Since the pandemic, more businesses are investigating moving their data to the cloud. In fact, cloud adoption has skyrocketed in the last few years, with more than 60% of businesses migrating their workloads to the cloud in 2020 alone (source: Zippia).
Simply put, cloud migration is the process of moving a company’s digital assets, services, databases, IT resources, and applications into the cloud or from one cloud to another.
However, cloud migration requires a certain level of technical expertise to be successful. And, as more companies realize the benefits of cloud migration, the hiring market for cloud experts is heating up. Forrester reports that more than half of organizations are either hiring new staff or re-training existing staff to better optimize their cloud spend.
If your organization is considering investing in a cloud migration strategy, you’ll want to understand the challenges, as well as the advantages of cloud computing for business. Here’s what to know before you begin recruiting professionals to help with your cloud migration plan.
Benefits of cloud migration
Cloud migration can be a labor-intensive process, but with the right team and software, it’s well worth the investment. Cloud computing benefits for business start with enhanced performance and scalability.
Enterprises can enhance their operational efficiency and overall customer satisfaction by transitioning to the cloud. Cloud providers offer state-of-the-art infrastructure and have a proven track record of reliability. Rather than store data in on-premise servers, cloud data centers reduce the risk of latency or down time. This gives businesses the confidence that their applications and data will be available and performing well 24/7.
Cloud storage and computing are flexible and able to grow with your business. As your needs evolve, it’s easy to add or remove cloud resources as needed. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that experience seasonal fluctuations in demand, as well as for startups or enterprises expanding into new markets.
By one estimate, businesses save 20% - 30% by moving their applications to a cloud provider. Usually, businesses only pay for the cloud resources they use and new businesses can avoid the upfront costs of purchasing and maintaining hardware and software. Cloud providers offer a variety of pricing options, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
Cloud migration, especially for businesses that use legacy systems, opens an entirely new digital experience for your customers and employees. Users can access cloud services and data from anywhere, which has implications for customer service, sales, internal workflows, and business growth. Cloud migration enables remote and hybrid work, not to mention the possibility of reaching customers in new geographic areas.
Data security and disaster recovery
Cloud providers invest heavily in robust security measures to protect their clients' data. Most providers employ encryption, access controls, and advanced monitoring systems to ensure data integrity and confidentiality. And, cloud services offer automated backups and disaster recovery options, which help mitigate the risk of data loss.
Cloud providers can help businesses comply with industry regulations such as HIPAA and PCI DSS. In fact, many cloud providers have the expertise and resources to meet the specific compliance requirements that apply to your company.
Cloud migration challenges & solutions
Despite the many benefits of the cloud, there are a number of challenges to implementing cloud-based solutions. Here’s what to know before diving into your cloud migration process.
Resistance to cloud environment adoption
Change is always hard. Especially in large enterprises, adopting the cloud can cause some growing pains. Cloud migration requires learning new systems and software, as well as new security protocols, permissions, and access controls to ensure passwords are kept safe.
Cloud migration requires a disciplined, well-communicated approach, which can be achieved using a change management plan. This plan outlines the steps an organization will take to implement cloud programs. A well-crafted change management plan can help minimize disruption, reduce resistance to change, and increase the chances of success.
Uncertain cost of the cloud migration process
Gartner predicts that through 2024, 60% of infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will encounter public cloud cost overruns that negatively impact their on-premises budgets. They attribute many of these cost overruns to mistimed work effort, hidden costs that weren’t accounted for during planning, and choosing the wrong migration team.
It takes careful planning and preparation to manage the cloud migration process and upfront costs. Costs to watch out for include costs to reskill existing teams, the cost to raise salaries, or changing organizational structure. We recommend partnering with the right team to help mitigate these risks.
At Andela, we offer a cloud adoption framework that reduces complexities and accelerates project delivery, while noting the costs upfront. We help you rapidly expand and optimize your cloud footprint, powered by the latest in Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and DevOps practices.
Skills and knowledge shortage
The wrong migration team can be a big problem for cloud migration projects. As Gartner notes, “[M]any I&O leaders select a migration partner based on familiarity or low pricing rather than experience. Others try to save on partnership costs by giving the migration project to an internal team, even if they are not ready for it.”
This skills gap can be easily resolved by collaborating with a cloud expert. Andela connects businesses to top cloud technologists worldwide who can take on your cloud migration process.
Complexity of moving applications and large volumes of data
Depending on the size and maturity of your business, a cloud migration process can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Moving your data from one system to another can lead to downtime for testing and validation, which in turn impacts your organization’s productivity. The longer the cloud migration process, the greater the cost to the organization.
Ideally, you’ll mitigate the complexity of moving large volumes of data from its legacy storage to the cloud by adopting a phased approach. Prioritize systems in terms of their importance to your workflows, and organize a staggered process that ensures your core operations are intact during business hours.
Cloud migration strategy
A clear cloud migration strategy is vital if you decide to move your data to a cloud-based provider. These steps can help you develop a strategy and identify the resources needed to move forward.
Identify your business objectives
What do you hope to achieve by migrating to the cloud? Some businesses undertake this process to reduce costs, improve performance in a key business area, or scale to a new market.
Approach this by assessing your IT infrastructure to understand what resources need to be migrated. Likewise, evaluate your company’s cloud readiness, such as any gaps in skills or technologies that might need to be addressed before migration can occur.
Once you have defined your business objectives and audited your existing IT landscape, you can start vetting providers to meet your goals.
Choose the right cloud provider
There are many different cloud platforms available. Consider factors such as pricing, features, and security when making your decision. Do some research into cloud providers’ reputations and their ability to meet any compliance requirements your business may have.
Map out the cloud migration process and journey
Formulate a cloud transition strategy that aligns with your business objectives. Andela can help design a detailed roadmap to account for technical and business requirements for a smooth cloud adoption journey. Your migration plan should include a detailed timeline, budget, and the resources you will need to successfully migrate your applications and data to the cloud.
Analyze complex applications for critical data, performance, and security needs
Assess your existing IT environment and determine the factors that will govern the migration. In this part of your cloud migration strategy, identify and prioritize critical application data, legacy data, and applications you need to keep the business running.
Consider how your team is using data in their day-to-day workflows. Is there data that needs to be resynced regularly, data compliance requirements to meet, or non-critical data that can possibly be migrated during the first few passes of the migration?
Leverage cloud migration consulting and solutions
Cloud migration takes time and a high level of expertise. It’s worth partnering with a private talent marketplace like Andela to find the right team to oversee the migration. Our global marketplace of technologists can provide the necessary training and guidance for a seamless migration to the cloud, ensuring minimized disruptions and maximized efficiency.
Andela: Your partner for seamless cloud migration
Cloud migration is a process that’s well worth the investment, especially for companies that plan to continue to grow. With the right team to oversee your cloud migration, moving data to a source that empowers flexibility, accessibility, and better performance is a powerful advantage. Andela can help overcome a skills gap that can quickly derail your cloud migration progress and connect you to exceptional engineers at 30-50% less cost than local hires. Andela Talent Cloud allows hiring managers to find the right talent for the right role at the right speed and cost with ease. Learn more about Andela for Enterprises and get in touch to get started.