How To Plan a Successful Cloud Migration Strategy

Operating on the cloud has become a must for the modern enterprise—and organizations that rely heavily on legacy on-prem systems are trailing behind their competitors. As such, it’s no surprise that 94% of businesses use at least one cloud-based application, while 84% of enterprises have a multicloud strategy.

Migrating to the cloud is critical for businesses to enhance workforce productivity, and provide the always-on access that employees increasingly demand. However, the process can often be a massive undertaking. In order to avoid application outages or massive data loss, cloud migrations require a detailed and strategic implementation plan that sets your business up for lasting success. 

Plan your successful cloud migration strategy

At the end of a successful cloud migration, your organization should be able to operate some or all of its systems on the cloud, without incurring massive costs or disrupting end-user experiences. To achieve this goal, you need a carefully mapped plan that captures the various requirements from across the business.  

A move to the cloud can severely impact critical application data, legacy data, and application performance—making them important features in a migration. Keeping these features top of mind throughout the planning stages will help your business prioritize applications and systems to migrate while remaining compliant to data regulations.

Key cloud migration considerations

Applications require no installations and enable access from anywhere—but this can also introduce security threats and vulnerabilities. To mitigate these concerns, businesses need a cloud migration strategy that prioritizes best-in-class security, while remaining compatible with both existing infrastructure and new cloud environments. As you build out your plan, these are some of the things to keep in mind. 

Assess the risks

While there are many benefits to moving to the cloud, companies may be deterred by the perceived security risks. For instance, 65% of information security experts want to store data in the cloud, but 47% of IT managers believe their on-prem resources are more secure. That’s because a cloud migration can compromise data security as it requires third-party services to protect critical data. It’s therefore vital to assess the security and performance risks that accompany this transition. 

Adopt a hybrid approach

Given these potential risks, it’s wise to dip a toe into the cloud instead of jumping in with both feet. With a hybrid approach that blends both cloud-based and on-prem applications, businesses can test out certain systems without fully disrupting their IT infrastructure. This enables them to identify any potential issues and gaps in requirements and finetune them before taking the cloud migration company wide.

Appoint a data architect

A large part of a successful cloud migration comes down to having buy-in across the organization—from employees to execs. However, it’s also vital to have a cloud architect lead that oversees the entire cloud migration strategy and process—from requirements gathering through to execution.

Always test before roll out

Testing a new cloud environment is a vital step in the migration process. Businesses need to test cloud applications across multiple versions of browsers and check for performance on various mobile devices to determine any potential risks and gaps in their systems.

Keep costs in mind

While operating on the cloud can save costs in the long run, the initial migration can be expensive. It’s important to factor in costs for data storage and processing power requirements, as well as monitoring, testing, and security services. Additionally, there are other hidden costs, such as integrating cloud apps and training teams to use cloud technologies. As you set up your cloud migration strategy, make sure you account for all of these potential expenditures in your budget.

Take your journey to the cloud

Every business has a unique cloud migration journey that comes with its own requirements, whether they’re migrating from an on-premise legacy system, a database, or another identity provider. As you tackle this project, find a solution that makes migration as simple as possible while employing flexible security policies.

Interested in learning more?

Take a look at how Okta’s Identity Cloud supports organizations in their
move to the cloud.