1. Consider security
When moving any application out of an on-premise data centre to a third-party environment, there must be security considerations. To identify the level of security necessary, consider the sensitivity of the data within the application.
For those apps processing highly sensitive information, ensure the necessary compliance requirements are met. For additional protection, consider using role-based access, authentication and end-to-end encryption.
2. Retire redundant applications
After auditing your legacy applications and deciding which to migrate to cloud applications, you’re likely to uncover a number of platforms or applications that no longer hold any business value.
Check which business unit or corporate function owns these apps, and turn them off if they are no longer required. This process can save your business money, direct attention to the applications that are still in use, and reduce the number of platforms that require security.
3. Stage your migration
Almost all applications can be upgraded to the cloud, but it’s sensible to carry out a staged migration to ensure business continuity and minimal disruption to operations. A better approach is to start by moving one application — preferably with a high chance of success or one that doesn’t deal with highly sensitive data — to the cloud. Assess and communicate the positive business impact and return on investment before addressing the next stage.
What’s more, not all applications are worth upgrading; in some cases the effort of migrating is greater than the output value. Consider the compatibility of each system, how critical they are to your business, and how agile it needs to be in the cloud environment.
4. Assess the costs
There are tangible budgetary benefits to migrating to a cloud infrastructure — a predictable and fixed cost, reduced capital expenditure, and minimised operational expenditure on physical servers.
Assessing the cost of cloud computing on an application-by-application basis will determine if each app upgrade is viable from a cost standpoint. What’s more, analysing the bandwidth each application may require will help paint a more realistic picture of the full deployment value.
5. Consider your cloud provider
The nature of your industry and the type of services you offer to customers will likely determine the most appropriate cloud service provider. Industries with rigorous regulatory complexity like financial services or medicine, operating under strict compliance mandates, should select a provider with proven expertise and knowledge of their sector.