5 Best Practices for Moving Data Workloads to the Cloud

According to a Gartner report, the need for operational efficiency while lowering processing times and being compatible with next-generation is prompting businesses to migrate to the cloud. Cloud computing is fast becoming the backbone for digital delivery, ensuring data protection, automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks, improving performance, and assuring scalability of applications for an enhanced customer experience.

Being lightweight, fast, and providing increased accessibility to services are seeing the cloud growing rapidly. Globally, the spending on public cloud services is expected to grow 21.7%, from $396 billion in 2021 to $482 billion in 2022. By 2026, it is expected to be more than 45% of the enterprise IT spending as against 17% in 2021

The 10th annual Flexera 2021: State of the Cloud Report, based on a survey of 750 global cloud decision-makers and users on the use of public, private, and multi-cloud, reveals that:

● 92 percent of the enterprises have implemented a multi-cloud strategy, while 80 percent follow a hybrid cloud strategy

● 49 percent have silo workloads by cloud, and 45 percent integrate data between clouds

● Only 42 percent use multi-cloud management tools

A priority area for the organizations is to optimize the existing cloud deployment and migrate more workloads to the cloud. However, security, governance, and cloud management continue to pose a challenge for businesses following hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Challenges to Moving Workloads to the Cloud

The benefits of moving workloads to the cloud include

Scalability: Scaling up or down the workload based on demand fluctuations due to the unlimited availability of resources

Rapid Application Deployment: This is made possible as cloud servers, hosting environments, and serverless functions can be accessed as required

Distributed Infrastructure: Businesses can distribute their workloads across different geographies using the cloud, making IT resources resilient and fail-proof, ensuring business continuity even during disasters

Cost Efficiency: The pay-as-you-use model reduces the investments needed for IT infrastructure

These factors improve the ability of businesses to focus on innovation and delivering improved service to the customers, thereby increasing their competitiveness. However, there is also a disadvantage for every advantage that often sees businesses reverting their workloads to the on-prem systems. Some of the challenges include:

Spoilt for Choice: Businesses today have access to several cloud platforms. This is good news, of course, but it can also be confusing unless the IT team can assess the needs of the organization and find the right fit at the right price.

Application Compatibility: It is necessary to ensure that the applications being migrated to the cloud can run on the cloud. If not, they need to be refactored or even redesigned completely or partly to achieve the desired outcomes.

Resource Availability: Tools and strategies cannot be mapped directly between on-prem and cloud servers. They need to be redefined to suit the cloud requirements for management, security, and monitoring challenges. It also requires different skills for developers and the IT team.

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7 Best Practices to Transition to the Cloud

To ensure the success of the workload migration process and experience the expected benefits, we at Indium Software recommend the following best practices. Indium offers cloud engineering services to optimize your investment in the cloud by offering reliable, agile, scalable, and secure solutions.

The best practices include:

Best Practice #1 Lead from the Front: It is important to get the organization’s buy-in for the migration effort to succeed. When the top management shows commitment to the process and takes the team along, it is easier to get the technical practitioners and other users also on board. Highlight the benefits, the challenges, and provide the necessary resources for the transition.

Best Practice #2 Identify the Best-fit Cloud Service: Brand names and reviews on the web may pull you in one or multiple directions. Either way, it can lead to confusion and failure. The best approach to decide on the right fit for your organization is to

– Do a cost-benefit analysis

– Evaluate the ease of deploying the workloads on the service

– Assess the monitoring and management capabilities of the service

– Estimate the security risks

Best Practice #3 Create a Roadmap: We can never have enough of a good thing and the temptation might be to do it all together, in one go. However, it is crucial to assess the effectiveness of an application in the cloud environment and decide whether it can be migrated or needs refactoring/reconfiguration/redesigning, or is best left behind. Also create a roadmap, with critical applications being uploaded first for minimizing disruption to the business.

Best Practice #4 Identify Potential Security Threats: The cloud is considered generally safer and the cloud service providers will have their own security processes in place. However, the threats still exist as any misconfiguration can leave a business’s applications vulnerable.

Therefore, putting the necessary security barriers around the business’s workloads will provide the necessary protection. This needs to be periodically reviewed and upgraded as well.

Best Practice # 5 Cloud Costing: Cost management is simpler in the cloud due to the pay-per-use model it uses. However, there may be other fees associated with the migration. Therefore, understand the pricing model clearly and identify methods to control costs.

Best Practice #6 Assign Roles: Assigning roles and elucidating responsibilities will create a sense of ownership to the migration process and improve the chances of its success.

Best Practice # 7 Plan a Cloud Roadmap: In a constantly evolving technology environment, it is essential to have a strategy that can help manage the uncertainties. While anticipating every change is not possible, a well-thought-out strategy will help provide the required direction.

You might be interested in: Cloud Data Migration Demystified

Indium has expertise in all major private/public cloud platforms and its team of experts can identify the right fit for your organization. Our services span:

● Cloud migration

● Modernization

● Optimization support for improved RoI

We ensure an optimal TCO after a seamless transition, providing the necessary tooling, automation, and experience for a safe and efficient migration to the cloud.

Author: Indium
Indium Software is a leading digital engineering company that provides Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Digital Assurance, and Gaming services. We assist companies in their digital transformation journey at every stage of digital adoption, allowing them to become market leaders.