When deciding on the various options for migrating your systems to the cloud, first congratulate yourself on taking the leap! You’ve made a good decision, and there will be benefits to using a cloud-based strategy going forward. But as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished, so expect some challenges associated with the migration.
Choosing the right cloud migration strategy for your organization is key. The right migration option will offer expanded opportunities for you and your employees. Conversely, choosing the wrong strategy can limit your ability to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.
There are many options to choose from, and in this blog, we will walk through some of them to give you better insight into your options and help you determine what will make the most sense for your organization. Here we go!
What’s Your Strategy?
Knowing exactly what you want out of the migration will help you choose the proper strategy. As we said earlier, there are many options. Do you simply want to move everything to the cloud without making any changes, or do you want to take the opportunity to make a few changes to take advantage of cloud capabilities? Or perhaps it’s time to rebuild the workload altogether. There is no right or wrong answer, but deciding which option fits your organization’s needs is an important first step. Let’s look at six options.
- “Lift and Shift” – also known as Rehosting
This first option you might want to consider is the easiest, and in most cases, the least expensive option, as it is simply “lifting” your information from your current system and “shifting” it to the cloud. In this move from an on-premise system, no changes are made to any of the workloads. It’s an uncomplicated approach, with no alterations to the underlying code, but it may limit your ability to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.
The benefit of using this rehosting approach is you can move to the cloud quickly and don’t need to make any changes right away. You may decide to revisit your usage at a later date to make adjustments that will open up more cloud capabilities to your users. Just know it will cost both time and money when you decide to make those changes down the road.
- Replatforming Offers Some Optimization
Replatforming is an option that allows you to make small changes to the configuration or code of an application, which allows slight optimizations once the migration to the cloud has been completed. Choosing replatforming is a “middle of the road” approach that allows you to take more advantage of cloud capabilities without taking the time and resources to completely rebuild a workload or application. It also allows your organization to experiment with the cloud, and then move on to other workloads, without committing to a large migration effort all at once. It is a nice balance of increased functionality and minimized migration costs.
- Refactoring, Complex Yet Beneficial
This option takes the process a step further in complexity, and ultimately in capability. Refactoring allows you to make major changes to your current system to take full advantage of all the cloud has to offer. If you need to add features to your current system or you need to build scale or enhance performance, refactoring might be the best option for you. (And these options cannot be added by simply rehosting or replatforming.) Refactoring allows you to scale as needed down the road, and can ultimately provide cost savings long-term. Note that refactoring takes experts. It requires advanced coding skills and can require changing many aspects of the application, so there is a risk of errors on multiple levels. The cost and time commitment will be extensive, but if done correctly, the benefits can be great.
- Start from Scratch and Rebuild
Not much technical explanation is needed here. This option involves completely rebuilding your application using technologies that are native to the cloud. So you’ll be making a fresh start. You can probably guess that this is the most expensive and substantial option from a resource standpoint, but the benefit is taking complete advantage of cloud computing technology. Note that it will take considerable IT solutions expertise and long hours from IT professionals to rebuild an entire application.
- Shift Your Cloud and Repurchase
The key to this option is understanding that to use it, you must already be using a cloud provider. Repurchasing means simply moving from one cloud provider to another. One example might be moving from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365. With this type of plan, the organization is replacing an old service or application with a new one, using SaaS cloud computing services. Generally speaking, this is a relatively simple switch, since your organization is already using cloud-based services. Your IT team just needs to execute a successful transition from one service provider to another.
- Ready to Retire?
No, we don’t mean cashing in your 401(k) and hitting the beach – as tempting as that is. This option is about eliminating applications in your system that are outdated or unused. Your company’s growth – and moves to and from remote workspaces over the past several years – have probably necessitated adding software programs or applications your employees required at that time. Just as when you add trendy clothes or seasonal new clothes to your closet, some of your older garments generally get forgotten. Retiring older applications that are no longer in use is the IT equivalent of cleaning out that proverbial closet.
Make The Right Choices
Now that we have examined six cloud migration options that cover everything from a simple transfer of data with no changes, to a full rebuild of your current system, or moving from one cloud option to another to cleaning up old applications no longer needed, you should realize that there is an option that is right for your organization’s needs – no matter where you are on the spectrum. To decide which is right for you, take a look at your current systems and work with a forward-thinking IT solutions team to make an educated decision about which option best fits your needs – now and in the future. If you have more questions than answers after reading this, check out our Cloud Services. Our IT experts will be there to help you customize a cloud migration that’s the right choice for your organization.