update your cloud implementation. 

Cloud migration may be finished after migrating over, but you should still focus on maintaining your infrastructure and keeping it up to date! 

Looking to Move to the Cloud?

The cloud is a key modern technology — and migrating over to the cloud is becoming not only a realistic option but the choice for many people. The benefits of the cloud are truly unmatched, and getting started today will let you get ahead of the curve.

Want to get the most out of your cloud migration? We recommend working with a managed service provider (MSP) to help you scope, plan and execute your cloud migration.

If you’re looking to get started with the cloud but don’t know where to start, reach out to our experts today. They’ll be able to help you — and fully ensure that you’re not lost when it comes to the cloud.