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Cloud Migration Requires Careful Preparation

Cloud computing’s benefits have been well established — so much so that many organizations have adopted a “cloud-first” model. In this approach, the organization always explores cloud options before considering onsite infrastructure.

It is important to note that “cloud first” does not mean “cloud only.” Although clear-cut economic and operational benefits can be gained in the cloud, there are still situations in which a traditional on-premises deployment may be a better choice.

Cost reduction is a compelling reason for moving workloads and applications to the cloud. In addition to reducing capital expenditures on hardware and other infrastructure, you can reduce ongoing management and licensing costs. The ability to spin up servers and storage on demand also produces rapid scalability and allows faster innovation.

These benefits aren’t guaranteed, however. Organizations should start with a detailed assessment of their existing IT environment to get the most out of their cloud investments.

Cost Concerns

Budget overruns are a common problem with the public cloud. According to the Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud report, organizations overspend their cloud budgets by an average of 18 percent, up from 13 percent the previous year. Worse, 28 percent of the cloud spend is wasted. Common sources of cloud waste include overprovisioning of resources, and unused, underutilized and redundant services.

Cloud services priced on a per-user, per-month structure might not be the best choice for rapidly growing businesses. When a project or service begins to scale, cloud costs can quickly exceed expectations. Licensing, tax implications, connectivity and other expenses can also impact long-term costs.

The benefits of the cloud can be readily experienced when migrating applications such as email or collaboration. Mission-critical applications that link to multiple other systems are much trickier. Also, compute-heavy applications may experience performance problems if the cloud platform isn’t up to the task.

Assessment Is Key

Homegrown legacy applications can present special migration considerations. They often require frequent re-engineering because they are based on older programming languages, operating systems and hardware. Shifting such applications to the cloud usually requires rebuilding the app using modern frameworks — a daunting process with a high risk of cost overruns and integration issues.

Given these potential drawbacks, any cloud migration project should begin with a thorough assessment. An effective assessment process will identify and prioritize which applications can be migrated easily, which should be redesigned or replaced, and which are better kept in-house.

The process involves assessing every application across multiple characteristics, including technical feasibility and risk. The assessment also should establish a clear business case for each application, identifying why migration will deliver value and competitive advantage. An assessment will also help determine which deployment model — public, private or hybrid — is most suitable based on application requirements and business objectives.

Many Choices

Once the decision has been made about which applications to move to the cloud, organizations should choose a cloud service model. Applications can be hosted in an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model that provides a good deal of control, or replaced by a Software-as-a-Service solution. Platform-as-a-Service may be a good fit for organizations with in-house software development teams.

Organizations must also decide which cloud service to use. Each of the major public cloud platforms has strengths and weaknesses that should be considered in the context of the overall IT environment and the applications to be migrated.

Assessing workloads, designing migration plans and migrating to a targeted cloud computing platform is a demanding endeavor. IronLogix engineers and IT professionals have a deep understanding of the various cloud models and the assessment and migration processes. We help our customers with the rigorous preparation required to ensure that cloud migrations deliver the desired benefits.

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