Alternative Text Steve Pownall | 08 December 2021 |

You should start your journey to the cloud in 2022

Modernising your technology through moving applications into the cloud is not a new concept. In 2021, it’s pretty common. But what does migration to the cloud entail? How long does it take? Do you need to become fully cloud-based? Is it even for you? 

We’ve put together this handy guide to starting your cloud journey, what to expect and where to start, so that you can plan your strategy early ahead of the New Year. 

  

Is it necessary? 

If there is one constant your business can rely on these days, it’s change. Your IT needs next year — or even next month — are unlikely to be the same as they are right now. Your business is growing, and you’re moving into new territories. Or maybe you — or a competitor — are turning your sector on its head with innovative processes and products enabled by digital technologies. 

In today’s climate, modern infrastructure is the foundation for a successful organisation. It will enable innovation, by allowing you to more quickly develop secure, scalable apps to support new products and services or transform business processes, and help you to collaborate more effectively, both internally and externally, by providing secure web-based and mobile access to shared data and apps, from any place, at any time. 

In our opinion, migrating to the cloud is an obvious path, enabling you to modernise and future-proof your IT stack. 

 

Step 1: Pack for success. And pack light. 

As with any journey, deciding what to take with you is critical. Early adopters of digital transformation methods employed a basic ‘lift and shift’ approach, choosing to migrate lighter workloads in their entirety to the cloud, whilst keeping some of their larger legacy pieces on premise. 

Unfortunately, this has led them away from discovering the true creative, operational and financial benefits of cloud migration. Generally, enterprises at this stage of their journey will manage to migrate 20% of their workloads to the cloud, leaving the remaining 80% still requiring modernisation; contrary to their belief that they’re ahead of the curve, they’re actually behind it. 

So, how do you plan a more conclusive journey to the cloud from the outset? By analysing all business workloads and initially prioritising those which would benefit from modernisation and by breaking down applications into microservices and deploying to the cloud in smaller, more agile clusters, your business will quickly start to see the value of cloud computing. And of course, as experts in cloud migration, we can help you choose what stays at home and what comes with you on your trip. 

  

Step 2: Plan the best route for you 

Now that you’ve decided what to pack on your journey, planning which route to take is the next step, avoiding routes with known congestion or which are unsuitable for your chosen vehicle. 

There are three options to choose from when deploying workloads to the cloud: 

  • Private Cloud is cloud infrastructure reserved solely for a single organisation, whether managed internally or by a third-party, and hosted either internally or externally. A private cloud can often provide greater levels of security, where the data sits behind enterprise firewalls. 
  • Public Cloud is where the infrastructure sits in a network that is open for public use. There is little to no difference between public and private cloud architecture, save for security considerations you’ll have to make depending on what kind of data you’re migrating. 
  • Hybrid Cloud is a composition of two or more clouds (private or public) that remain distinct entities but are integrated together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. 

  

It can be difficult to land on a final decision at this stage, and we can help with this. We consider the size of the workload you’re migrating, the nature of your data and subsequent security needs, your operational requirements and suggest the destination and provider you should go with. 

  

Step 3: Leaving the runway 

Once you have a solid plan for migration, your journey to the cloud can start to move. 

Microservices 

Breaking down your applications into microservices gives you flexibility to architect your applications as you like them, provides greater possibilities where scalability is concerned and enables continuous delivery without disruption. 

 

Adopt a DevOps approach  

By baking in governance standards into your infrastructure before deploying applications into it, you’re ensuring the application’s delivery is high quality and giving yourself peace of mind that security will stay efficient and repeatable. 

 

Test often and deploy quickly 

The above allows a business’ team to learn and iterate at pace, developing a minimum viable product. This can vary in shape and size for organisations especially when replacing or re-inventing an existing application. The key here is small iterations that quickly build the replacement. 

  

Step 4: In flight 

Typically, you’ll have a number of things to consider when choosing which workloads to move to the cloud, and this doesn’t begin and end at step one. For a variety of reasons, such as software age, longevity of a workload, or complex data interdependencies, some workloads may never move to the cloud and will remain in a traditional IT environment. However, many existing workloads are viable candidates for moving to the cloud – or may become one in the future – and, of course, brand new applications are most likely born on the cloud from the start. 

  

Summary 

The question, then, is no longer why you should journey to the cloud, but under what circumstances, what is right for you and how to approach it piece by piece.

Selecting the right applications to be your ‘pioneers’ and identifying the best migration or modernisation path for each requires an analysis of workloads, business needs, and technical complexities. It’s not easy. But when done right, it can deliver all the benefits of maximised efficiency, increased agility and greater freedom to innovate that you set out to deliver for your business. 

As always, we’re here to help. We’re experts in complex migrations and are familiar with the plethora of moving parts within a business’ infrastructure. We understand the nuances and our attention to detail is unmatched. If you’re looking for help on your journey, reach out to us below and we’ll help you on your way. 

 

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