While companies have embraced cloud-based technologies since the early aughts, not all businesses are operating in the cloud.
According to Flexera, 94% of enterprises use the cloud. But how many of these businesses have migrated legacy on-premise data and applications to a cloud computing environment?
Migrating to the cloud can have myriad business benefits -- from scalability and cost savings to disaster recovery. COVID-19 shook up the business world, and businesses that had a majority on-prem environment started to realized that cloud migration should be at the top of their priority list.
“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months."@satyanadella on #Microsoft earnings call today.— Anne Michels (@Anne_Michels) April 30, 2020
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of cloud migration and why visibility into your tech stack must be a key consideration when kicking off a cloud migration strategy.
Cloud Migration: Your First Step in Digital Transformation
COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation for many large enterprises.
In fact, according to Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), cloud migration is one of the first steps to a successful digital transformation strategy, and many businesses started to prioritize cloud migration in the past year due to disparate workforces. With remote work now the norm, businesses can’t successfully operate with legacy technologies. 91 percent of decision-makers said that the cloud formed an important part of their digital transformation, with 40 percent saying the role of the cloud was crucial.
Further, McKinsey data shows that only 14 percent of companies launching digital transformation efforts have seen performance improvements. The main culprit? Technology capabilities are typically not up to snuff. In short, cloud adoption is the natural first step in a digital transformation, especially in the wake of COVID-19.
However, cloud migration has been “en vogue” for far longer than the pandemic itself.
Businesses migrate to the cloud in order to host applications and data in the most efficient and effective technology environment. Instead of relying solely on on-premise, location-based environments, the cloud opens up a whole host of business opportunities.
Choosing the cloud means you can scale your business according to demand. An increased number of users for your product or service can take up a large portion of a server’s resources. However, operating within the cloud means your resources have expanded exponentially.
Companies like Zoom were able to keep up with demand for their services during the massive influx of usage over the past year because they relied on multiple cloud providers to increase cloud capacity.
Source: Morning Consult
Traditional IT-based infrastructure sometimes needs fixed resources to handle peak demand, while cloud infrastructure can scale up and down as needed, allowing businesses to reallocate dollars used for traditional IT infrastructure.
Most companies want to use the latest and greatest technologies, but have limited access to them when operating in an on-premise environment. However, major cloud providers are constantly releasing new technology to provide the best service to customers, allowing them to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to tech.
As mentioned above, applications and data that live in the cloud versus an on-prem server help to mitigate issues if a disaster occurs -- from natural disasters that could affect servers to global pandemics that shut down offices.
Cloud Migration: The Basics
What do businesses need to know before migrating to the cloud? First, there are several types of cloud environments, including public clouds, like Microsoft Azure and AWS, private clouds, hybrid cloud environments, and multi-cloud environments.
Additionally, there are different types of cloud migration. For many businesses, cloud migration means that you are migrating from an on-premise environment to the cloud. However, there are other types of cloud migrations, including:
- Standard Cloud Migration: This is the typical type of migration, including the transfer of data and applications from a local, on-premises data center to the public cloud.
- Cloud-to-Cloud: Businesses who have already implemented a cloud migration strategy may want to move data and applications from one cloud platform or provider to another, depending on cost savings and resources.
- Reverse Cloud: While not as common as the standard type of cloud migration, reverse cloud is when data or applications are moved off of the cloud and back to a local data center.
What You Need for An Effective Cloud Migration Strategy
Successful cloud migration requires careful preparation and planning. A lack of visibility and a lack of coordination are two of the biggest mistakes businesses can make within the cloud migration process.
Without proper planning and coordination, a 12-24 month migration may turn into a three-to-four year migration for a large enterprise company. With a myriad of legacy tech stacks and legacy applications living in different places, large software engineering orgs don’t always have full visibility into the migration process.
All teams involved will need a deep knowledge of the infrastructure and applications that the business runs on in order to fully understand the complexity, challenges, and costs involved. Technology and engineering leaders should know where all applications live, the composition of those applications (what open source and SaaS solutions they use), and who is responsible for those applications, so they can successfully prioritize and execute on a plan. Siloed Excel spreadsheets that include lists of technology stack information or Slack channels that have key technology ownership information must all be consolidated and inventoried for a proper understanding of the current status of enterprise applications.
Read Alternatives to Spreadsheets for Tech Stack Tracking to learn the best way to track & manage your tech stack.
Businesses that are organized are set up for success from the start, whereas businesses that don’t have their house in order before the migration end up spending way more time just trying to gather the right information. As noted above, cloud migration is not easy or cheap either, and this extended amount of time means hundreds of thousands of wasted hours from your engineering teams which translates into wasted dollars.
Additionally, businesses may move critical applications right away, however less important applications may linger in siloed environments, creating more overhead and higher maintenance costs as they struggle to find developers to work on these applications. This can create both tech debt and infrastructure debt for a business in the long term.
Private StackShare for Teams: The Missing Part of Cloud Migration
The first step to a successful cloud migration is to take inventory of your current house, and understanding current technology inventory is a crucial part of a successful cloud migration strategy. Private StackShare for Teams can help.
Private StackShare for Teams allows you to connect your Git repos and see all the technologies you’re using across your company. Better yet, architects can easily map out all the company’s tech stacks and automatically keep them up to date via GitHub/Azure integration.
Additionally, if you’ve already started your migration, Private StackShare for Teams can help track which teams are already using new technologies in the cloud.