By: Rebecca Leach
Over the last year, enterprises pushed through digital transformation at three times the speed of pre-pandemic levels to meet rapidly changing business priorities. Given the rise of remote work and ecommerce, it’s no surprise a digital economy has become so prevalent today. As brands implement even more digital technologies throughout their business, they’re constantly looking for agile solutions that deliver value for customers and employees at scale.
Cloud migration – the process of moving digital assets like data, workloads, IT resources, and applications to cloud infrastructure – has become a major part of digital transformation strategy for its ability to do just that. Rather than maintaining its own cumbersome data centers and expensive infrastructure, an enterprise can leverage cloud computing resources to take advantage of on-demand computing power, data analysis and other capabilities for a lower cost than traditional computing architectures.
For enterprises faced with the challenge of growing their IT infrastructure in the most cost-effective and secure way possible, cloud migration can be a sound investment. This is because it can enable flexibility and scalability to manage workloads and applications more easily, while increasing security by storing data centrally. As for driving costs down, the cloud follows a pay-per-use model – meaning enterprises don’t foot the bill for more than what they need.
However, in the rush to implement digital-first strategies, it’s all too easy for business leaders to miss important steps in the planning process. Here are some tips to help your organization prepare for a cloud migration.
Assess existing infrastructure
Before you begin the process of migrating your existing applications and other digital assets into a public or hybrid cloud environment, it’s important to assess your current IT operations. The most critical piece to understand is how existing systems support your organization’s business strategy. Consult with your IT leaders to determine what challenges your organization will face to make the switch from current systems to the cloud.
Determine strategic goals for the cloud
The most common goal for cloud migration among business leaders is to cut costs associated with IT infrastructure. While this is a great benefit of operating in the cloud, it’s worth considering how the move can drive further digital transformation within the organization. Most importantly, you want to consider how migrating to the cloud can help you deliver a more seamless digital experience to your customers. Another thing to consider could be to streamline collaboration among a global workforce. These are just some of the potential advantages cloud migration can bring you.
Before you implement your cloud migration strategy, it’s important to plan for compliance. Consult local and international regulations for data privacy in the regions where your company conducts business. You may find some of your computing tasks are legally required to be housed on-premise (yes, these systems still have a place in the enterprise). A common reason for this is certain countries mandate that customer data be kept within the borders of where they live.
Implement a monitoring solution
Monitoring performance before, during and after cloud migration is an important step that is often overlooked by business leaders. This is key because it is the only way to see how your new system fares in comparison to your legacy approach. Using a unified monitoring solution, like full-stack observability with business context from AppDynamics, will provide complete visibility into your entire application ecosystem — end user, application, database, infrastructure, and supporting components — running on-premises and in the cloud. With full insight into everything that matters end-to-end, you can more easily detect cloud migration issues that would usually lead to war-room calls and finger pointing.
In determining the right cloud migration path, business leaders should think beyond short-term cost-cutting and take the time to plan ahead. Focus instead on broader digital transformational goals such as adopting new business models, changing how IT operates, creating new customer experiences and building more efficient relationships with business partners.
Finally, measure the impact of your investment with monitoring tools that integrate with your operating systems and platforms. The cloud monitoring capabilities you need down the line might even determine which cloud provider you opt for today.
Rebecca Leach is Country Manager at AppDynamics Canada. She is responsible for growing the Canadian business with a focus on key sectors including government, finance and retail. Rebecca has two decades of leadership experience with technology companies, including her role as General Manager of Software Sales for Cisco in Canada, and as the Canadian Diversity and Inclusion Leader for Cisco.