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Monday, 28 November 2016

Cloud migration planning for small business

Cloud migration presents unforeseen challenges for those that fail to prepare. In hindsight, companies often realize that preparation for cloud migration is more of a strategic endeavor that allows organizations of all sizes and verticals to adopt their approach and mindset in a way that best suits their unique requirements. Following are five cloud migration strategy tips your organization should follow:

Cloud Migration Strategy Tip 1 – Develop a Realistic Plan

The migration team and the vendors must discuss all the possible details regarding the legacy system. This will help to minimize the unknown variables that may exist and uncover issues that may emerge in the future. This approach will allow your organization to create, keep, migrate or remove different aspects.

During this phase you should define a realistic scope of your migration plan by explaining your definition of success. Do you want everything to be functioning exactly the way it did or does your legacy system need enhancements? Do you need a specific process or application to run first?
A good definition of success will help you narrow the scope of the project, allowing you to create a realistic migration plan that works well the first time.

Cloud Migration Strategy Tip 2 – Manage Timelines & Deliverables

Time is money. Effective time management of all the resources of the project will help you control the budget and reduce overheads. Review and confirm your time and scope estimations for all tasks and activities defined in the project structure. Test network speeds to estimate data transfer time and allow plenty of time for testing and validation.

Cloud Migration Strategy Tip 3 – Minimize Security Risks

To minimize security risks and avoid breaches to sensitive information you should review compliance requirements, firewall policies, and add multiple layers of security such as intrusion detection systems, web-application firewalls and logs. This is especially important considering a recent White Hat Security report, which suggests 85 percent of all websites have at least one serious vulnerability, and most of the time, more than one.

Cloud Migration Strategy Tip 4 – Test, Validate and Test Again

Allow enough time for testing, especially before the final cutover approaches. You should run your test plan multiple times throughout the different phases of the project, before cutover and post-cutover.

Cloud Migration Strategy Tip 5 – Communicate Expectations

The most common mistake in migrations is lack of communication that results in unmet expectations. Oftentimes, the client may expect the migration team to do everything with almost no involvement on their part or perhaps the migration team assumes that the client knows exactly their role in the project.

Make sure all parties the details that can change the approach of how the data is migrated, such as, cutover expectations, allowable downtime, length of windows and specific deadlines. Other important factors for consideration include the assignment of roles and responsibilities, approval of maintenance windows, communication with end users during outages and execution/assignment details of test plans.

Successful cloud migration is inherently dependent upon your risk assessment, cloud migration strategy, and the ability and time to address technical or business challenges that may arise. This can be achieved with proper planning, sufficient time for multiple tests in throughout the project and most importantly, an effective communication between all members of the migration team, where expectations between each other are thoroughly addressed.

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