The public cloud has catapulted to the forefront of business strategy, reshaping how organizations function and innovate. The numbers speak for themselves.

Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is set to skyrocket 21.7% to a jaw-dropping $597.3 billion in 2023, per Gartner. Although multi-cloud usage has dropped from 89% to 87% over the past year, according to the latest Flexera State of the Cloud Report, single public cloud usage has increased to 11%, up from 9% in 2022.

The same report discovered that “public cloud only” usage jumped to 24% — up from 16% in 2022 — almost a quarter of respondents spend over $12 million per year in the public cloud, with over half of their workloads and data in the public cloud right now.

The allure of the public cloud lies in its myriad benefits. From cost efficiency and scalability to accessibility and sustainability, the public cloud offers a transformative platform for businesses to redefine their operations.

However, harnessing the full potential of the public cloud is challenging. It requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to workload and application placement. It’s about making informed decisions that align with specific business needs, regulatory requirements, and future goals. And that’s where the real challenge — and the real opportunity — lies.

The perils of cloud migration without a plan

The cloud journey is multifaceted and demands meticulous planning and calculated decision-making. A common stumbling block many organizations grapple with is the pull of simply “lifting and shifting” their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud.

On the surface, this approach might appear straightforward, even appealing. However, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It often triggers a cascade of performance issues, security vulnerabilities, compliance risks, and unforeseen costs.

Moreover, it glosses over the unique requirements of individual applications and workloads, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for optimization.

The “lift and shift” strategy is a one-size-fits-all approach in a world where one size rarely fits all. It’s a method that overlooks the nuances and complexities of the cloud environment. And in doing so, it fails to leverage the full potential of the public cloud.

Migrate with a purpose and a plan

To embrace the cloud’s transformative power, you must adopt a strategic workload and application assessment approach. This is not a mere box-checking exercise; it’s a comprehensive evaluation that delves into each application’s specific requirements, regulatory demands, and risk tolerance.

Here’s a roadmap to successful cloud migration:

  • Inventory your applications: Conduct a comprehensive audit of all your applications to understand the purpose of each application, its user base, and the type of data it processes. For instance, an application used by your sales team for customer relationship management would have different requirements than an application used by your finance team for payroll processing.
  • Assess application interdependencies: Much like puzzle pieces, applications don’t operate in isolation; they interact and depend on other applications and systems. For example, your customer relationship management application might rely on your email system to send notifications to customers. Unraveling this intricate web of application interdependencies is important. Use tools like network monitoring software to map these relationships and better understand how changes to one application might affect others.
  • Evaluate performance requirements: Each application has unique performance requirements. An application used for data analysis might need high computing power to process large datasets, while an application used for document storage might require high-capacity storage. Identify each application’s performance, scalability, and availability needs to ensure that your chosen cloud services can meet all these requirements.
  • Identify security and compliance needs: Different applications have different security and compliance requirements that demand careful attention. An application that processes sensitive customer data might require advanced security features or must be hosted in a region adhering to data sovereignty laws. At the same time, a healthcare organization must ensure that a cloud provider can comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations for protecting patient data.
  • Deduce risk tolerance: Moving to the cloud has certain risks, including potential downtime during the migration, data security concerns, and vendor lock-in. Each business has a different level of tolerance for these risks. Some might be willing to accept higher risks for the potential benefits of the cloud, while others prefer to maintain their data on premises where they feel they have more control.
  • Perform cost assessment: The cost of running each application in the cloud can vary based on the resources it uses. This includes the cost of computing power, storage, network bandwidth, and any additional cloud services the application may need. Evaluate these costs to avoid surprises and confirm that moving to the cloud is, in fact, cost-effective for your organization. Think of it like calculating the total cost of ownership of a vehicle: You can’t just consider the purchase price, you must also account for additional variables such as the costs of fuel, maintenance, and insurance.
  • Prioritize applications for migration: Based on your assessment, prioritize which applications to migrate first. You could migrate less critical applications first to test the waters or prioritize applications that will benefit most from the cloud’s scalability and flexibility.
  • Select the right migration strategy: Choose the right migration strategy for each application depending on the assessment. This could be a simple lift-and-shift, a partial or complete refactoring of the application, or even replacing the application with a cloud-native service. In addition, ensure your teams are fully aware of any migration and properly trained on platforms they’ll be monitoring and managing.
  • Test and optimize: Don’t just set it and forget it after migration. Continuously monitor application performance and costs, and optimize configurations as needed to ensure the application runs efficiently and cost-effectively.

This meticulous process is the cornerstone of successful cloud migration and can help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure a smooth transition to the cloud.

Best of all, you don’t have to go it alone.

Seizing the cloud’s potential with precision and strategy

At 11:11 Systems, we’re more than cloud migration experts — we’re strategic partners, guiding you through the intricate cloud migration journey.

Our team’s deep understanding of this complex process enables us to comprehensively assess your workloads and applications, identify potential risks, and devise a customized migration strategy.

We continuously monitor your applications to ensure optimal performance in the cloud and make necessary adjustments as needed. But disaster recovery (DR) and data recovery are where we distinguish ourselves. Our robust solutions protect your data against unforeseen events to ensure business continuity (BC). In the event of data loss, our data recovery capabilities enable quick access to critical data, minimizing operational disruptions.

With 11:11 Systems, your cloud migration journey is not just about moving to the cloud — it’s about leveraging the power of the cloud to drive innovation, agility, and growth.

The cloud’s future is unfolding now, presenting a transformative canvas for businesses ready to seize it. With the right approach and partner, you can turn the cloud’s potential into your own success story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kaushik Ray

Kaushik Ray is the Chief Experience Officer for 11:11 Systems.

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