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5 Key Considerations for Choosing a Cloud Migration Strategy

Business leaders should keep these considerations in mind when weighing migration options.

April 21, 2021 6 minute read

In today’s competitive business landscape, migrating to the cloud has become crucial for organizations wanting to meet the expectations of tech-savvy consumers.

Yet cloud migration isn’t easy, even for experienced cloud professionals. Using the wrong approach or toolset can lead to downtime, data loss or other severe consequences.

That’s why WWT recommends a cloud-smart approach to cloud migration. One that identifies the right migration strategy and delivers an actionable roadmap to fast-track digital transformation initiatives — from nascent solutioning through deployment and management.

Once a cloud migration roadmap is built and any lingering misconceptions about cloud are clarified, your organization will be one step closer to realizing the unmatched flexibility, scalability and innovation that cloud computing can deliver across a myriad of use cases.

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5 cloud migration considerations

To better design cloud migration roadmaps, we recommend business leaders keep these five things in mind when weighing different migration strategies and options.

1. Business goals & KPIs

It's important for business leaders to identify the specific outcomes they wish to achieve from cloud migration — whether related to cost savings, speed and agility, or unlocking innovation capabilities. Then they should determine how success will be measured by establishing key performance indicators (KPIs).

The right migration strategy for your business will depend on several factors:

  • Organizational size
  • Type and volume of business operations
  • Volume and complexity of data/workloads to be migrated
  • Technical proficiency of IT personnel

These factors can greatly influence which migration strategy will be most effective. For example, a strategy that works well for small and medium businesses is unlikely to work as well for large enterprises whose applications span multiple departments.

2. Data security

Information security, data management and asset management capabilities are all important considerations in choosing a cloud migration strategy. Companies that routinely handle sensitive personal, corporate and government data need to abide by countless regulations. For such companies, the right cloud migration strategy should mitigate their risk posture and complement existing regulatory compliance protocols.

Data security also plays a major role in choosing a cloud provider or platform. It’s necessary for organizations to assess the maturity of a prospective service provider's security operations and governance processes, particularly with respect to:

  • Breach notification
  • Data recovery
  • SLA considerations
  • How personal identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive data are collected, stored and transmitted

3. DIY vs. outsourcing/partnering

Migrating data and workloads to the cloud requires IT personnel with hands-on experience in key areas, such as:

  • Application, platform, data and infrastructure migration
  • Cutting-edge technologies and automated tooling
  • Delivering risk-free migration (meaning zero data loss or security lapses and minimal downtime)
  • Identifying the best cloud option (single, hybrid or multicloud) for a business’ digital transformation use cases

Unfortunately, few companies employ IT personnel with the right skills, expertise, technical know-how and tools needed to successfully perform cloud migrations on their own.

In most cases, we recommend finding a trusted technology partner experienced in multicloud strategy, migration and optimization to plan and execute your cloud initiatives. This partner should have strong partnerships with the leading cloud service providers and employ best practices and lessons learned from past successful projects.

4. User adoption

The success of any cloud migration is ultimately measured by user adoption. That means the digital proficiency of employees who will use the new cloud instances should influence your choice of migration strategy.

Moreover, business leaders would be smart to consider the needs and preferences of stakeholders across departments (e.g., marketing, engineering, legal, manufacturing, IT, etc.) before locking in a particular migration strategy. Input from a diverse group can help optimize downstream cloud migration design, implementation and monitoring phases.

We also recommend reviewing your business processes and practices to identify any that are obsolete or should be updated when applications and workloads are finally domiciled in the cloud.

5. Strategy first

When it comes to moving legacy applications to the cloud, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Taking the time to identify the right migration strategy for your business will save you time and money in the long run.

Your cloud migration strategy should be tailored to the goals, talent pool, fiscal requirements and technological capabilities of your organization, as well as any unique limitations of your operating environment.

Don't be one of those organizations who skimps on migration strategy and planning, only to be forced to revisit it when something goes awry during migration.

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Cloud migration expertise needed

Cloud migration can be challenging due to the volume and complexity of work involved, particularly in areas like:

  • Application and workload assessment
  • Application refactoring and rearchitecting
  • Proof of concept design and execution
  • Network architecture
  • SLA management
  • Data and user management

Further, it can be difficult to achieve seamless migration to one or more cloud platforms with minimal downtime and disruption to business activities — especially if you attempt migration on your own.

With expertise in all of the technology capabilities above, the right solution provider will be able to simplify and streamline your entire cloud migration process.­­­­

Why WWT for cloud migration strategy

WWT has decades of hands-on experience in accelerating, protecting and migrating our customers’ critical assets and workloads to the cloud. Our multicloud consultants pride themselves on delivering the right cloud-based services and tools to meet each organization’s unique availability, performance, manageability and recoverability requirements.

With thousands of engineers, experts and consultants across nearly every technology domain — including cloud, enterprise architecture, security, networking, application development, data analytics and AI, IoT and much more — WWT's holistic, cloud-smart approach to cloud migration is designed to meet your goals and needs.

We not only have strong partnerships with leading cloud service providers (e.g., AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure), but we have long-standing partnerships across the technology spectrum to speed your cloud journey.

What’s more? Virtually all of WWT's cloud deployments leverage Intel's latest ­­architecture and solutions. That includes Intel Xeon® Scalable processors, which power the great majority of data centers and cloud service providers around the world. By incorporating Intel’s high-performance computing (HPC) and workload-optimized technology into our cloud roadmaps, we ensure our solutions are ready to handle the most demanding workloads and use cases.

For more information on How to be Cloud Ready, Cloud First and Transform Your Organization’s Culture, listen to our TEC37 podcast featuring Maria Sterck. Or start planning your comprehensive cloud-smart migration strategy today with WWT’s multicloud experts via the link below.

Speak to a cloud migration strategist today.
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