If you are contemplating a cloud migration for your organization, it is important to understand the dynamics and options available to you. Such knowledge will help you plan the move and execute it without hiccups and disruptions to business operations.
This post explains the four main migration models for firms wishing to benefit from cloud computing and want to start a migration project now that the running times allow companies to re-evaluate these initiatives.
The lift and shift model
The lift and shift model is the easiest to implement from a technical perspective. All you need to do is move your IT operations from the office or data centre to a cloud environment without making any changes. The main advantage of this approach is that it does not require retraining staff to adapt to a new system.
Lift and shift allows you to take advantage of the improved efficiencies and agility of cloud environments. By choosing this model, you are able to use Amazon Web Services , VM Import/Export automated tools, which makes this model really easy to implement, mainly in large-scale companies migrations.
Another benefit is the reduced human resources requirements for systems administration. This will allow the firm to focus IT staff on projects that improve core operations and products.
Outsourcing to SaaS
Sometimes, firms outsource IT related applications for non-core functions to cloud computing companies that specialize in particular applications. This approach enables organizations to shift their operations to cloud gradually starting with non-core functions before outsourcing complex operations.
This shift allows employees to focus on the core competencies that give the firm an edge in the market. It also reduces the number of licensed IT applications the organization needs to acquire. The main disadvantage of shifting to SaaS is that you may have problems customizing applications that have industry-specific modifications.
Consequently, most providers such AWS have developed tools in order to meet applications requirements in a flexible manner.
Re-factoring or Application modernization
App modernization or refactoring involves transferring legacy applications to the cloud and adapting them to the cloud environment. This approach is most suited to the operations that will be enhanced by the cloud platform.
While refactoring, you should identify the operations whose speed and agility can improve when using cloud applications. Refactoring updates software, enabling you to keep up with changing industry dynamics. It is important to remember that it requires hiring specialized IT staff and retraining employees to cope with the changes.
Replatform involves shifting all your IT operations to the cloud and giving them a complete makeover. It is the hardest model to implement due to the high upfront costs, risk of infrastructure and staff redundancies, and resistance to change at the organizational level.
However, it is the only model that enables the organizations to maximize the benefits of cloud computing, such as agility, scalability, accessibility, and robustness. It makes all your operations cloud native allowing you to have modular and versatile applications that can work with different cloud providers.
Ultimately, the choice of cloud migration model will depend on your current business situation and operational needs. You should select a model that suits your organizational environment because careful selection is critical to a successful migration and data availability.