Migrating IT infrastructure to cloud-based services provides innumerable benefits once accomplished, but it remains one of the biggest challenges facing organizations today.
Even when all the advantages are known, the question remains how to actually move your resources to the cloud computing model. The best way to develop your migration strategy is to use an iterative approach that reduces the complexity of a comprehensive plan. The general steps involved for most organization are:
1. Obtain a clear picture of your IT infrastructure. What are you currently using? Are all your current needs being met? Do you have any gaps in your infrastructure?
2. Determine which portions of your infrastructure would benefit from a migration. It may not make sense to move your entire infrastructure to cloud-based services. You may want to keep certain portions on site or in-house. Consider these potential cloud-based service benefits.
3. Order those resources in terms of simplicity and necessity. When looking at cloud-based services pick those that are simple to understand and use. Only get what covers the services you need.
4. Develop a roadmap for migrating those resources to cloud services. Plan out the steps it will take to move your current infrastructure to the cloud services. Do you need to reorganize information? What other prep will need to be done before the migration can occur?
5. Migrate resources to a staging cloud environment and test. Make sure to test your new cloud-based service in a staging environment before fully implementing, so you understand best practices and can instruct employees.
6. Switch to using your cloud-based implementation for production, then repeat from Step 2.
Each of these steps subdivide into many nuanced sub-steps, and developing an overall plan entails careful thought and planning. With all the complexities involved, additional help may be required to realize your goals.
Organizations developing a cloud migration strategy often work with outside technical consultants who can provide additional guidance. They can help you understand the benefits of cloud computing as they apply to your organization and assist in developing a migration strategy that maximizes the benefits of cloud-based services.
Dan Donahoe is a senior technical consultant at Corner Alliance.
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