Written by Lancom Communications, March 2023
A tried-and-tested, step-by-step checklist to make leveraging cloud technology simple
Limited flexibility and hardware lifecycle management are two key reasons many businesses are moving their IT to the cloud. However, switching your business's IT infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud is no small feat and like any big move, there's a lot more to it than meets the eye.
If you're interested in moving your business to the cloud so you and your team can enjoy the many benefits that come with it — like increased security, reduced operating costs, greater mobility, usability and scalability — the first thing you need is a plan.
To plan appropriately you'll need to know what you are planning for. After all, you don’t know, what you don’t know. With that in mind, we've developed this 10 Step Cloud Migration Checklist. It combines our experience of migrating 100+ customers to the cloud into one simple guide so you can leverage our learnings to simplify your businesses journey to the cloud.
10 Steps to Follow for a Fool-Proof Cloud Migration
1. Identify and involve key stakeholders to gain project momentum
Getting buy-in from key stakeholders is essential to ensuring your cloud migration and ongoing cloud usage goes as planned and generates a positive return on investment. Make sure you reach out to key people throughout your organisation, including both IT and business stakeholders. Start by talking to them to understand how they currently use their IT and learn about their goals and objectives for the future. Tell them about the benefits of being in the cloud but also manage expectations by flagging that there may be some bumps along the way.
When you get your key stakeholders onboard you can better identify and define key problem areas and workflows that belong in the cloud. This will not only help you to outline your cloud migration goals but will ensure your end users are happy with the outcome.
2. Consider a cloud migration partner to ease internal IT workloads
Many organisations opt for outside support to help manage their cloud migration. If you decide to outsource your cloud migration project, select a partner that takes the time to understand your business's migration goals and your desired outcome.
A good cloud migration partner should feel like an extension of your internal team, complementing your in-house capabilities by offering a tailored solution to suit.
When it comes down to selecting who you’re going to work with, don't select a migration partner based on face value alone. Find out about their experience, their cloud migration capabilities and if they've worked in an industry similar to yours before. To learn more about the partner, it’s always a good idea to ask to speak to some of their reference customers. Our average customer has been with us for nine years, so we figure we must be doing something right.
3. Assess workflow readiness to define your migration strategy
There are several different migration strategies your business can take when it comes to migrating to the cloud. To establish which is the best approach for your business you will need to assess workflow readiness.
Assessing workflow readiness is vital to ensuring the workflows most suited to the cloud get there. It will help your business identify the workflows that should be hosted in the cloud and others that may need to stay put. A workflow readiness assessment will also help you to identify what workflows need an additional level of development or internal process refinement in order to move to the cloud. To ensure you catch all of the cloud-ready applications, work systematically, department to department, and workflow to workflow.
4. Analyse your technology stack and IT infrastructure to avoid missed opportunities
If you've ever been involved in building a new house or have dabbled in a larger renovation project, you'll know that a solid foundation is vital for ongoing construction. Your cloud IT infrastructure is no different. Designing a blueprint of what will move when is essential and will help your business build a solid foundation for cloud migration success.
5. Define your costs to establish your long-term spend and ROI
Cloud computing has a reputation for going over budget. However, cloud overspend can be completely avoided with the right people and cost analysis in place.
When you outsource your migration and IT support to a cloud migration partner, you'll get a clear overview of costs from the outset with no nasty surprises down the road. They'll be able to identify your initial and ongoing costs and help you join the dots between business and technical requirements so you can build a clear financial overview. With knowledge of total cloud migration cost, you'll be able to confidently pull the remaining key stakeholders over the cloud migration line.
This final commercial conversation will set in stone budget goals for you to work toward and also allow you to readjust your cloud strategy if budgets don't align.
If you’ve decided to do it yourself, make use of the various pricing calculators that the leading cloud providers have available on their platforms and websites.
6. Build a continuity plan in case you hit troubled waters
In today's world, every company relies on its IT working and its data being safe and available. Building a business continuity plan for your cloud migration and ongoing hosting is critical in ensuring your business doesn’t grind to a halt and that your data is protected. Similar to how a life raft will save you if a boat sinks, a continuity plan will be your business's safety net should you encounter a worst-case scenario. Establishing a continuity plan should be considered an essential step when migrating any business processes to the cloud.
When it comes to planning it pays to know what lies ahead. When you work alongside a cloud migration specialist, you can use their expertise to understand what will happen when and get the added reassurance your cloud migration boat won't sink.
7. Build, test and optimise to ensure all IT works as it should
It's important to establish a parallel test environment when migrating to the cloud. This helps ensure your environment aligns with your migration strategy, your business's cloud goals and the infrastructure works as it should. Take this time to test against your continuity plan to ensure any red flags are fixed and are brought to attention before you go live.
This step is critical to ensuring your end platform works as it should. It’s also really important from an internal reputation point of view. First impressions count, and when you’re introducing something new you want users to have a really positive first experience.
8. Remember that slow and steady wins the migration race
The migration process should be handled with care, move too quickly and you could end up with bugs impacting your critical workflows and your business. When it comes time to migrate your workflows to your new cloud environment, remember slow and steady wins the race.
We recommend taking a phased approach, starting with workflows that are not business critical, in order to test and identify any issues and ending with the most critical. That way you can test the boat floats before adding more passengers.
9. Let go of your legacy system to avoid added costs
Decommissioning your legacy environment is a fundamental step; it can consolidate your data management, achieve cost savings, increase security and enhance control.
Leave your old systems running and run the risk of security breaches and additional IT costs. Utilise your outsourced IT partnership to ensure legacy decommissioning is done correctly so it won't cost you down the line.
10. Monitor and optimise for ongoing success
The last step, but certainly not least, is to maintain. To leverage the most from your cloud investment your most important, and final step is to maintain your platform by monitoring, updating and optimising as needed.
Technology is developing at a pace not seen before and while migrating to the cloud means your business is more agile in response to technological change, to truly reap the rewards you need to monitor and optimise your system frequently.
When you outsource your IT to a cloud migration partner, they can take the maintenance and management work off your hands so you can leverage the rewards of migrating to the cloud without depleting your IT team’s capacity.
Get the flexibility, scalability and adaptability you need from the cloud without impacting internal resources. If you're interested in leveraging the most from the cloud for your migration and ongoing cloud maintenance, check out our free cloud migration offer. It’s the perfect solution for businesses looking to get to the cloud and make the most of what it has to offer. Migrate for free now.
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