The nine steps to start a cloud migration

Petja Venäläinen Director, Cloud & Connectivity, Solita

Published 17 Feb 2022

Reading time 3 min

Many companies already recognise the benefits of cloud environments. Modern cloud services provide cost savings, improved security and operational resilience, better agility to react in business needs, flexible scalability and ability to create new services. But how to migrate to cloud? Where to start? How to ensure the benefits? Here are our nine steps to successful cloud migration.

When the decision to migrate to cloud is made and you start to go through your existing environments, you may feel completely overwhelmed with the number of things to consider. There can be many integrations to multiple systems, and a lot of stakeholders with varying requirements pulling in all the wrong directions. And on top of that, the future platforms can still feel completely alien.

Luckily, you do not need to walk this road alone. We have helped our customers to start and navigate through their cloud journeys. Here is our simple 9-step list for successful cloud migration. For the deeper dive, we go through them in our webinar, watch the recording here.

Nine steps of successfully moving to cloud

  1. See how cloud migration fits into a transformation
    Cloud migration is often initiated to save costs. This cannot and should not be the only driver of your decision. Make sure a certain transformation is your objective. Think for example how “being able to use data more easily”, “keeping data longer”, or “to facilitate integration with an API” could be better drivers than just “saving money” would.
  2. Check if there are obstacles
    Make it a business case. How much does it cost and how much is the benefit? Carefully look holistically at all the benefits and take them into account. This is often not that easy, so we advise you not to stare endlessly at the bottom line.
  3. Get support from top management
    When someone in his corner decides to migrate a certain application or data to the cloud, the chance that it will succeed is small. It’s all about a paradigm shift and for that you need the explicit support of top management.
  4. Make an overview of your portfolio
    Once the fundamental decision has been taken, it is of course best to look at the scope. What can you migrate? What do you want to migrate? What should you migrate? Consider also refactoring your workloads. For example, use databases as a service instead of maintaining your own database servers in the cloud. At this point, it is best to make a step-by-step plan and phase the transformation.
  5. Start small
    Use a well scoped project, possibly independent from existing systems. Web applications, mobile backend or analytical projects are good examples, where cloud capabilities can be tested, but still create value at the same time. Analytical projects are well suited for testing cloud, as they can be done with non-sensitive data, and often require scalable data storage and elastic compute power for analysis.
  6. Make sure you have a good governance model
    Good governance is the key element for a successful cloud migration. It will ensure that your security is up to date and that the roles are clear to everyone.
  7. Always start with a best practice
    To help you with your governance and the daily work that comes after heavily relying on industry and platform best practices to guide you. If you do not reinvent the wheel you will avoid possible misconfigurations and issues that arise from them. For example in the AWS platform tools like Landing Zone and Control Tower automate your best practice implementation by setting policies and guard rails that enforce good ways of working. Other platforms have their own best practices and tooling available to enforce them.
  8. Migrate
    At a certain moment, the preparations are over and it is time for the ‘moment suprême’. It can be an iterative transformation process or an all at once migration depending on your business case.
  9. Check whether everything works operationally
    The proof of the pudding is the eating. Check immediately whether everything works as expected and make adjustments where necessary.

Want to know more about how to handle a cloud migration? Watch our webinar recording.

  1. Tech