6 Stages of Cloud Migration & Modernization

6 Stages of Cloud Migration & Modernization

Digital transformation by way of cloud migration is a continuous process that involves significant organizational change management spanning people, processes, and technology. Taking a holistic approach will help you navigate the journey successfully and help your organization realize its considerable benefits—efficiency, agility, and scale. 

Here are the key stages to cloud migration and modernization.  

Stage 1: Define Your Strategy

Define Your Business case

Why are you migrating to the cloud? Note the business outcomes you want to achieve and your motivations, such as improving collaboration, increasing cost savings, or enhancing agility.

Engage Key Stakeholders

Cloud migration is a cultural change. It would be best if you had senior leadership to support and help secure buy-in for cloud migration from all users. They’ll need to voice their support for the cloud migration initiative and its adoption programmes. They’ll also need to be able to explain the benefits of digital transformation for the organization, customers and employees.

Team Up with a Managed Service Provider

Not every organization has the budget or expertise to support a cloud migration project. A cloud-managed service delivers agile and scalable access to powerful resources while helping you select the right solution that aligns with your business goals.

Stage 2: Plan & Prepare to Move

Discover and Assess 

First, use automated cloud migration tools to discover your dependencies. Then inventory your infrastructure and assess your on-premises environments—get right-sizing guidance, workload-level cost estimates, and performance metrics.

Build a Business Case

Calculate your total cost of ownership (TCO) with that of a comparable on-premises deployment to determine possible cost savings of migrating to the cloud. 

Develop a Holistic Plan

Account for workload priorities, timelines, milestones, resources, and funding. Then break up your overall plan into migration and modernization projects, each with a group of related workloads. Finally, get buy-in from your key stakeholders.

Train Your Team

Invest in upfront training to educate your team on current cloud technologies, migration tools, and operational processes. This will help you to scale your migration efforts more efficiently and set up your organization for success.

Set Up Landing Zones for Your Workloads

Use landing zones to simplify and de-risk cloud migration effectively. With a pre-configured foundation addressing networking, identity, management, security, and governance elements, landing zones are the cornerstone of a fast, secure and cost-effective cloud adoption strategy, addressing potential issues upfront, so they don’t cause problems later.

Stage 3: Migrate Workloads

Use Centralized Tools

Discover, assess, and migrate your workloads using comprehensive cloud migration tools. For example, Azure Migrate is a central hub that provides the tools and guidance you need to implement your move. It also gives you the ability to track progress from a central dashboard. 

Assess, migrate, optimize, and promote workloads iteratively

When migrating workloads, migrate one workload at a time or a small collection of workloads per release. In addition, help ensure that workloads are ready to meet production demands by assessing, migrating, optimizing, and promoting them with each iteration.

Stage 4: Modernize Apps and Data

Modernize at any Stage

Use modernization to boost app innovation, increase agility, and accelerate developer velocity. Modernization may include refactoring, rearchitecting, or rebuilding your apps and data and can occur before, during, or after migrating your workloads.  

Refactor for Speed and Productivity

Refactor when you want to make minimal app changes so that they connect easily to your cloud. For example, refactor relational databases directly into a cloud service like Azure SQL Database.

Rearchitect for Productivity and Scalability

You can rearchitect if you want to modify and extend app functionality to improve cloud scalability. For example, break down monolithic apps into groups of microservices that work together and scale quickly.

Rebuild to Accelerate Developer Velocity

Rebuild when you need to recreate an app using Azure cloud solutions. Consider rebuilding if your existing apps have limited functionality or lifespan.

Stage 5: Govern and Secure Workloads

Increase Security Posture Visibility and Control

Use intelligent threat detection solutions such as Azure Security Centre to detect and respond to threats across hybrid environments quickly. In addition, implement cloud-native SIEM solutions like Azure Sentinel to help secure your entire organization from threats. 

Build and Scale Apps and Workloads Quickly and with control

Building on your landing zone work, establish and maintain the right mix of standard and customized policies to govern your cloud subscriptions and resources—in a way that stays compliant.

Stage 6: Manage and Optimize Cost

Make the Most of Your Cloud Provider

Take advantage of exclusive offers from your cloud provider to adjust cloud spend and drive operational efficiencies. For example, use reserved instance discounts or reuse your on-premises licences in the cloud.

Streamline Management

Monitor and manage workload performance with real-time insights and trends from a solution such as Azure Arc. Cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions help ensure your workloads stay protected.

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