Ever since Netflix ran a hit series featuring Marie Kondo, a Japanese decluttering expert, people around the world are ridding their homes of objects that no longer ‘spark joy’ in a bid to get organized. The KonMari approach (only keeping hold of the things which retain use to us) might, at first glance, seem to have little relevance to an IT Decision Maker’s (ITDM) state of mind. But look a little deeper, and there’s plenty for businesses to learn from using a similar approach when moving to the cloud.
Much like cleaning out the attic, IT decision makers should use a move to the cloud as opportunity to reassess their applications and infrastructure, and determine which must be migrated, adapted or left behind.
Every organization needs to go through five key stages when moving to the cloud to ensure that they only take what they need:
Firstly, work with a Cloud Project Manager to assess the infrastructure a customer has on premise. Running a script on the systems, a report will be generated showing what is in place, the health of the various systems and if any of them could prevent migration to the cloud. This is the equivalent to looking down the back of the sofa or in the garage to discover exactly what you have before attempting to move.
That list is now analyzed using Data Migration Assistant and Azure Migrate tools to determine which of it should be kept, discarded or updated. For example, if there are systems coming to the end of their life like SQL 2008, it makes sense to use the move to upgrade them. Similarly, if you have a database but 20% of the data in it isn’t used, why pay for space for it to reside in the cloud? Much like having a keep, sell or throw out box when moving to a new house, use this stage to identify which of your data estate is worth moving, storing or deleting.
Following this, assess which third party integrators have the skills to design the ideal solution based on the findings (e.g. if you’re moving to Azure, find an Azure expert to help). For example, remember that 20% of data that you need to save but don’t need to access regularly? It could be left on prem or housed in more affordable cloud archives or cold tier storage to save costs.
You will now have your plan and be ready to migrate. Systems are rehosted, refactored, rearchitected or rebuilt to ensure maximum efficiencies and minimal downtime. In short, the moving trucks are here.
Ongoing management of your cloud environment is critical to ensure costs don’t escalate. Putting in place an overarching cloud management service will help to manage and optimize costs, and ensure you receive better, more affordable support. The best services will also give you regular advisory hours, with access to technical help to resolve any issues or to plan for new projects.