Stress-free cloud migration: creating a cloud readiness assessment plan

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As more organizations see the value of scalability, agility, and security that the cloud offers, the decision to move to the cloud becomes more common. According to the latest Gartner, Inc. forecast, the worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will grow by 23% in 2021 to a total of around $332 billion, from $270 billion in 2020.   

But with all the popularity of the cloud, a recent survey reveals that a strategy of moving to the cloud simply for the cloud’s sake, but without a clear vision or even answering to oneself why your company or organization needs the move, is destined for a failure. But it doesn’t have to. Consider adding one small but crucial step in your migration journey – cloud readiness assessment. It will help you understand where you are at on your cloud adoption and help you prepare for all the possible pitfalls on your way to the cloud.

cloud migration journey roadmap

What is a cloud assessment?  

It’s a process a company undergoes to determine whether it’s ready to migrate to the Cloud. Cloud readiness assessment encompasses the following activities:   

  • Organization processes readiness. 
  • Application landscape discovery.
  • Infrastructure assessments. 
  • Security and Compliance requirements. 
  • Future scaling aspects.  

During the assessment, an organization examines its resources and processes, as well as the current IT environment to see if it’s capable of moving to the cloud. The assessment phase also takes into consideration some security and compliance requirements for the move, as well as future scaling prospects. It provides a company with a deep analysis of the organization, finds some gaps in the infrastructure (if there are such), and answers the ultimate question – whether the whole IT infrastructure or some applications are ready to migrate.   

An application readiness assessment is deemed the best practice and something not to be overlooked by a company that is thinking of moving its infrastructure to the cloud. The migration itself is considered a substantial investment. By spending some time and money on making all the necessary preparations and creating a solid plan, the company not only makes the move smooth sailing but also reduces time and money spent on the migration itself.   

How to approach cloud cloud readiness assessment checklist for successful cloud migration 

To make your migration to the Cloud a stress-free experience, we’ve prepared a clear list of steps you need to put a check next to and your infrastructure is ready to be moved to the Cloud.   

  • Define business objectives for cloud migration and desired outcomes  

First things first, step one on your cloud migration journey should be clearly defining what kind of business objectives you hope to pursue by moving to the cloud. The strategy ‘cloud for the sake of the cloud’ is doomed for failure.   
Instead, set clear goals and outcomes that have to come out of migration. What is equally important, they need to be aligned with stakeholders to avoid any confusion and miscommunication. On top of all of this, objectives help to measure the success of your venture.   

  • Evaluate workloads  

This stage focuses on assessing the workloads to be migrated to the cloud. To get the full scope of your migration, you need to understand how many assets, such as applications and hardware appliances exist in your current environment, their dependencies and whether they are compatible with your chosen deployment model.  

  • Assess infrastructure and security requirements  

Evaluating your IT environment and infrastructure is essential at this point. This will help you understand what part of your assets make sense to move to the cloud and what needs to stay on-prem. It is equally important to plan how your applications will be moved to the cloud as it will give you an understanding of what kind of alterations in your apps are to be made for the new architecture.   
Another important aspect – considering your security requirements. This involves taking a closer look at government and industry regulations, checking if your cloud provider is compatible with these requirements, as well as their GDPR readiness. There might be some additional level of assessment depending on the industry you are in. For instance, for cloud adoption in healthcare, you will also need to check if the provider is also HIPAA compliant.    

  • Define technologies to be used and check if you have the right people   

Next on the agenda to see if you are ready for the cloud migration – checking your current tech stack, architecture, and deciding on the technologies to be used. Cloud migration is a complex process that often needs to account for such factors as security requirements, sensible data, or apps that are built using somewhat outdated technologies.   
Another thing to be factored in – whether you have enough in-house resources and if your IT team has enough skills. It goes without saying that to ensure a stress-free migration that effectively uses your time and budget, you need the right skillset. The inexperienced team may cause delays and will need some educating. If there’s a lack of in-house experts, it makes sense to invite external specialists to fill the gaps and handle the job professionally.   

  • Establish cloud operating model  

Moving to the cloud is also a good opportunity to reconsider your operating models for technology systems. So, before you start deployment of your cloud architecture, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how you want to operate in the cloud, what are your organization’s strategic objectives, governance risks, and compliance. Based on that you can define your cloud operating model and your cloud provider can provide architecture and implementation options for supporting your operating model.   

  • Make inventory and gap analysis of current IT infrastructure   

It includes the evaluation of infrastructure, network, database evaluation. Google’s Cloud Architecture Center suggests that the detailed inventory should include the dependencies of each app and other components, services that support your infrastructure, servers, and physical appliances (network devices, firewalls, and other hardware). The information gathered on each item at this stage has to include source code location, deployment method, network restrictions or security requirements, and licensing requirements.  

  • Run time & budget estimation   

Another important step – overviewing your budget and setting time estimates you want to meet. Start with a calculation of the total cost of ownership. The estimation should include both the cost of migration and cloud operations that will follow. Calculation of TCO is important if you want to meet your budget.   
Your budget might vary depending on the various aspects such as the size of your assets and some additional expenses, for instance, license costs, additional hardware expenses, etc.   

  • Choose the right migration strategy {“lift & shift” or “big bang”}  

The “lift and shift” or “rehosting” approach to cloud migration is considered the relatively fast and inexpensive way of adopting cloud. With this strategy, the exact copy of an app or workload is migrated from one IT environment (on-premise) to another (public or private cloud). As it doesn’t involve any changes to application architecture, and practically, or sometimes no changes to application code, “lift and shift” offers a faster and less cost and effort-consuming way of migration.  
Another approach – “big bang”. As the name suggests, it involves migrating all the systems and services at the same time by immediately switching from one environment to another. This strategy works well for the smaller environment and saves cost and resources. However, with numerous systems and databases, the “big bang” might be challenging.   

  • Draw a dependency map  

No cloud readiness assessment plan will be complete without making a full account of what servers are used to run applications and assessing the levels of complexity of each application and infrastructure. By creating a dependency map, you can then categorize them by priority or complexity of migration.   

  • Run tests  

And lastly, don’t forget about testing. Several tests should be done on application migration as well as data in a cloud-hosted staging environment. On top of that, you should always have a disaster recovery plan in case of any unforeseen issues that might delay your migration. Have a backup plan ready and always make backups of all data and applications so that you won’t be forced to go on with the migration if the issue arises.  
Cloud migration can be daunting, to make it a stress-free experience, make sure you have a cloud migration readiness assessment plan in place. It will prepare you for the unexpected and help you avoid bumps on your road or holes in your budget. Our team of dedicated professionals can help you create a thorough application assessment for cloud migration and consequently, turn your cloud adoption into smooth sailing.   

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