Key stages of a successful cloud migration journey

Migrating an existing data centre deployment to the cloud is a difficult affair that can take months to complete. While complexities and roadblocks will invariably differ across organisations and deployed systems, challenges can be overcome with a multi-phased approach to move hardware, software, and operations into the cloud.

The following framework outlines the key stages for your modernisation and migration journey. It outlines a methodical approach to ensure that assets and capabilities are identified early, implementation simplified, and operational risks minimized.


Start with planning

It is worth noting that any migration project incurs an inherent cost. For a move to the cloud, this might come as a per-server costing for an automated conversion service, or fees incurred for engaging an external advisory service. Most apps must be modified to perform well in the cloud, and a segment will entail major rewrite efforts to address architecture incompatibility.

The cost of migrating to the cloud is the reason why enterprises have mostly adopted a hybrid cloud approach instead of going cloud-only. Depending on the state of existing systems, the financial overheads of a migration effort or major code overhaul could well outweigh cloud advantages for some deployments.

In addition, there is also a need to assess the current on-premises environment and determine the level of cloud integration desired. This requires obtaining a complete inventory of existing services and their interoperability. With this knowledge, the team can then decide on a “lift and shift” or to modify the app for better integration with the cloud.

Finally, the business will need to decide whether to work with a single public cloud platform or go multi-cloud. The former is simpler and cheaper, while the latter alleviates the potential for cloud lock-in, albeit at the expense of increasing complexity. As with all IT projects, the support of key stakeholders is vital; keep them appraised of the cloud migration effort.


Making the move

Cloud landing zones are a vital starting point for successful cloud deployments. It serves as a blueprint to establish the underlying configurations of a cloud environment, including essential considerations such as multi-account support, identity and access management (IAM), governance, logging, and the design of the cloud network.

Properly configured, the landing zone serves as a central location to help organisations operate successful cloud environments to drive their business while maintaining best practices for security and governance.

Take the time to incorporate relevant security and audit rules at the start; it is far easier to scale the cloud deployment with the right governance already in place than to implement it later. Indeed, resolving control and cost issues is a complex and costly undertaking once cloud workloads are up and running.

It is not necessary to move all on-premises systems to the cloud at the same time. Indeed, it might be desirable to identify interrelated components and migrate them in cohorts. This gives IT teams the leeway to address unanticipated issues that crop up for minimum interruptions to the business. Moreover, the experience gained in the initial waves of implementation will serve to better inform the processes and cloud configuration for subsequent upgrades.


Cloud operation and optimisation

Unlike an on-premises deployment, the cloud typically offers limited visibility into the underlying infrastructure. Without the delineation of the data centre aisle or server rack, cloud deployments necessitate a different approach to ensure that cloud services stay up.


Responsibilities that the IT team will now need to manage includes:

·         Configuration management

·         Cloud resource allocation

·         Performance optimisation

·         Ensuring that service-level agreements (SLAs) are met


The centralised nature of cloud deployments does offer various advantages such as the ability to manage cloud-based applications and services from a single interface or tool. Assuming IAM is properly set up, the cloud deployment can also be efficiently managed and monitored by team members from remote locations.

Organisations can further optimise their cloud deployments by leveraging automated tools and policies. This will ensure that unneeded resources are automatically de-provisioned and that users and applications do not inadvertently overstep resource limits.

Every IT modernisation and cloud migration is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. By adopting cloud best practices or working with partners that are experienced in cloud deployments, enterprises can move faster and focus on innovations that delight their customers.



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