Designing a multidisciplinary approach to cloud migration
Migrating to the cloud from transitional infrastructures offers businesses cost savings and flexibility. While cloud-native applications can make seamless transitions, applications developed in traditional environments must undergo migration to realize these benefits.
Cloud migration nightmares
Cloud migration can be relatively easy when the characteristics of the application in the legacy stack and those in the target cloud environment fit neatly together. However, if this isn’t the case, a migration can quickly become a high-risk and costly project. While IT providers have developed extensive literature on how to perform a cloud migration, it still remains one of the most difficult projects in the IT industry. Because data center relocations and cloud migrations share similarities, making some distinctions can help to navigate these troubled waters.
Cloud assessment vs. cloud migration
To begin the project, you first need to distinguish between a cloud application assessment activity and a cloud application migration activity. An assessment will help you to understand what can be migrated. A migration analysis, on the other hand, will tell you the “when” and “how” of a migration. The skills, language and tools used when you perform a cloud application assessment are very different from those used during a migration.
During the assessment, your team must discuss the application’s functionality and architecture with the application owners and business analysts. This discussion will shed light on the issues and opportunities that arise when replatforming an application. It will also help you to determine the feasibility of a migration effort and the best way to accomplish it.
To transition to the cloud, you must develop a deep inventory of all the technical components and prepare the environments, teams and tools for the platform change.
Building your team
During the assessment, your cloud team must be composed of application, network and security architects, cloud consultants and business analysts. During the migration, your cloud team should favor infrastructure architects and IT specialists. Given its impact on business processes, cloud migration also requires strong project management skills and larger staffing. Failing to distinguish the different skills required at different stages of a cloud journey can lead to inefficient discussions with the business and IT organizations.
You must also ensure that decisions and materials transfer seamlessly from one team to the other. To accomplish this, you should set up a multidisciplinary team with common objectives. A highly cohesive team should perform an end-to-end process, refine its working practices and tools over time and accommodate the changing characteristics of the cloud platform.
This model is similar to how an agile DevOps team works. By applying their practices, you can address the challenges in the way of a successful cloud journey.
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