The cloud isn’t going anywhere and cloud migration is becoming the new normal for businesses because it offers flexibility, efficiency, cost savings, control, and security. It is no longer a question of why cloud migration is necessary; rather, it is a question of how to best achieve it.
It all starts with a Cloud Readiness Assessment (CRA) and a gap analysis.
Moving to the cloud necessitates extensive planning, beginning with a process that includes organizational readiness, application discovery, and assessments.
The goal is to obtain a gap analysis so that you can determine which applications can be moved smoothly (as is) and which will necessitate one of several solutions – re-factoring, re-hosting, re-platforming, re-purchasing, or retiring.
What Is the Difference Between a Cloud Readiness Assessment and a Gap Analysis?
A cloud readiness assessment is a process that involves creating an itemized list of applications and data that you want to move to the cloud and determining whether these applications and data can be moved with minimal impact on your business operations as the transition occurs. The assessment will inform you of the steps that must be taken in order for the migration to go smoothly.
The gap analysis component of the readiness assessment identifies issues that must be addressed in order for the transition to go smoothly. This may include the development of the solutions mentioned above, but it also includes the steps required to transition from the current in-house status to the cloud. By identifying these gaps, you and your IT department will be able to create a step-by-step process for closing these gaps and moving forward.
The most critical aspect of the assessment/gap analysis process is ensuring that the business context of each application is combined with the technological components. A cloud migration assessment is more than just an IT evaluation. It must include assessments of organizational readiness, as well as infrastructure and application readiness.
Understand, too, that your needs in assessment and gap analysis, let alone the development of a cloud migration strategy, will place a significant additional workload on your IT department, which is why many businesses outsource the process.
Why Should You Analyze Your IT Infrastructure Prior to a Cloud Migration?
Consider this: Why does a cloud migration make sense for your company? What will it accomplish that your current infrastructure does not, and how will it benefit your business?
You won’t be able to answer these questions unless you assess your IT infrastructure in relation to your objectives. Cloud migration may not benefit or be compliant with all of your company’s IT processes. You will need to enlist assistance in classifying all of your workloads as cloud compatible or non-cloud compatible, as well as labeling all assets based on various cloud readiness parameters such as security, workload, and compliance.
Otherwise, you risk wasting money on migrating operations that will struggle rather than thrive in the new cloud ecosystem.
Is it a good idea to migrate SAP to the cloud? Yes, because you will have access to new integrated offerings, will be able to set up automatic backup and recovery systems, and will be able to reduce TCO. Is it, however, a good idea to move all of your business systems to the cloud? The answer is dependent on the technical requirements of such a migration. For example, which apps will migrate smoothly and which will need to be scaled? Do you require load balancing that will re-distribute workloads and resources automatically? What will remain in your data center’s backend database? How much network and storage space are your applications consuming?
You cannot accurately estimate your cloud readiness and develop a clear strategic path to better business operations powered by the cloud unless you analyses all of these factors.
Cloud Migration Evaluation: Eight Crucial Steps
At VaporVM, we divide the Assessment Phase into the following three areas for investigation:
Storage, compute, network, data collection, on-premises hardware (power, space, cooling), legacy HW, and operating environment are the current resources and technology used. The goal here is to assess the current data center architecture and business operations; identify key systems and review infrastructure and management tools deployed; and collect enough technical data to determine the best cloud migration solutions.
Security and risk assessment entails a thorough examination of current security mechanisms such as identity and access management, disaster recovery, compliance, firewalls, endpoint security, and potential vulnerabilities that should be addressed in the new cloud architecture.
Cost and benefit analysis enables us to identify your company’s current challenges and pain points, as well as manual procedure utilization and inefficiencies in current IT processes that could be eliminated after migration.
These three areas can be further subdivided into eight additional steps you should take in your overall assessment:
1. What are your business goals and objectives for migrating your infrastructure to the cloud?
These may include capital expenditure savings, increased remote collaboration, increased flexibility and/or security, and so on. Before you can design a cloud migration strategy, you must first determine what you want from such a migration. There will be many decisions to make along the way, and if your goals and objectives are clear, you will make the correct ones.
2. Make a list of all of your applications.
This entails more than just a list of all applications and their uses. There are some cloud readiness assessment questions that must be addressed. What technologies do you employ? What do you plan to do with your apps? Are they expandable? How simple is it to modify them for migration? What are their interactions with other systems? Who makes use of them? Is there a volume of use, and are there peaks and valleys? All of these responses will provide the appropriate application evaluation for cloud migration.
3. Inventory your servers, databases, and storage.
Where is your data kept, and how much of it is there? You must assess the cost-effectiveness of migrating your data to the cloud. The “benefit” of cloud data migration is that it can make your company more agile.
4. Create application “dependency maps.”
Any cloud readiness assessment template should include a detailed breakdown of which applications run on which servers. The goal here is to assess the levels of complexity of each application and the infrastructure that supports them. They can then be classified not only by priority, but also by how easily they can or cannot be migrated.
5. Make a list of the technologies that will be used in your applications.
This will include stacks, programming languages, and database servers that you are using. Cloud migration tools should be able to capture these fairly quickly, and comprehensive source code analyses will provide you with more information about the software libraries you’re using.
6. Make recommendations for a transition plan.
Each application must be classified based on the five steps outlined above. Some will obviously be ready for cloud migrations right away, while others will need to be refactored, re-hosted, or even retired. You can then go through the source code and determine what needs to be re-factored or re-plat formed and how.
7. Determine the scope of future work.
If you used a good cloud readiness assessment template – one that included these six steps – you are now ready to group the applications together and get a sense of how much effort will be involved. The planning phase of the migration journey can begin at this point.
8. Complete your evaluation.
Prepare an assessment summary that includes the following information:
- The current state of your infrastructure, as well as any changes or modifications required for a cloud migration (the gaps);
- The requirements that any cloud provider chosen must meet (this may include specific cloud provider recommendations);
- Potential disruption to the organization as migration activities take place, including compliance and security concerns;
- A plan for the sequential steps of activities that must take place in order to achieve cloud readiness.
The planning phase of the migration journey can begin at this point.
What Are the Benefits of a Cloud Readiness Evaluation?
- In a nutshell, the benefits of conducting a cloud readiness assessment are as follows:
- You gain a thorough understanding of your current infrastructure and the issues that must be addressed before migration can take place. This enables you to map out the sequential steps you will take on this journey.
- You can calculate your migration budget.
- As you consider cloud providers and the tiers of service they provide, you will have requirements that must be met.
- You can predict and plan for the disruptions that will occur during migration to minimize the negative impact on the organization.
Conclusion: Cloud Migration Isn’t Just a “Lift and Shift” Job.
- It necessitates specific reasons for such a migration, based on business goals and objectives.
- It necessitates “buy-in” from the entire organization because there will be training and inconveniences involved.
- If the transition is to be completed internally, it will necessitate a significant workload for an already overburdened IT department.
- It necessitates application testing and re-testing as they are migrated.
With this in mind, it is common for businesses to outsource the readiness assessment. In this way, the gap analysis can be conducted objectively, and specific recommendations and suggestions for moving forward come from those who have the time and energy to devote to doing it right.
As you consider your cloud migration project, VaporVM is ready to conduct a readiness assessment on your behalf.