Cloud computing and software-defined networking in general has long been a topic of interest in the world of IT, and you have likely leveraged some form of these technologies for use in your own digital environments. With such high demand for off-premise services and skyrocketing expectations from executive boards, you may find that delivering results is not as easy as many business leaders make it out to be. A failure to collaborate across internal teams and develop a comprehensive migration plan can result in disappointment and frustration, as well as reduced ROI.
To ensure that cloud investments are delivering the maximum possible value for your IT dollar, you must work closely with C-level decision-makers, a diverse range of end users and expert third-party service providers before making the leap into a virtualized setting. Here are five cloud migration musts that you should consider for your next project.
1. Know the apps inside and out
Knowing your applications' support requirements and maintenance needs is a critical first step in determining your cloud necessities. An article from TechTarget explained that understanding app parameters will make pricing, procurement and migration processes much more straightforward when the time comes to address those choices.
"With Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service, you might design the app for resiliency," said Drue Reeves, chief of research at Gartner Inc., according to the news source. "If it's built to scale up, you might want to rebalance to scale out. For SaaS, usability is key, so you must add security features."
2. Figure out pricing policies
Without an idea of how much an app migration project will cost, you'll likely find yourself responsible for financial fiascoes once your organization adopts the software for the long term. Take the time to search for cost-effective implementations that make the most of your available resources and ensure that budgets are taken into consideration from end to end.
"When you add services, it will add to the bill," Reeves told the source. "You must factor that in. Now the whole organization is using it, how much does that cost?"
3. Make strong vendor alliances
In many ways, the current cloud landscape is like the Wild West - few boundaries, little guidance and many hazards. That's why you need to partner up with a cloud service provider that knows the lay of the land and can help you migrate applications in a coordinated, secure manner. As your virtualization efforts become more complex over time, you'll be glad you created an alliance with a vendor that knows your infrastructure and has your best interests in mind.
4. Provision with precision
There are a multitude of hardware assessments that you need to make when preparing to send an app to the cloud, and an inaccurate evaluation of these needs can result in a major headache for everyone involved. TechTarget recommended taking full inventory of currently available assets and gauging where improvements need to be made. The earlier the better when it comes to procurement - waiting until the last minute to arrange extra IT resources can end up costing you a boatload of extra cash.
5. Create clear expectations
According to a recent article from The Star, it is crucial that you give end users and executives a realistic vision of what your new implementation will be capable of. Setting up employees with an easily accessed knowledge base can expedite the learning process for those who may have fallen behind the curve.
Altering the configuration of your infrastructure is no small task, and even if you plan to migrate only one application at a time, developing a clear, well-articulated plan is key to getting the ball rolling and staying on track.