Time and time again providers (like us) talk about the value in moving your systems to the cloud. The benefits of using cloud services are clear cut and plentiful, after all. But one of the stumbling blocks that businesses often come across when making the move to the cloud is the process of migrating all of their infrastructure, their apps and software, their data and operations.
This is where the value of having a well thought out cloud migration strategy comes in. It is a huge advantage to any business thinking of moving to the cloud.
What is Cloud Migration?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if moving to the cloud were as simple and saying “Yes, let’s do it”? Unfortunately, once you understand the impact that cloud facilities and resources can have on your business, the move itself begins. Data needs to be backed up. Servers need to be shifted. Legacy systems may even need to be replaced. In many cases, the move to the cloud involves digitising and automating a number of processes that were previously analogue and manual.
Taking these steps, preparing your business for the shift to the cloud and making the move itself, is known as cloud migration. And, thankfully, businesses don’t have to go through the process on their own. Finding the right partner to help you with your cloud migration can be the difference between success and failure in this modern, digital marketplace. And one of the first things that right partner will work on is finding the right cloud migration approach for your business.
What Are the Different Approaches That Businesses Can Take To Cloud Migration?
No two businesses are the same. And no two will have the same needs from their cloud services. Some companies might work perfectly well with public cloud solutions, while others may need to use private cloud facilities.
Thankfully, cloud services are so vast and varied that they can be adopted by any business, and still help them to reach their goals. And because there are so many different types of cloud services, there are a number of different approaches that businesses can take when putting together their cloud migration strategy.
The 6 most common approaches are known as the “6 Rs of Cloud Migration”:
The quickest and easiest approach when moving to the cloud is simply taking your existing systems, and plonking them straight on cloud servers. This ‘lift and shift’ approach is also known as Rehosting. It’s one of the most popular approaches to cloud migration, since very little needs to change – your operations can largely continue uninterrupted. The trouble will come in where older, legacy systems and software is being used, as these often won’t have cloud support.
Moving the processes that you already have straight onto the cloud is one matter, but it doesn’t really take advantage of some of the best features that cloud solutions have to offer. This is where Replatforming comes in. it involves Rehosting your existing processes, but also optimising them for a cloud environment. This way your business can not only accept cloud solutions, but embrace them and use them to enhance your operations.
As mentioned before, some legacy systems simply weren’t designed with the cloud in mind. These older systems can at times make cloud migration more difficult, but a Repurchasing approach will help businesses to find existing cloud-based alternatives from third party providers that meet and exceed their expectations, and help companies to achieve their goals.
Often the move to the cloud coincides with a larger company interest – growth. As businesses need to expand their existing solutions, it’s natural to consider making the move to the cloud at the same time, and this is where Refactoring becomes a viable solution. Refactoring, also sometimes known as Rebuilding or Rearchitecture, involves developing or expanding upon your solutions with cloud functionality in mind.
Often this is left for the later stages of a cloud migration, since businesses will want to get the majority of their existing solutions onto the cloud before expanding on them, but many businesses also choose to Refactor their processes early on in the hopes that this will guide the migration itself.
A move to the cloud doesn’t always need to happen all at once. Often it makes more sense to move critical apps, software and processes to the cloud, while keeping some of your solutions on-premises. This will see the most vital aspects of your business taking advantage of cloud functionality, while minimising the disruption that a cloud migration can cause. This is where a Retain approach comes in – helping you to figure out which services can benefit the most from a cloud environment, and which are best kept in-house until further down the line.
Often we keep practices in place because they’ve become a part of our businesses and processes. And yet, outdated practices, while seemingly harmless, can have a severe impact on productivity and efficiency. In the same way, outdated software, apps and processes that have become part of a business’ day-to-day operations, without providing any value, need to be retired. What better time to retire the technologies that are no longer working for your business than during the move to the cloud?
You Can Take Multiple Approaches in Your Cloud Migration Strategy
These 6R cloud migration approaches can be confusing to consider. But it’s helpful to know that they aren’t exclusive. It’s entirely possible to take a Retain approach, while at the same time Rehosting the services that are best suited to the cloud, and Retiring those that no longer serve a purpose within your business, for example.
This is why it’s essential to consult an expert in cloud migration when beginning the process for your business. An IT company like Solid Systems will be happy to assess the best solutions for your business, and the best approaches to take as part of your cloud migration strategy. With 18 years of experience in helping companies to step into the future more confidently, you would be hard-pressed to find a better partner to help you navigate your cloud journey. Get in touch with us today to arrange a cloud consultation.