4 steps to get your cloud migration off the ground

Build your migration strategy and prepare for cloud management once you get there

There’s no doubt about it: To meet customer needs, stay competitive and avoid disruption, businesses need to move to cloud. And they’re making progress. According to a recent survey, 33 percent of enterprise workloads and applications are currently in a cloud environment. This is expected to increase to 57 percent in the next two years.

One of the major hurdles large companies face with cloud migration is getting all their stuff to the cloud in the first place. So much of it is tied up in traditional infrastructure that they have been relying on for years. Because of this, just starting the cloud migration process can feel like an overwhelming task for a lot of enterprise CIOs and their IT teams.

Cloud migration: Where to begin?

Start building your cloud migration strategy by looking at your entire software portfolio, then prioritize apps for migration by sorting your portfolio into three categories:

  • Bucket 1: Applications that demand transformation today – most likely client facing web and mobile applications that affect the customer experience
  • Bucket 2: Applications that collect customer data that isn’t being used immediately
  • Bucket 3: Applications that are tightly connected and difficult to move out of the data center

Modernize your applications

Optimize your IT for a successful digital transformation

Once you have identified applications that go in the first bucket, application modernization is critical. “You start off with capabilities at a high level,” says IBM Cloud Migration Factory Lead Architect Tony Black. “Go app by app and ask yourself: What are you trying to do? Who needs access? What do you want to improve? Do you need to redesign or modernize anything?” Pro tip: Set a North Star goal for each application and begin with systems of engagement that directly impact customer experience.

Find your right-fit cloud mix

Next, you’ll need to select the optimal mix of both traditional, on-premises IT infrastructure and hosted, public cloud platforms for your entire software portfolio. “Innovation only works if it works for you,” says Black, “From a delivery perspective, from a maintenance perspective and from a cost perspective.”

Identify the important application constraints and work backward from there. How can you minimize the amount of change an app requires while still gaining the benefits of cloud? Some options might include:

  • Move to a new hosted public cloud platform if it would be helpful to have a cloud provider host the app for you.
  • If your daily use makes more sense in an operational expenditure (OpEx) model than in a capital expenditure (CapEx) model, move your consumption to OpEx.
  • Adapt to changing workloads by provisioning and de-provisioning resources automatically — gain elasticity without buying additional horsepower.

Consider cloud management

How you migrate and modernize will have a big impact on how you will manage your cloud environment. It’s important to look for cloud platforms that not only give you a place to host your cloud apps, but also have tools and management support capabilities to quickly develop and test software and efficiently manage infrastructure in the long term.

Part of building a smarter business is recognizing that you have a need to move to cloud and that greater outreach and a larger audience come from embracing new platforms and technologies. “Cloud migration is worth the hassle because you don’t want to pack up shop and call it quits,” says Black, “If you want to grow and have new routes to business and new paths to reach people, the only way to get there is in the cloud.”

To learn more about accelerating your journey to cloud with confidence, read the research.