Post the millennial decade business environment has never been the same; it has been experiencing constant changes and is evolving as we speak. The ubiquitous nature of the internet has ensured a free flow of information and mounting levels of awareness amongst customers. In a bid to cater demanding market trends and changing business needs enterprises are finding it difficult to adapt. It is at this juncture that Cloud has found great appreciation and popularity among enterprises.
Why migration in the first place?
Digital revolution has caused major disruptions in the way businesses operate, technology is no longer an external element, it is in fact, an integral part of a business set-up. The IT infrastructure of your enterprise is the underlying element enhancing business operations, work efficiency and productivity. Changing business scenarios are compelling changes in the IT infrastructure environment even as enterprises find it difficult to adapt to emerging technological needs.
Cloud has since then eased the process of digital transformation for enterprises. As enterprises found more use cases for cloud it has gradually become an essential solution to an enterprise’s growing IT infrastructure needs.
The migration process
The migration process to cloud involves few stages, let’s observe these –
Assessment: The very first step is to have a clear assessment of where you stand with respect to your current IT infrastructure and business needs. This stage involves gathering data on the current applications, users of applications, vendor agreements, current business needs and pertaining IT infrastructure requirements.
Evaluation: Once the discovery and assessment of current infrastructure is done, you will need to take into consideration various approaches to cloud and develop an evaluation framework. This stage incudes –
- Determining the ways (based on Gartner’s 6 R strategies) an application can be migrated such as – Re-hosting (lift and shift), re-platforming, re-factoring, re-purchasing, retiring or retaining
- Determining the cloud deployment such as – Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or Soft-as-a-service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)
- Determining the cloud type or service such as – Public, Private or Hybrid
In this stage, you can even decide on which applications to move to cloud and which ones to retain on on-premise. Based on the above evaluation you could also zero-in on the vendor or cloud migration services provider.
Planning: In this stage, you can plan, estimate and establish a roadmap to migration process in collaboration with the chosen cloud migration services provider. The roadmap helps you understand and prioritize on the most relevant aspects of migration.
Migration: Here, cloud migration services providers help you migrate applications to cloud based on the roadmap. Migration of certain applications, databases etc. is followed by documentation of code changes and configurations. There is also the aspect of monitoring of applications during migration and testing of applications to ensure a successful migration.
Deployment and Functioning: This is the final stage where all the relevant applications have been migrated, tested and are finally deployed to function. The application performance on cloud is assessed and monitored to correct anomalies, if any.
Hybrid Cloud – The game changer
Different enterprises are at different levels of technological adoption and they obviously have different migration needs. Staying completely on-premise may not be advisable keeping in mind changing IT infrastructure needs and at the same time, moving completely to cloud may not be viable.
Over the years, hybrid cloud – a combination of Public cloud and On-premise infrastructure has found much acceptance as the balanced solution. In a hybrid cloud, you get to choose what applications can be migrated and what ought to be retained. Hybrid cloud apart from being a cost effective solution also address the privacy aspects as far as data is concerned. It is largely preferable because it provides the required agility, efficiency and business viability while allowing for scalability based on future needs.
Cloud service providers – The crowded but growing market
The market is flooded with several providers ranging from start-ups to mid-size companies to multinationals. Currently, the market is still dynamic with players entering and exiting even as bigger ones such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud dominate with IBM, Oracle, Cisco and VMware having relevant market share.
As per a report, the cloud migration services market is set to grow from $3.17 billion (2017) to $9.47 billion (2022) at a CAGR of 24.5% during the five year period.
From the CIOs point of view, migrating to cloud does make sense but it is important for them to consider the aforementioned scenarios (Public, Private or Hybrid) and evaluate on these before deciding on where they want to place their applications. Cloud migration begins with discovering the relevant needs and assessing current situation before moving onto choosing a particular approach.
The market is flooded with several cloud migration services providers and it can get confusing to choose the right one. Enterprises would do well to choose that provider who can fulfil the current needs and also has the capabilities to service the future needs.