Digitalisation is reshaping industries globally. From entertainment, finance and utilities to healthcare, telecommunications and education – well-established business models are being transformed to create new opportunities. A key enabler of the successful digital transformation of businesses involves the move to the cloud – allowing for maximised efficiency and performance over the Internet.
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is the process of migrating data, applications, and other IT resources to a cloud computing environment.
Whether it be data migration or application migration, migrating to the cloud is being adopted by businesses and industries across the globe. Unlocking the benefits and capabilities of moving to the cloud can be the next step in building a future-ready business. In addition to efficient and cost-effective storage, the cloud enables enterprises to innovate, transform at speed and, most importantly, cater to increasingly sophisticated customer expectations, in a world where technology is now the foundation of modern business.
Cloud Adoption Stages
The journey to the cloud typically follows four phases of cloud adoption:
- Project Phase: This phase is where projects are run in order to experience the cloud and its benefits.
- Foundation Phase: At this phase, the foundation to scale your cloud adoption is built – this involves creating a landing zone, Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE), operations model and ensuring security and compliance readiness.
- Migration Phase: This phase involves the migration of existing applications to the cloud as you scale your adoption across your IT portfolio.
- Reinvention Phase: Once migrated, you can take advantage of the capabilities of the cloud to reinvent and transform your business.
Cloud Migration Process
Migrating to the cloud commonly follows a five-phase approach:
Migration Preparation & Business Planning: The first phase involves the development of a preliminary business case for migration. Here, you will determine the right objectives, envision the benefits, and consider the age, architecture and constraints of your existing applications.
Portfolio Discovery & Planning: The second phase involves understanding your IT portfolio, dependencies between your applications, and the consideration of what types of cloud migration strategies you will need to meet your business case objectives. At this approach, you are able to build a full business case for cloud migration.
Designing, Migrating, & Validating Application: The third and fourth phase is where focus shifts from the IT portfolio level to the individual application level. Here, you will design, migrate and validate each application according to an application migration strategy. It is at this phase that migration is accelerated and begins to achieve scale.
Operate: The fifth phase refers to the modern operating model where your people, processes and technology improves and operates as you migrate more applications to the cloud.
Cloud Migration Strategies
Determining the right migration strategy will depend on each application. There are 6 widely adopted application migration strategies:
- Rehost: Also known as “lift and shift” migration, this strategy involves migrating your applications from its traditional infrastructure to the cloud without having to make modifications to the code.
- Replatform: Also known as “lift, tinker and shift”, this strategy requires a few cloud optimisations without making changes to the core architecture of your application.
- Repurchase: Also known as “drop and shop”, this strategy involves abandoning your current platform and moving to a different one.
- Refactor/Re-architect: Also known as “Cloud Native”, this strategy is the most advanced method of migrating to the cloud. This involves transforming how the application is architected and developed, including its code, components and data.
- Retire: This strategy involves identifying IT portfolios that are no longer needed or useful, to which they can be simply switched off or retired.
- Retain: This strategy does not involve migrating applications to the cloud. With this method, you may not feel inclined to migrate some applications to the cloud just yet, so you could simply leave these assets to potentially revisit for migration in future.