6 Things We Didn't Know When Planning a Cloud Migration

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While cloud adoption has been going on for years, the shift to remote work has many more companies discovering the value in leveraging cloud platforms such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure in their business. Moving to the cloud can be daunting and, if done incorrectly, can harm your business. We spoke to 10 business leaders and entrepreneurs from startups to SMBs about the things they wish they'd known when planning their cloud migration. Here is what they told us:

For a while, you may want to keep data on-site.

You should have an IT system set up on your cloud before migrating, says Paul Miser, Chief Strategy Officer of Icreon, but you should also keep applications in your on-premises data center to keep data secure.

"The very first thing to consider is to decide which application or IT system setup you want to migrate to the cloud and what applications to run on your on-premises data center. Without having a clear legacy system migration strategy, you may end with a huge loss in terms of system failures. To avoid this risk, a comparison between cloud service providers is essential depending on your needs. Costs should not be the only factor while opting for a cloud service provider for migration. System performance and high availability are also crucial factors in migration. As security is one of the major concerns in the cloud migration process, you should choose a reliable cloud computing solution. Legacy modernization specialists take security seriously and employ tools, best practices, and policies regularly or at scale to ensure data migration from legacy systems should be smooth and efficient."

Paul Miser, Icreon

Keeping data on-site can be a huge stressbuster, says Reuben Yonaton, Founder and CEO of GetVoiP, since it can be costly to move everything online.

"I wish we knew that it's often preferable to keep some data on-site, even when you're conducting a large-scale migration. There are a variety of possible reasons, from security to convenience to cost, why you might want a particular database to remain on-premise[s]. A cloud migration specialist may push you to go fully integrated. Know what your needs are and what your budget is to get it done, as well as how migration for that data segment will work in the future. You may want to reconsider migrating 100%."

Reuben Yonaton, GetVoiP

Don't move all your data at once.

Veronica Miller, Cybersecurity Expert at VPNoverview, says that data should be migrated to the cloud in batches.

"Migrating to the cloud in stages is the most effective way to reduce costs. Migrating the data in batches has the benefit of breaking down what can be a financially daunting project into smaller, more manageable chunks over time."

Veronica Miller, VPNoverview

Cloud migration isn't easy.

Rita Gurevich, CEO and Founder of Sphere, explains how migrating to the cloud can be challenging. Data security is always a concern, and properly managing a cloud migration is essential.

"As the cloud migration continues, highly regulated industries are facing the challenge of staying compliant with internal and external auditors. They must continue diligence over the security of data regardless of where it resides. An effective approach is to 'clean-up' their data and access management issues before their cloud migration."

Rita Gurevich, Sphere

Have a clear cloud migration strategy.

Tom Winter, Co-founder of DevSkiller, explains that moving to the cloud is a complex task that can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. There are hundreds of individual factors to consider to ensure a smooth transition.

"Before my own company's migration, I wish we had a cloud migration officer to aid us with planning our migration strategy. Choosing a cloud migration strategy will act as a foundation for future migration efforts and therefore, is extremely important. Changing strategies in the middle of migration is often counterintuitive and rarely feasible. There are hundreds of variables that require attention. Factors that may need to be addressed include choosing the type of cloud (public, private, hybrid, or community) and service provider/vendor you'll be working with, understanding the requirements for data compliance, making sure that your [licenses are] in order (if using third-party services), keeping account of latency and performance, backing up data and ensuring that you have loss prevention policies in place, and double-checking that your cloud security is formidable."

Tom Winter, DevSkiller

At Pilotcore, we assess your business's needs, help you choose the right cloud platform, back up your data, and prevent losses when moving applications to the cloud. Our processes ensure data security.

For Alan Harder, Mortgage Broker, a big part of cloud migration strategy is choosing which apps move to the cloud and which stay in an on-premises site.

"To select which applications to move and the migration technique to use for each, a complete examination of apps may be required. Before selecting to transfer any program, two important factors must be considered: cost-effectiveness and platform security."

Alan Harder, Mortgage Broker

Pilotcore professionals can identify the best migration strategy for each of your applications and the ideal architecture based on your budget.

Hire a professional consultant.

Harriet Chan, Co-Founder of CocoFinder, expresses her regret that her company didn't hire a professional consultant, which would have made the migration easier.

"Failure to consult made our migration to the cloud a pain point that troubled our business for an extended period. We mistakenly did it all on our own to avoid the cost of professional consultants. Looking back at it, consulting with an expert on cloud migration would have come in handy in dodging obstacles such as ballooning costs of the project, securing company and client data, and learning how to create a backup plan. After moving we didn't know to upgrade our software, so we weren't fully benefiting from being on the cloud."

Harriet Chan, CocoFinder

Pilotcore will make your transition to the cloud seamless. After moving your business to the cloud, we provide ongoing support to make sure you've fully adapted and are, therefore, able to maximize your use of the cloud fully. This mitigates any further costs caused by improper migration strategies.

Thilo Huellmann, Chief Technology Officer at Levity, suggests hiring a professional consultant to help determine and mitigate costs.

"When it comes to cloud migration, preparation is the best way to avoid large costs. Before you commit to any contract, work with your cloud provider to determine the costs associated with the cloud migration. Consider all costs, including direct costs, operating costs, administrative costs, and all other costs associated with system management. Having a clear picture of all of these things makes the project's expense and scope more manageable. It will also assist you in estimating timing, minimizing disruption, and planning for future development."

Thilo Huellmann, Levity

To provide you with a better understanding of your move, get in touch with Pilotcore to discuss your specific requirements and provides you with a quote for all foreseeable costs. That way, you know exactly what you'll be paying for.

Demonstrate the migration's success.

According to Mike Chappell, Founder of Formspal, it's essential for everyone to know why this move has been made and how it will benefit the company.

"Even after your first migration process is completed without incident, it is critical to establish strategies to show the cloud's benefits both pre-and post-move. From a technical standpoint, demonstrate how the new application architecture will conform to Service Level Agreements; how auto-scaling will be configured to absorb unanticipated traffic surges; how server response times will stay constant or may be enhanced; and how using different locations across the globe minimizes latency and enhances the user experience. Make certain to highlight the benefits from a business standpoint as well, particularly for customer-facing apps. Demonstrate how engagement and conversion rates increase in tandem with [response] times for critical client journeys through the [application]."

Mike Chappell, Formspal

Pilotcore works with you to modernize your applications. We also offer several ways to keep costs down, including instance rightsizing and taking advantage of savings options, which allow you to use the lowest cost resource that still meets your specifications.

You should know what your customers want through this transition and demonstrate post-transition that you were listening and that you heard them, says Richard Mews, CEO of Sell With Richard:

"Recognize how your consumers get value from your apps. While it is critical to understand technical performance, it is even more critical to understand how people interact with and appreciate your apps. As you prepare to begin on your cloud journey, take time to engage your users – whether they are internal users of internal apps or external consumers who rely on your apps to access digital services. Combining your research with user or customer path mapping and key transaction discovery enables you to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the value supplied by an application and its related services."

Richard Mews, Sell With Richard

At Pilotcore, we work closely with our customers to ensure the transition is easy. Our team will help you migrate to the cloud, help you create a strategy and provide ongoing support as you adapt. We provide cost-efficient services and solutions, so you don't pay more than you need to. If you're ready to migrate to the cloud, contact us today.