The era of Cloud computing has just begun, and it will only get bigger. Follow this 5 step Cloud migration strategy for a smooth transition at your enterprise.

With its range of diverse, on-demand services, Cloud is modernizing businesses remarkably. The movement of businesses towards Cloud seems to be a latest technology development. However, the concept of Cloud Computing dates back to the 1960s when Remote Job Entry (RJE) was first practiced. But, back then it was still budding, and mainframe data centers were being used widely. It was later in 2006, when Amazon introduced its subsidiary, Amazon Web Services, that the concept of Cloud got all that momentum and gained massive recognition.

Ever since, Cloud computing has bloomed and thrived in the tech world and has become a huge game changer. Today, businesses of all sizes are adopting Cloud either partially or fully. But why is Cloud becoming so popular? What business benefits does it offer; and most importantly, do you need it yet?

Stores voluminous data – As data grows exponentially, you need a platform with massive storage capabilities. Cloud storage solves this problem without you having to worry about developing a data center or maintaining it.

Improves productivity – Since Cloud computing is all about a third party offering virtualization solutions, it saves a great deal of time and efforts involved in IT maintenance and allows you to concentrate on your core operations.

Ensures security – One of the key drawbacks of mainframe data centers and applications is their vulnerability to cybersecurity incidents. Cloud computing strengthens information security and minimizes your cyber-risk by keeping your data safe in a virtual, virus-free environment.

Reduces costs – A major benefit of switching to the Cloud is its cost effectiveness. As everything is hosted over the internet by a third party, you can save huge sums of money, otherwise spent on hardware equipment, software installation and maintenance.

Because of its multiple benefits, diverse offerings and agile features, businesses are switching from traditional systems and adopting Cloud to optimize operations. However, Cloud enablement is a huge business change, and should be carried out with the right strategy and implementation method. Here is a five-step strategy for successful Cloud migration.

Determine your Cloud needs
The first step to successful Cloud enablement is to understand your readiness to adopt Cloud and determine the areas or applications that need to be migrated. This would include a thorough assessment of your business operations, current applications and IT infrastructure; and a SWOT analysis of how Cloud can help optimize your business processes. It will help you build a clear roadmap for Cloud migration, allocate resources appropriately and implement Cloud effectively.

Plan your Cloud environment
The world of Cloud is vast, and selecting the ideal solution or mix of solutions is critical. Cloud services are classified on the basis of location as public, private, hybrid or community Cloud. Similarly, based on the service being offered, Cloud is categorized into Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Service (Paas), Software as a Service (Saas), Cloud Database, Cloud ERP etc. The nature of your operations and your business assessment will help you determine the right mix of Cloud solutions to go for.

Select your Cloud partner
Once you’re all set to move to Cloud, you need the right Cloud service provider to help you migrate. With numerous options available in the market, it could be overwhelming and tricky to select the right Cloud implementation partner. The most suitable Cloud service provider will have the right expertise, technical know-how, implementation experience and the exact mix of Cloud based solutions you’re looking for.

Execute the migration
Now comes the real deal, the execution. Your Cloud partner will offer you a range of solutions, design an implementation roadmap and allocate resources accordingly. Before migrating an application or data center to Cloud, create a reliable back-up of all the data that exists within. The next step is to create the Cloud environment with the right tools, connections and networks. Once you have successfully set-up the Cloud, the next step is to migrate your data or application to the Cloud without hampering regular business activities. Lastly, test the Cloud performance and ensure that everything works as expected.

Monitor and maintain
Monitoring and maintaining a Cloud-based platform is as important as implementing it successfully. You would have to train your workforce to get accustomed to the new platform and manage the change effectively. It is also important that you keep a track of your Cloud environment, fix any issues and maintain the networks throughout to ensure smooth performance.

Cloud computing is the future of modern day enterprises. It is disrupting the world of IT with immense speed, storage and computing capabilities. If you too are considering migrating to Cloud, now is the right time!