New business technology and trends typically have a few early adopters as well as laggards. If they bide their time, laggards know they’ll find out if the technology was just a fad or a necessity. But the time is running out on cloud migration, which has become an absolute necessity. What was once a glitzy new concept is now the basis for companywide applications, data, and storage in all industries.
If business leaders keep pushing off cloud adoption, they’ll fall further behind in crucial tech implementation (like AI and 5G) as the cloud has become integral to connected, smart business processes.
The business case to transition to organization wide cloud networks is there, but cloud migration challenges can block the way. Almost half of enterprises undergoing digital transformations are falling behind schedule or have stalled their efforts, due to challenges transitioning their legacy systems and the technical debt they’ve accrued, according to the 2020 State of Enterprise Digital Transformation survey. Companies that drag their feet do so at the cost of quality, experience, and long-term technical advancements.
Legacy applications contain valuable data that can’t afford to be lost, so moving to the cloud is seen as risky. This cloud migration issue is expensive and time-intensive due to the refactoring needed to keep it safe. This calls into question cloud security because once it’s in the cloud, it must be protected. Challenges in cloud adoption can be managed with an enterprise cloud migration plan. With a plan in place, migrating legacy technologies will happen on a timely basis.
To execute this plan, you’ll need the right team. Consider more than one department when building your cloud task force. Think of this project as a center of excellence where people can come together and share ideas for the cloud migration strategy. When outlining this plan, know that security isn’t the final step. By incorporating security into each phase, the team saves time and ensures a secure cloud network. To further enhance security, create security patterns for the cloud environment and applications to only allow members of the organization access.
Four Pillars to Mitigate Your Cloud Migration Issues
Keeping security in mind and getting a team lined up are just the baseline steps to an effective cloud migration. There are four pillars to executing a successful enterprise cloud migration plan that we've outlined below:
1. Make Learning Self-Serviceable
If you don’t have an infinite number of cloud developers readily available on your team, no worries. This is where your team can strengthen its skills and learn more about cloud planning and migration from colleagues. Let the team learn and experiment in a sandbox environment to test what works and what doesn’t. A sandbox can also be set with controls for both security and cost, keeping everyone within safe parameters for experimenting.
Other resources and tools you should provide your team to fuel their learning are self-driven courses, as well as a learning plan to offer them further support and guidance. Share code samples from proof-of-concept applications. These should be stored where everyone can access, review, and update them as necessary. Finally, instruct your team to document everything using a centralized spot for all to access. This will solidify what they’ve learned and will reinforce the master plan they’re working on.
2. Crowdsource Learning Within the Organization
With a whole cloud migration strategy team working and learning about cloud networks individually, it would be beneficial to have everyone share takeaways from what they’ve learned. Sharing this information will further the team’s education and help everyone work together.
This may include scheduling code reviews throughout the cloud migration process, where feedback can be shared and debated. Or it may be using screenshots and a well-documented step-by-step outline. All documentation must be organized so everyone can easily access it.
3. Enable Teams to Work Autonomously
For the designated cloud migration teams to be truly effective, innovative, and efficient, they have to be trusted to work autonomously. That means these designated teams own the cloud migration strategy end-to-end and top-to-bottom, writing the entire application stack (application code, infrastructure code, CI/CD pipeline, deployments, etc.
As a business leader, give the teams decision-making powers and offer them quick approval processes. Share the recommended tools and platforms for the teams to get started with, then let them go from there.
4. Use Reference Architectures to Showcase Best Practices
If your team is looking for best practices or models, direct them to the organization’s current application suite and use the most common patterns for reference architecture. Using those patterns to guide the teams will be helpful; if more references are needed, they should consider architectures in data, security, SDLC, operations, and the network that is in use within the organization. As the teams review more reference architectures, make sure they are documenting those thoroughly.
If you have target architectures in mind, be sure to communicate them with the teams — and that they’re communicating with each other. This will raise awareness and set expectations for the team, especially as they migrate the applications later in the process.
These are the ultimate guidelines a cloud migration plan needs to be executed effectively and efficiently. These guidelines rely heavily on upskilling your team because the organization will need this knowledge to manage and operate the cloud network. But if you need to get started on enterprise cloud migration sooner rather than later, look to a partner to help make it happen
Pariveda has helped countless enterprise organizations migrate to the cloud, and we always bring your team along for the journey with best-in-class training to ensure they can run it themselves.
This article was a collaborative effort and co-written by Fins in our Washington DC office.
Dave Allen, Manager
Ryan Bennett, Manager
Aaron Fisher, Manager
Ian Lenora, Manager
Nathan Murray, Manager