Overwhelmed by AWS migration? Here’s how to get on the path to a successful cloud journey


2020-11-12, 16:26 Posted by: Sami Lehtinen

Are you planning on migrating to AWS cloud, but not sure where to begin the process? What do you need to consider before you start migrating? How can you assess your current environments? And how do you select the right cloud migration strategy?

With everything to consider, the whole migration process can feel overwhelming. Start your AWS cloud migration journey on the right foot by keeping these crucial points in mind.

 

Identify the business case for an AWS cloud migration

Migrating to AWS requires a solid business case, which starts with clarifying your organization’s objectives. Before getting into the operational steps of migrating to AWS, you’ll want to clarify your business reasons for migrating. Consider the following questions:

  • What is your purpose for migrating to AWS cloud?
  • What are your migration drivers? 
  • What’s working and not working with your current infrastructure? 
  • What problems is this migration going to solve?

Identifying the business case then comes down to understanding the costs and how an AWS migration will affect your return on investment (ROI). When calculating AWS migration costs, be sure to factor in all phases of the migration, as well as the scale of the migration and how it’s done. And avoid comparing a single on-premise server to an AWS compute resource. There are a lot of hidden costs with on-premise pricing that are often overlooked—from data center premises to labor and workforce. But all expenses are already factored into the total cost with AWS.

You’ll want to communicate the business case for an AWS migration to the key stakeholders in your organization—from the C suite to the IT team. Getting their buy-in is important to remove any friction from the migration process.

 

Confirm the AWS migration approach and strategy that best suits your organization’s needs

The right migration approach for your organization’s specific applications depends on your reason for migrating. Your migration approach can include one or some of the following: 

  • Migrate your existing data & applications to AWS 
  • Move from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to platform as a service (PaaS) 
  • Refactoring for high availability
  • Application modernization

Once you know what migration approach suits your organization’s needs, there are different possible AWS migration strategies you can follow. You can also combine your cloud migration with business continuity planning (BCP), as AWS offers a number of different backup and disaster recovery methods. 

When deciding on a cloud migration strategy, consider what you’re looking for with AWS. Are you looking for quick wins? Or are you looking to reap the benefits of cloud well into the future? 

For example, a lift and shift migration, or the rehosting strategy, is one of the quickest and easiest available strategies. It’s important to note, however, that this can also be an expensive strategy from a consumption point of view. This strategy won’t give you all the benefits of cloud—especially in the initial phase of the migration project—unless you also do refactoring. 

While refactoring a workload requires more planning and investment and  is a longer process as a whole, this strategy can help you reach the larger and more long-term benefits of using the cloud paradigm to the fullest.

 

Do your homework ahead of a migration

For a successful journey to AWS cloud, you need to plan out most of the details well ahead of time. Don’t make any decisions based on hunches. Instead, aim to make decisions based on facts and data.

Many organizations choose to get external help with AWS cloud migration to get access to deep AWS knowledge and skills. Hiring the right people in-house for a migration project would be a slow and expensive process. Instead, getting help from an outside partner is a very effective way to get the needed AWS competencies and resources when moving to the cloud.  

By working with an AWS partner, you will get a detailed plan for migrating including when to do it, what approach and strategy to go with, and how it’ll work. The right AWS partner ensures you follow each phase of a migration project to ensure a seamless cloud migration journey.

 

Have executive-level sponsorship for a cloud migration 

It’s important to recognize that migrating to AWS is an intense and fundamental change. Moving to a cloud native environment brings about an entirely new way of working for many people within the organization. In fact, a common reason for a failed cloud migration project is not getting enough business buy-in. 

Having an executive sponsor is vital for a successful AWS cloud migration. When the project is backed by executive leadership, your whole organization is more likely to be committed to the migration. Smooth cooperation between different teams and units within your organization helps to ensure a positive outcome. For example, a CTO or CIO can be a strong executive sponsor.

Transparency and communication are crucial between both business and IT: They both need to have a shared understanding about the impacts and real costs of AWS cloud migration. Both groups need to be on the same page about the purpose and business value of operating on AWS.

 

Be prepared for change management

Migrating to AWS cloud involves a cultural shift, and many organizations can have a hard time coping with change if they aren’t well prepared. The change needs to be well-managed to ensure your organization’s success in the cloud. 

Remember that a successful cloud migration won’t only be driven by new tools, but by shared values within an organization. All key stakeholders in your cloud migration project must understand the reasoning behind the change ahead, as highlighted with the need for a business case.

Thorough cloud training to your stakeholders and teams could help your entire organization adopt the right attitudes and methodologies to undergo successful AWS cloud migration. 

Want to fully leverage the benefits of AWS cloud? Get in touch with us if you have any questions about getting started on your cloud journey.


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