Many organizations are undertaking cloud migration, which is the process of moving data, applications, and other digital assets to the cloud. Migrating to the cloud can offer companies several benefits including improved performance, greater flexibility and agility, and reduced costs.
Completing a cloud migration comes with some challenges, however, so it’s important to go into the process with a clear plan of attack. Try these five tips to make your migration to a cloud based business intelligence (BI) product as successful as possible:
1. Know the Existing Infrastructure
Step one whenever you make a significant change within your business should be to understand what you’re currently working with. In the case of cloud migration, this means taking a closer look at your existing infrastructure.
Start by gathering a comprehensive inventory of your business’s digital assets and the connections between them. Understanding the existing infrastructure inside and out will help your business plan the migration to the cloud. You need to have a clear idea of the “before” picture to be able to accurately assess the “after” once you have completed the cloud migration.
In this stage, make sure you calculate your current total cost of ownership (TCO) for your existing infrastructure. When you’re comparing the costs of migrating to the cloud to the cost of keeping your digital assets on-premise, you have to consider more than just server costs. Looking at your total infrastructure expenses will give you a better idea of the potential cost savings of migrating to the cloud.
2. Understand How You Use Your Data
Along the same line of thinking, it’s also important to analyze how your business uses its data. You can’t choose the right cloud based data platform without understanding the role data plays in your business. Ask yourself:
- What data sources are you currently using? Are they just internal or also external?
- How frequently do you update your data?
- Where do you store your data?
- Is all the data you collect and use still relevant to your business goals?
- What tools do you currently use to get the most out of your data?
Answering these questions will help you identify what you should look for in a cloud data platform.
3. Decide Whether You Will Be Using a Hybrid or Full Migration
No two cloud migrations look exactly alike. One of the important decisions you need to make when you choose to migrate data to the cloud is whether you’ll use a hybrid or full cloud migration.
If you choose a hybrid cloud migration, that means moving only some of your business’s digital assets to the cloud and using on-premise solutions for others. Full cloud migration involves moving all of your IT infrastructure to one or more cloud platforms. All your applications, data, and tools move to the cloud in a full cloud migration.
Deciding between hybrid and full cloud data migration depends on your business’s unique goals and technical requirements. Consider your end goals for the cloud migration and ask yourself which type of cloud migration is better suited to help you reach those goals. It’s common for established enterprises to want to transition to the cloud in stages, for example, so they may opt for hybrid migration over full cloud migration.
4. Determine What to Migrate to the Cloud
If you’re not using a full cloud migration, your next step is to consider which applications, processes, and data you want to move to the cloud. Many factors go into determining what you should migrate to the cloud. Consider the following:
- What is the cost of moving each digital asset to the cloud?
- What is the potential return on investment?
- How long will it take to move each digital asset to the cloud?
- Which assets will you need to redesign to move to the cloud?
- Can you move any of these assets as-is?
- How complex are the redesigns that are necessary (if any)?
Weighing these factors will help you decide which assets it makes sense to migrate to the cloud and which might be better to keep on-premise.
5. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Beyond your broad goals for your cloud migration, it’s also important to establish some concrete KPIs that you will track. These indicators will help you evaluate the success of your cloud migration once it’s complete. Some KPIs you may want to track post-migration include:
- Error rates
- Memory usage
- Network latency
- Hardware costs
- Replacement costs
When you compare these indicators post-migration to the same indicators pre-migration, it will give you a better idea of what impact your migration to the cloud has had on your business. Tracking KPIs during the migration can also help you determine whether the cloud migration is proceeding positively or if there are things you need to change.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help If You Need It
The thought of managing a cloud based data platform migration can be overwhelming. If you need help at any point in the data migration process, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You can reach out to the support team from the BI product with any questions you have or bring in an external expert to help facilitate the migration. In fact, the level of support your cloud provider offers should be a key factor you consider before deciding on a particular BI product.
Don’t let any temporary roadblocks discourage you, either. Migrating to the cloud is an intensive process that will involve some challenges along the way. Keep your eye on the end goal of the migration to stay and lean on others for help when you need it.
And if you’re in the process of choosing a cloud based data platform, there’s no better choice than Live Earth. Live Earth’s comprehensive cloud data platform helps enterprises across industries with everything from fraud and anomaly detection to dynamic marketing. Schedule a demo now to see the power of the Live Earth platform for yourself.