Main image of article Cloud Migration the Smart Way

Enterprises embarking on cloud migration have found that it is not for the faint of heart. The largest, most sophisticated, and technologically advanced organizations find that cloud migration is constantly changing, like an amoeba. As a result, it needs management that can move at the speed of the internet—not humans. 

Many large IT teams at these leading organizations are tapping into artificial intelligence (A.I.) to manage change at the speed of business. In digital transformation, there is no time for time-outs.   

Until now, these sophisticated AI-based cloud management systems were either built in-house by IT teams—or outsourced to other IT teams at prohibitive costs to small and medium enterprises. 

In essence, cloud management has been an uneven playing field. Of course, this is the history of technology—it has always been haves and have-nots until there is democratization. 

As we know, the internet started in the 1960s as a way for government researchers to share information. Computers in the '60s were large and immobile, and to use information stored in any one computer, one had to either travel to the site of the computer or have magnetic computer tapes sent through the conventional postal system. It started expanding beyond government use as a standard communication protocol in 1983. Still, it didn't catch on in the public domain until the mid-1990s, thanks to easier use (via the world wide web) and much less expensive computers. 

Mobile phones followed a similar trajectory, going from the “brick phone” a few people had in their cars with better usability, pricing, and a reliable, common communications network. Now, a phone in your pocket is ubiquitous. 

Cloud Migration and Automation

Cloud migration is now at the precipice of democratization. Core to this democratization is a keen focus on automation capabilities.  

Automation unlocks cloud-native benefits quickly and at scale for clients. Automation, combined with expert advisors, enables smaller organizations to have the cloud migration firepower of larger companies.

Still, cloud migration is not for the faint of heart. Cloud transformation will always be disruptive and ever-changing. It requires stellar communications across an enterprise. Companies must create new connections between working groups that empower those within the organization to have control of the process. 

Digital transformation is one part technology, two parts people. The duties of employees and managers will change. Tasks that can be easily automated will be done quickly.  

Some who have their roles (or a portion of their roles) automated will see their duties change. For example, contact centers have primarily automated the most common, frequently asked questions (FAQs), such as, “What's my balance?” The contact center agents who previously handled such mundane tasks are now in more demanding roles that help with more complex issues, such as tracing a lost order. Digital transformation also leads to more virtual meetings and settings; many are hosted in the cloud. 

Companies are migrating to the cloud because it enables them to quickly access technology and other resources that they don't have in-house. The cloud also affords flexibility, security, disaster recovery, cost, and a host of other advantages over having everything in-house. The largest companies have already made headway in cloud migration. Now the capability is being democratized for small and mid-sized enterprises. 

Companies of all sizes reap the rewards of cloud adoption with strategic advice working back from the organization’s transformational aims. A cloud adoption approach that supports the required change needs to include a technically led approach. A Gartner article entitled Critical Capabilities for Public Cloud IT Transformation Services recommended the following to sourcing, procurement, and vendor management (SPVM) leaders responsible for cloud and edge infrastructure solutions. “Create your cloud transformation roadmap and IT services and solutions strategy by leveraging both automation, optimization and business outcome trends and the capabilities demonstrated by providers.” 

With that said, below are the steps to a smart cloud migration.  

Smart Migration Steps 

With the right technology and processes, cloud migration can happen in weeks and months rather than in years. A critical key in the process is automating as much as possible. The technology is faster, and, if set up correctly, is more accurate than manual input by humans. Automation unlocks cloud-native benefits quickly and at scale for enterprises migrating to the cloud. 

People can focus on work that can't be automated. Enterprises with in-house technical expertise can look to self-service as much as possible. They may also need a partner with the expertise to step into any areas where self-service isn't a workable option. 

The first step in an intelligent cloud migration process is access to the company's current data via portfolio level discovery, dependency mapping, and data volume insights. 

Then the organization needs to design a migration path. The migration time reduction results from using a fully automated solution to design, build, and validate a cloud foundation. That is followed by automated assessment and modernization of application portfolios and databases. 

The next step is to test and validate the migration workloads, which can also be automated if set up correctly at the outset. 

In migrating to the cloud, enterprises will want to work with a trusted partner that offers a variety of pricing options, including consumption-based, fixed price, and outcome-oriented models, such as the delivery of fixed-priced pods against outcome-based contracts.  

Enterprises should partner with an organization that can provide a window into what will happen in cloud migrations with a comprehensive assessment and customized recommendations. With a smart migration strategy like the above, and a trusted advisor with multi-cloud expertise, an enterprise can quickly and economically migrate to the cloud and start taking advantage of everything the technology offers. 

The support is here for companies of all sizes—so much so that democratization of cloud migration is here. 

Milan Bhatt is Corporate Vice President & Global Head of Cloud Transformation at Hexaware, a global IT, BPS and consulting services company empowering businesses worldwide to realize digital transformation at scale and speed.