In today’s competitive climate, businesses need to capitalize on the benefits of moving to Cloud to drive digital change and improve overall operations. Yet, making the move is not a task to be taken lightly and whilst the upsides can be huge, getting there takes some careful planning. In this blog we look at 8 keys steps that will help you achieve a smooth, risk-free migration:

Discovery & Analysis

Knowing exactly what you have in your IT ecosystem before you decide on which elements to migrate is key. Many companies initiate their migration process with a portfolio analysis to assess their IT infrastructure and assets and reduce the possibility of missing dependencies during the migration. Which applications and systems can be migrated without having to adapt your architecture to the new environment? What are the dependencies between systems and which applications will be replaced or modernized? How will these changes impact the overall IT ecosystem? These are just some of the key questions which need to be answered in preparing for the move to Cloud.

Get all Stakeholders Involved

Once the portfolio analysis is complete, it’s time for the company’s stakeholders to get involved. They will most likely have already given input in the early stages of the project as part of your business case for Cloud. Now they can help in identifying which applications should be moved first, which data should be migrated and which should not, depending on different levels of sensitivity. And depending on their roles, they will also need to be kept informed about any potential service disruption during the migration.

Create a Cloud Readiness Plan

We recommend you work with a Cloud Migration Partner who can help you coordinate your migration alongside your own in-house teams. Together you can determine the scope of the migration, set a realistic plan with all the details and specific requirements of the business, and create a list of metrics that will define success after the Cloud migration has taken place. Ultimately your aim is to preserve, at the very least, application performance, systems access and data security within your chosen Cloud service provider’s environment. Choosing the right migration partner, ideally, one who brings a combination of proven technology and hands-on expertise will help you achieve - and potentially exceed - your goals.

Manage Deadlines

It is crucial to establish from the outset a timeline for each deliverable as part of the Cloud Readiness Plan. A few things should be a priority in this phase such network speed and the time needed for testing and validation so creating a timeline that includes these steps is mandatory. By combining all the factors that go into the actual migration, it is much more likely to go to plan.

Communicate Roles & Expectations

It is important to determine some roles and expectations for each step of the migration. If there is any ambiguity about ownership and accountability, this can have a major impact on the project’s success. Do not underestimate the unique kind of service you are undertaking in migrating line-of-business systems to the Cloud: new tools, technologies and expertise will be required and making sure that you allocate the right roles to those with the right expertise is vital. Make sure you take a collaborative approach - and involve your Cloud Migration Partner to leverage their knowledge and know-how.

Pay Attention to Security Risks

Security is invariably a number one priority for most businesses. Knowing what your organization has in place in terms of existing IT security, what it aims to have for future IT and what its necessary security posture will be for all phases of a project requires considerable time and attention. Firewall policies, national regulations and authentication mechanisms are just some examples of a likely long list of inclusions. Once you have this information to hand you will then be able to take the necessary steps to put in place the necessary processes and technologies to prevent an attack or security breach.

Create a Pilot Project

Your migration team should create a pilot project so that workloads can be migrated in phases, breaking down the large-scale moves into smaller, more manageable ‘sprints’. By doing it this way, the team with valuable insights into the effectiveness of the plan, as well as the time needed for the entire migration. Make sure you collaborate with your Cloud Migration Partner on how best to configure your pilot, so that it has the very best chance of success.

Testing and Validating

Pre-migration testing is extremely important in avoiding cloud migration failures. Look for a Cloud Migration Partner that offers a means of live testing which can be run through a series of instant validation checks to confirm - or not - whether the migration is good to go. This will allow you to identify potential problems early in the migration, giving you ultimate control over your entire migration execution.

Final Thoughts

Paying attention to so many details when you embark on a Cloud Migration Project might seem overwhelming - and not surprisingly so. Selecting a qualified Partner who can bring proven talent and technology to the table is the best place to start.

With RiverMeadow’s powerful SaaS Cloud Migration Platform and Managed Migration Services we are there by your side, supporting you every step of the way. Our market-leading RiverMeadow SaaS came to top in a recent Cloud Migration Comparison Study by leading cloud migration expert, Rick Blaisdell, a clear testament to our proven capabilities. To find out more about how RiverMeadow can help you enjoy a risk-free journey to Cloud please get in touch or schedule a demo.