A transition to the cloud isn’t as daunting or risky a prospect as it was when the technology was relatively new. Chances are good that you already use cloud technology daily in your personal life. So why not leverage its power for your business?
But even though cloud has become the norm for many industries, it’s still not a move you should make lightly. In this post, we’ll discuss what kinds of workloads are best suited to cloud migrations and how to perform a cloud-readiness assessment for your business.
Cloud Migration Candidates
Although it may seem like everyone is doing everything in the cloud these days, some processes and workloads are better candidates than others for cloud migration. Before you begin a cloud readiness assessment, it’s important to determine which applications would most benefit from cloud enablement. Start with applications that:
Need to scale up capacity rapidly
Front-end apps — that customers or partners use — that are facing rising demand are a good candidate because of the cloud’s scalability.
Are reliant on infrastructure nearing end-of-life
Are you depending on servers that will need to be replaced soon or software that is no longer supported?
Face multiple business-critical issues
Do you have security, resiliency or availability concerns about data or apps that you need for day-to-day operations?
Have inadequate backup or DR strategies
Regular backups and a solid disaster recovery strategy can save your business if the hardware is damaged or fails.
Have architectural flexibility
Applications whose use and processes wouldn’t be significantly disrupted by a move.
Reasons to Migrate to the Cloud
“Just because everyone else is doing it” has never been the reason you made a business decision before — and it shouldn’t be now. The next step in preparing for your cloud readiness assessment is considering why you want to make the move. Common motivations for a cloud transition include:
Supporting Business Growth
Is your company’s growth increasing pressure on your on-premises systems and infrastructure? Do you need the ability to scale up rapidly to meet rising demand? Many organizations choose cloud for the scalability it offers a growing business.
Does your business need to streamline processes or remove redundant procedures? Has your IT budget gotten out of control? Cloud is a popular choice for companies looking to reduce operational complexity or cut costs.
Are your IT systems getting in the way of your organization’s goals? Do you want to be able to react faster to a changing market? If your current systems are slowing you down or causing you to miss out on valuable opportunities, it might be time to look at cloud migration.
Updating and Innovating
Are you facing the end of life (or end of support) for business-critical technologies? Do you want to equip your organization with new technical capabilities to improve your delivery of service? Are you working to evolve and innovate to serve your market more effectively? Modernization and innovation are some of the most common reasons to choose the cloud.
Conduct a Cloud Readiness Assessment
Your workloads are well-suited to cloud migration. You know why you want to transition and you’ve set your priorities and goals. The next step on your journey is to conduct a cloud readiness assessment. This is a crucial stage because it will help you identify potential roadblocks — and benefits — you might not have previously considered.
The first item on your cloud readiness assessment checklist is to examine your existing technology, including all applications, workflows, infrastructure and data. Do you have infrastructure nearing end of life? Are you going to migrate business-critical data or applications? How interconnected are the systems you’re planning to move with the rest of your IT infrastructure? What tools do you have that will help facilitate a smooth transition?
Many organizations make the critical mistake of thinking that a move to the cloud is all about technology. But your cloud readiness assessment should also include considerations about how the move will impact the people who interact with your systems: namely, your staff and your customers.
- Are you prepared to retrain or redeploy employees so you can maximize the benefits of the cloud? Some of your team’s tasks may now disappear or be automated. New tasks may appear. And all your staff should understand new processes and security measures.
- Will your migration disrupt services to your customers or require them to adapt the way they consume what you offer? How will you prepare for that? Can the disruption be minimized or should you accept it and offer users some form of explanation or compensation?
A transition to the cloud may represent a huge improvement for your operations. But improvement is still a change. Your cloud readiness assessment must also include spending some time examining how the move will affect your business processes. Should you transition to a cloud platform in phases or move everything at once? How will responsibilities shift with the move? Do you have security concerns specific to your business or industry for which you need to account? Are you obligated to maintain compliance with industry or government standards, or customer contracts?
Cost vs. Benefits
Once you’ve examined all the factors we’ve already discussed, the final stage of your cloud readiness assessment is to weigh the costs against the benefits. How much do you stand to gain from a cloud transition? And what will it cost you? A move to the cloud often represents savings in terms of ongoing operational expenses — but identifying the other associated costs is key to a smooth transition.
The Right Partner for a Cloud Migration
Choosing a managed cloud services partner you can trust can make all the difference in the success of your cloud migration. At AISN, we can help your IT department cut costs, maintain operations, increase efficiency, and foster innovation. We also offer a wide range of services to ensure your move to the cloud is successful.
We’re here to support you, every step of the way. From the moment you start to work on a strategy or cloud readiness assessment, through migration and deployment, to ongoing maintenance, support, and reporting — we can help. Contact us today for assistance with your cloud readiness assessment.