Digital transformation and cloud adoption have changed the face of IT evolution in every enterprise. Migration to cloud-based services has become a default standard across enterprises, and migration of all operations to the cloud has become the need of the hour.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the global leader in offering such on-demand cloud services. Here’s a profound 10-point checklist for successful AWS migration.
Why Migrate to the Cloud
The very first step any enterprise must take before making any decision on migrating to AWS is to have a clear answer to the question “Why?”. The decision to migrate is not only a technical decision but should involve all departments and levels of management. The reason behind the migration, its goals, and its objectives are to be clearly defined with the required corporate diligence, protocols, and compliance.
The goals and objectives must take into account the current state of digital transformation of every department of the enterprise, the digital infrastructure in place, minimum customer experience criteria as well as scalability looking into the future. AWS cloud consultants can be brought on board to mold and assist the enterprise in defining these goals and objectives.
Moving from the Past to the Future
Migration to the cloud across the enterprise is not a ‘click and go’ operation. The state of digital transformation of each department will need to be studied. The level of computerization in each department and the current technologies being used will need to be analyzed in detail. Decisions will have to be taken based on questions such as:
- “Which” of the existing systems can be migrated to the cloud directly?
- What portions of software will be needed to be modified and then migrated to the cloud
- What will need to be rewritten completely so that it can be migrated?
- What about data normalization and migration?
A detailed analysis of legacy versus the final destination will be needed to be done to enable a smooth transition to AWS. AWS offers tools and platforms for easy migration, but the initial groundwork of assessing the current state of digital transformation will still need to be done. AWS migration experts can be consulted for due system-ready analysis for cloud migration.
Migration to AWS is not an overnight operation. Depending on the level of complexity of the current systems and the work to be achieved, the migration could take days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years. Hence, during the migration phase, plans will need to be made as to how day-to-day operations are not affected and migration to AWS is transparent to the user.
The transition from the old to the new should not affect the bottom line of the enterprise, nor should it adversely affect customer experience at any level. Running operations on old systems to running both old and migrated systems together to finally moving to only the migrated system — everything must be a part of a carefully laid out process.
Enterprises must brace themselves for the cost involved in migration to AWS. It is not only the subscription rates of the cloud services but also the costs that will need to be borne to make the existing systems AWS-ready. There will be costs related to software and hardware upgrade, 3rd party tools, technology adoption, and training. Therefore, a comprehensive budgetary plan will need to be presented so that decision-makers in the enterprise have a clear idea of the expenditures ahead for complete migration.
Single or Multi-Cloud
Choosing single or multiple vendors for cloud services depends mainly on the requirements as well as technical strategies to be adopted within the enterprise. Architecture is a primary mover where decisions need to be taken on whether systems are modular enough to run across different cloud environments. Fear of vendor lock-in and services provided by each cloud vendor must be weighed for the single or multiple cloud decision. Budgetary considerations also need to be looked into, along with governance and compliance adherence, while selecting a single or multiple cloud environment.
AWS, with its state-of-the-art cloud computing platform and competitive costing, has resulted in an increasing number of enterprises choosing the single cloud option, with AWS being the chosen vendor. The easy access to AWS experts to assist enterprises in cloud migration has also played a role in AWS being the chosen single cloud vendor.
Who is the right cloud partner?
Migration to the cloud needs diverse expertise and experience. The skill sets required for migration and all its associated activities might not be available in-house and a suitable partner should be included in the team for this exercise. The cloud partner should have verifiable experience in cloud architectures and services, configuration and management. Their expertise should also include automation, data migration, compliance and policy adherence capabilities along with experience in cloud cyber security. Application migration capabilities along with in-depth knowledge of handling legacy upgrades would be mandatory.
System Architecture in the Cloud
Migration of systems and data to the cloud is based on architecture considered appropriate for the enterprise when fully cloud-based. AWS-trained system architects will need to redesign the existing architecture of the enterprise based on resources and environments available in the cloud.
The software will need to be rewritten, and legacy applications will have to be upgraded to suit the AWS architecture. Frontend and backend components, applications, services, virtual machines, storage management, and networking are just some of the components that will need to be looked at from a holistic system point of view before any migration takes place.
Being able to monitor everything in the cloud, from data to application performance, networking, connectivity, and security, is a crucial component during and after migration. Observability and performance management dashboards, along with AWS native monitoring tools, are mandatory to have for any cloud-based enterprise.
Having data-driven analytics and insights into the performance of the cloud environment is crucial in performance management, increasing the level of customer experience, and making accurate business decisions regarding performance and costs. Performance baselines can then be set and monitored at all times based on these metrics.
Migrating data to the cloud first entails identifying all data that exists across the enterprise. Once identified, normalizing the data as far as possible is required. The quality of the data also needs to be considered during the migration stage. Amalgamating data from different silos and data centers to the cloud is a careful exercise that needs to be planned and only then executed. This migration should also not break existing code or legacy code that has been updated within the cloud infrastructure. Clear bifurcations of transient or transactional and master data need to be demarcated as well.
Along with data storage, data security and mitigation of data loss are factors to be considered as high priority. Existing data compliances and protocols regarding security and privacy should not get broken during cloud migration.
Training and Mindset
Staff across the enterprise at all levels of management will have to undergo a mindset change when systems are moved to the cloud. Extensive awareness and operational programs will need to be conducted to acclimatize both technical and support staff to the changing environment. Extensive training programs will need to be conducted to upgrade skills in cloud technologies in terms of configurations, deployment, monitoring, and management of systems in the cloud.
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