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The benefits of cloud migration

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Migrating IT operations and applications to a public or private cloud is finally the accepted way forward, with a recent survey showing a majority of firms have already undertaken the move or are part way through it. The proven benefits to competitiveness and growth mean that business leaders are now on board too, rather than just development teams, and so it is expected that many more organisations will take the plunge in 2018, with the move away from data centres being an almost universally accepted practice in the not-too-distant future.

According to the Cloud Industry Forum, the top three reasons for adopting cloud services are flexibility of delivery (74%), operational cost-savings (72%) and scalability (65%). However, it’s not as straightforward a process as it sounds, with a number of options to consider in the migration planning stage, meaning no two migrations are the same and a bespoke solution is often required. Many organisations do not have the in-house skill sets to initiate and complete digital transformation at scale, so the well-intentioned shift to digital often means hiring specialist talent to succeed.

Migration strategies known as the Five R’s were coined by early adopters back in 2011, and these have since commonly been expanded to the Six R’s – Remove (sometimes Retire), Retain, Re-host, Re-platform, Re-factor and Re-purchase. These principles are applied to individual applications to build the optimal strategy. In their simplest form, they mean:

  • Remove: de-commission the app as redundant going forward.
  • Retain: keep local for now, don’t move to the cloud yet
  • Re-host: lift-and-shift, where the whole app is migrated
  • Re-platform: where an app is optimised for the cloud
  • Re-factor: where an app is fundamentally rebuilt for the cloud
  • Re-purchase: where a new cloud based product is preferred

Once each application is vetted on its own merits, the cloud itself comes into question, with many companies now opting for a multi-cloud strategy to take advantage of competition in that space and save money, as well as ensure compliance and security are covered. Once the destinations are in place, with scaling up (or down) easy, capital expenditure drastically reduced and IT disaster recovery taken care of, the benefits of migrating are endless.

If your business is undertaking digital transformation this year, the chances are you will be looking at hiring an experienced professional, so call our Business Change & Transformation team today to discuss your requirements.