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Is Cloud Migration Evolving as an Essential Strategy?
Manish Samal Senior Management Trainee, Digital & Analytics | July 13, 2020
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The worldwide disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the importance of being an Agile business more than ever before. Enterprises have started accepting this “new normal” to make their business continuity plan more comprehensive. Organizations have started revisiting/rethinking their VMG (Vision, Mission, and Goal) strategy, including IT strategies such as cloud computing, to strive in this pandemic situation and compete in today’s marketplace.

Quick adoption of cloud computing technology can help organizations combat the challenges which are emerging due to the pandemic and succeed in the highly competitive business landscape. There is no doubt that enterprises can achieve cost benefit, flexibility, accessibility, agility, scalability, elasticity with cloud adoption, but it should not be perceived only as a technical modernization program. The pandemic is forcing organizations to look at their cloud migration cloud computing initiatives from a strategic lens rather than tactical. Any application modernization and cloud migration strategy should comprise a systematic and phased approach. In this cloud era, adoption for multi cloud environment has started gaining momentum to address specific business requirements which is mix of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS cloud services from different Cloud Service Providers (CSPs).

According to various surveys and reports, it is expected that the “cloud migration” services market will grow at a CAGR of ~24% and has the potential to grow by USD 7.1 billion during next 4 years. Overall “cloud market” size is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~12.5% and to reach USD 295 billion mark by 2021.

The “cloud migration” services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~24% over the next 4 years.

Why are organizations thinking of moving to the cloud amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • The domino effect of the lockdown imposed by governments around the world has pushed companies to adopt remote work practices.
  • Organizations are facing tremendous challenges in continuing their business operations and access their critical legacy applications.
  • Due to unavailability of resources/govt. policies, maintaining a data center (DC) is becoming a costly and tedious task.
  • Many organizations are struggling to maintain the up-time for applications. Due to unprecedented traffic, performance is also getting compromised.
  • Many healthcare organizations are unable to cope with the sudden spike in demand for service operations.
  • Organizations are looking for opportunities to achieve operational efficiencies and reduce TCO to offset their losses.

As pandemics come in, does on-premises technology go out? Let’s discuss some key considerations which can probably provide an answer to this question.

What are the considerations for a cloud migration journey?

Below are some high-level considerations which can’t be overlooked whilst moving to the cloud.

  1. What is the objective behind the cloud movement?
    • Define business justifications
    • Document business outcomes
  2. Do you have the right partner for cloud migration?
    • Evaluate partners experience, capabilities, and partnerships with various cloud providers
    • Evaluate cultural fitness of the partner
  3. Which cloud service provider should you opt for?
    • Perform cost performance analysis among tops CSPs like AWS, Azure, and GCP
    • Perform comparison analysis from the business need aspect and security standpoint
  4. Which applications to target first as part of your cloud migration strategy and which ones to keep as on-premises?
    • Perform a thorough application portfolio assessment to find various treatment options (Re-host, re-platform, refactor, rebuild, retain, remove) for your applications
    • Keep CMDB updated, segregate low hanging fruits and business-critical applications
    • Prepare a detailed roadmap
  5. What organizational changes we foresee post migration?
    • Accept it as a cultural change rather than just technical modernization
    • Determine how roles, policies, and ways of working will need to change
    • Support from top management and coordination across various disciplines
  6. Be aware of common cloud migration pitfalls
    • Clean-bowled: Have your overall strategy in place and estimate migration time and cost in the first phase
    • Getting into a marathon race: Prepare applications move groups and determine which applications to move in initial phases of migration
    • Integration Mishap: Understand application integration issues and vendor dependencies

What various Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) have done so far?

Let’s talk about the top three providers of cloud services in the overall cloud market: AWS, Azure, and GCP.

These cloud service providers have started conducting more frequent disaster recovery (DR) testing led by professional site reliability engineers (SREs) to evaluate resilience of their processes and infra. They are keeping dedicated technical engineers to make sure all cloud services are running even when there are sudden spikes in traffic or any unforeseen events for high traffic industries. Also, they have provisioned support agents to cater to the need of new ways of working i.e. remote access.

Google has announced to make advanced features in Google Meet free to all G Suite and G Suite for global education customers. They’re providing training opportunities to upskill employees. Google Cloud has acquired Cornerstone technology to help clients for mainframe application migration.

AWS has committed $20 million on AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative to accelerate R&D, diagnostics, and testing of COVID-19. Thus, they are helping private entities and research institutes who are using AWS for the development of diagnostics services. It has also revamped its supply chain to ensure availability of storage and compute resources. They have also increased infra testing cycles.

Microsoft is making Teams available for everyone. Microsoft Azure is partnering with governments to ensure data centers have on-site staffing, all functions are running properly, and that they are prioritizing the special needs of government agencies and first responder companies. They have started stress testing of their systems to ensure breathing room for their customers in terms of workloads.

Conclusion:

There is an obvious need for organizations to tailor their strategy for the post-COVID world. During these volatile times, there are two options for enterprises: one to wait for return to normalcy, and the other, to be proactive. Organizations can think of this change as an opportunity to uplift their overall IT strategy to achieve business goals and stay afloat. Cloud is no more an alien terminology; we have seen many industries accelerate revenue generation and agility with cloud adoption. It’s high time that enterprises explore and unleash the true potential of cloud with a holistic approach.