Jumpstart planning to ensure a smooth, low-risk cloud migration
On-premise to Azure cloud migration can reduce complexity, decrease information security risks, and lower the overall cost of technology ownership. To realize these benefits, your business needs to prepare for the move. It’s not just about software and data. It is about doing your pre-work, training your team, and finding and partnering with a leading cloud service provider to help manage and support the cloud transition.
How to move to the cloud with confidence
- Review current systems and processes - The productivity inefficiencies and obstacles you currently have should not move to the cloud with your company. Identify and assess processes and business systems to improve outcomes, including your ERP, CRM, productivity software, design tools, and more. Streamlined integration results from first eliminating inefficiencies and outdated practices. Some of your software concerns might be best solved with the tools and resources available from your cloud service provider.
- Benefit from your cloud partner’s expertise and resources - When researching cloud service providers, review their respective skills and expertise to predict how they would complement and advance your own IT team’s capabilities. If you can rely on a vendor’s existing skills and capacity, that will likely yield your desired results much faster—and be far more affordable—than building your own team of cloud experts.
- Define your goals – Know the exact objectives of your cloud migration. Identify which of the many advantages of cloud computing will make a difference for your team. Do you want to take advantage of advanced business analytics tools, cut costs, connect systems to the Internet of Things (IoT), easily scale your business systems or secure a simple upgrade path for your technology? Defining and documenting your goals makes it easier to decide which computing workloads you want to transfer.
- Perform a proof-of-concept - One of the most manageable and low-risk approaches to taking your business to the cloud is to start with a proof-of-concept (POC) project. To do this, select a relatively simple, non-business-critical application or a usage scenario that does not impact customers. Commit your selection to the cloud and test it, adjusting in collaboration with your cloud provider. The trial will offer valuable insights that will translate to best practices for later migration of vital and complex applications.
- Leverage a hybrid method - Once you’re satisfied with the POC results, you can start moving computing workloads to the cloud. It’s typically more productive to transition some workloads and processes into the cloud and leave others on-premise. Hybrid cloud and on-premise environments combine the best features and benefits of both realms. Analyze the advantages of moving to the cloud for each user group, application, and workload.
- Proceed one workload at a time - Keep your cloud migration controlled and predictable by moving one workload at a time. Start by moving the workloads that are less complex and less risky. The risk of moving your HR and benefits administration, financials, and compliance processes to the cloud is probably low. Shifting software that powers your manufacturing should probably happen later when you’re certain the move will be seamless.