Moving workloads to the cloud promises many benefits, such as enhanced security, reduced licensing, and hardware costs, and what everybody is looking for: greater agility.
The past 12 months have really brought this need to light. Prior to March 2020, enterprises that weren’t already taking advantage of the cloud discovered precisely why agility isn’t just a buzzword. The ability to react quickly was the difference between companies successfully navigating COVID-19 impacts and those that struggled financially, maybe even closed their doors.
Technip, which provides engineering and construction services to the energy industry, illustrates how cloud-delivered business agility helps navigate a quickly changing environment. It experienced a merger that left it with several new and different sites, each with an array of assets. With a strategic AWS cloud migration, it was able to create a service catalog its employees could access, which ensured best practice standards were consistently used across the entire organization.
Initial steps help deliver future benefits
Cloud migration isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Depending on your business needs and objectives, your cloud migration can range from a basic lift-and-shift model to a more complex, transformational migration.
Regardless of the reasons you may want to migrate workloads to the cloud, the benefits you’re anticipating, or the level of complexity that awaits, consider the following when you begin your cloud journey.
Don’t simply move an application or workload to the cloud just for the sake of doing so. Moving some may not be worth the investment and won’t provide enough, if any, benefit. Each application needs to be comprehensively assessed, including what its cloud migration path looks like. This level of due diligence will help bring to light which applications should earn a higher priority because they will deliver a faster return on investment.
For example, by assessing the business impact of an application and the business risk associated with revenue and operations, you can determine which of the “6 Rs” (rehost, replatform, refactor, repurchase, retire or retain) is the best approach. Ultimately, you’ll want to maximize cloud benefits for those applications that impact the business the most.
To achieve the greatest benefits, consider restructuring the application. Although doing so is typically more resource-intensive upfront, it can result in the greatest savings as you take advantage of cloud-native technologies like auto-scaling that provide efficiencies. Cloud-native applications can also provide greater return on investment through process optimization that enhances team productivity and utilization.
Identify quick wins and start with small pilots
Achieving a few quick wins serves several important purposes: You’ll gain confidence from these early successes; learn from the experience; and create the opportunity for business buy-in for your ongoing transformation efforts.
While it might be tempting to dive in headfirst, start in the shallow end of the pool with a pilot or two. Don’t take on too much too fast. Cut your teeth on pilots, learn from them and you’ll set yourself up for success when it comes time to tackle larger volume workloads.
Create a repeatable framework
Why reinvent the wheel each time you need to move a workload to the cloud? Create a launching pattern that is repeatable, one that you can use on a consistent basis. This will provide peace of mind, knowing that processes have been tried, tested and worked time and again. By automating your patterns, you will also free up time for your team to focus on other pressing IT initiatives.
Don’t leave your cloud migration to chance
A successful cloud migration requires the expertise to scale and move workloads to the cloud with repeatable, tried, and tested best practices. It requires knowledge, the right skill sets, empirical experience, and a plan that is comprehensive and carefully architected.
For additional reading on how you can take the right first steps in your journey to cloud transformation: Guide to Large-Scale Cloud Migration Strategies.