Tips to Building a Foolproof Cloud Migration Strategy for 2019

By Taylor Veino

More and more companies are embracing the magic of the cloud, and not just because it is “the thing” in tech! Running company apps via the cloud is cheaper, simpler to maintain, and much more scalable. 

As with any technology shift, most problems arise because of the many steps involved in this process. Compound this with a lack of planning and you’ll end up in your worst tech nightmare. Having a seamless strategy to prevent downtime for your clients is absolutely necessary. 

There are so many applications involved, and depending on the level of your company, you may have to follow one or all of the following steps. Start with the most straightforward and lowest complexity applications and data first. By tackling the most effortless jobs first, you’ll feel more knowledgeable and prepared to handle the rest. 

Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to have a seamless cloud migration. 

 

Plan Your Migration

The key to success as a developer migrating applications is to plan accordingly. When moving and making tremendous changes to your platform, you can potentially deal with data loss, security issues, and downtime for your customers and employees, all of which can lead to loss of revenue.

If you’re migrating applications without making any changes to the functions of these apps, it can seem like a simple process, but there is risk involved. You need to prepare to handle the up and downstream applications and prepare the target environment you’re migrating to. You might also want to modify your applications to take advantage of some of the new cloud capabilities like load balancing, storage, or serverless computing. 

Protecting Your Data

Transferring a surplus of data from your on-premise location to the cloud opens you up to data breaches. Make sure you understand all the compliance requirements you need to implement before initiating transfer. If you are in an industry that is heavily regulated, you need to make sure you follow all the rules and comply with regulations. 

You might need to remove personally identifiable information before you migrate the data or you might need to encrypt it. 

Beyond encryption and protection during the transfer of data, you also want to think about post-transfer security. How will you handle people accessing data and applications? Will you assign roles, or will you have a different system set up? Make sure that you have a system in place for assigning access to different data points. You don’t want to give users access to more data than they need to complete their tasks. 

Limit The Disruptions

The ultimate goal should be to limit the pitfalls and downtime during the entire process. To do this, you should run your applications through a test before you go live with everything. This ensures that all applications are running properly before you send them out to the masses. 

Secondly, you want to validate during each step. Make sure that everything is working and running smoothly after the migration, and if you run into a problem, you can revert to prevent disruption. 

The last thing you want to do is consider the status of your applications. If you have consistent and regular uses, you might want to move everything in smaller batches to limit the risk. If you move two customers at a time, you can catch issues, and that will make it easier for you to explain and handle. If you move everything at once, you can quickly find yourself in a hole with your customers. 

 

One Piece at a Time

We believe in taking things slow and moving a few pieces of the puzzle at a time. This might seem like a tedious and boring strategy, but it’s the best way to limit issues down the road. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t right off the bat, so you won’t have to deal with large scale problems later on.

You could consider maintaining all of your data in house and move only your applications to the cloud as a first step. This would be a great way of “testing the field” before going all in on everything. 

If you want to start by migrating everything you could start with the least important data first to ensure a smooth transition. If all goes well, then move the critical data. Pay extra close attention to your process when you’re dealing with sensitive data. 

 

Select The Right Hosting

Now that you understand the critical tips to keep in mind when migrating to the cloud, you need to choose an appropriate host. You want to pay close attention to all of the following features when making a decision:

  • Vertical/horizontal flexibility
  • Scalability
  • Cross-country deployment
  • Can it capture billing and usage data
  • Data backup and redundancy

There are many service providers available, like Azure, Google, and AWS. Make sure you choose carefully because these providers may be responsible for highly sensitive data. 

 

Final Thoughts

Migrating to the cloud is not a simple process, but it’s all in the strategy and planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so make sure you put in the brainwork ahead of time to ensure a smooth transition. 

Posted by Taylor Veino

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