Your migration to cloud — be it a single workload or an entire datacenter — should begin with a conversation, not a click. While it’s never been easier to provision a new service in the cloud, simplicity is only one factor in choosing the most effective path for your business. A growing number of IT professionals cite maximizing their cloud-spend ROI as a top priority next year, yet many businesses acknowledge that they lack a clear cloud strategy and/or the in-house expertise to manage cloud-based applications efficiently [1]. The numbers tell the truth: the “click and go” approach to cloud provisioning can be deceptively fraught with risk and expense.

The Importance of a Cloud Migration Assessment

As organizations begin their cloud journey, they need to be prepared upfront to determine exactly which workloads should be migrated, and how their choice of cloud provider could affect specific application needs or their preferred user experience. Make no mistake — not all clouds are created equal, and different cloud providers are often optimized for different workloads. The stakes are also higher than ever to get it right from the start. By 2021, it’s been predicted that 50% of enterprises will unknowingly have some IaaS storage services, network segments, applications or APIs directly exposed to the public internet [2].

Starting with a consultative assessment of your goals, business needs, and the specific workloads to be migrated ensures a proper understanding of your objectives and requirements. This is also a prime opportunity to cement broad-based internal support for your cloud strategy, or make changes to that strategy if necessary. Skipping this step can increase the risk of finding yourself behind schedule — and potentially over budget — before you even land your first workload in the cloud.

Decisions to be Made

There are countless choices to be made throughout this process. Some are obvious, and some less so. There are bandwidth and connection selections, as well as choices around database requirements and management practices. There’s also a potential requirement for API or other code rewrites to accommodate the policies or choice of infrastructure your cloud provider is using. It’s important to determine this upfront, as an unplanned scripting rewrite in the middle of migration can add days or weeks to what is often an already compact schedule with little wiggle room.

For many businesses, these choices are further complicated by the simple reality that there is typically a significant skills gap in IT today when it comes to cloud-native application development as well as hybrid cloud, private cloud, and multi-cloud operations. If this is the case for your organization, you will want to make sure that your cloud provider has deep expertise in cloud technologies, processes and architectures that you can leverage to augment your in-house knowledge. Skilled cloud specialists can help provide valuable clarity about the migration process by conducting readiness audits, facilitating migration plans, and analyzing the cloud’s impact on your business.

There’s no doubt that migrating to the cloud can feel like an intimidating process. But starting off on the right foot — with a thorough migration assessment — lays down the foundation for a smooth migration process. Once you know where you want to go, it’s much easier to determine how you are going to get there.

To learn how Flexential’s team of experts can enable a smooth migration to the cloud, visit our Cloud page.

1IDC - 10/31/2018 - IDC Reveals Worldwide CIO Agenda 2019 Predictions (https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44420918)

2 Gartner, “Innovation Insight for Cloud Security Posture Management”, 2019

Nitin Krishna

Director of Product Management, Cloud Portfolio
Nitin Krishna, Director of Product Management, Cloud Portfolio
As Director of Product Management, Nitin oversees the entire cloud lifecycle process from concept, to design, to implementation. In addition, he manages the improvements to the cloud platform, prioritizing new features and functionality, building those into the product. Nitin has more than 20 years of experience and has built and managed more than 50 commercially successful products.