Smart Migration to the Cloud: Everything You Want to Know

Szabolcs Kun
Szabolcs Kun
20 Sep 2023 · 5 min read

The benefits of cloud infrastructure for an organization are unquestionable, as we’ve discussed in detail. Cloud adoption is on the rise. According to recent research, 97% of IT leaders are looking to expand their cloud systems further, with year-on-year growth expected to be at 17.9% by 2027. 

And it all starts with migrating data and applications to the cloud in a dependable and efficient manner. 

So, what is the smartest way to migrate, and how does it differ from other types of cloud migration? In this article, we’ll also look at DATAPAO’s One-Stop Cloud Migration Solution and how it delivers reliability and optimization.

What Is Smart Migration?

Smart migration refers to an optimized way to migrate data and apps– in this particular case, to a cloud environment. To boost efficiency, streamline processes, and increase success, smart migration involves automation and smart migration capabilities to move existing workloads.

At DATAPAO, smart migration takes the form of the One-Stop Cloud Data Migration Solution. In short, this involves, among others:

  • An end-to-end methodology based on 7+ years of migration projects
  • Automated discovery to map sources and accurately assess complexity and obstacles
  • In-depth validation at the execution phase to prevent hard-to-detect downstream data quality issues and bugs 
  • Transformation automations
  • Close collaboration with the customer team to align the schedule to up-to-date and newly discovered needs, requirements, and feedback
  • A success-oriented data-accelerated approach that includes enablement, innovation workshops, and up to 24 months of support

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Why Migrate Smartly?

Efficient, dependable migration is closely linked to considerations of cost, time, and other resources for the organization migrating its data and apps to the cloud.

Infrastructure cost is key when companies are trying to reduce expenses, which is one of the frequent reasons why companies choose to migrate. Cost is mainly the function of the efficiency of the migration (the engineering effort and license costs) and the amount of time the migration requires. 

DATAPAO's cloud data migration framework
DATAPAO’s cloud data migration framework

Time is also especially important because significant delay means increased costs for the prolonged operational costs of the source system (because it can’t be turned off at the expected time), and the businesses that rely on the new data platform can rack up massive opportunity costs. 

This can result in even further costs, as dependencies can cascade. For example, a missed product launch can delay a planned marketing campaign, which can render another investment unusable until requirements are met – for instance, opening new locations for a product launch.

Dependable migration means that results will be delivered on time, and efficient migration means that cost-saving should be a key concern during migration. Automation and preparation play a vital role, while the Program Committee needs to be vigilant when evaluating and mitigating technical risks.

Automations 

In most migrations, patterns emerge, which can be recognized by looking at the recurring tasks that arise. Data migration, code transformation, and dataset validations are prime suspects. These tasks can be automated. It’s almost impossible not to be able to automate at least some parts of a migration.

Automation can be used in all stages of migration, e.g., discovery, execution, and validation. The biggest benefits usually come in the execution phase (code transformation, data migration, etc.); however, it’s important not to discount the value of using smart migration tools in both discovery and validation.

  • In discovery, missing complexity can increase associated costs and delay our project. If the migration is not prioritized correctly, the migration order can lead to a loss of trust within the business.
  • In validation, skipping due diligence or not being thorough with it when it comes to the migrated data assets can also lead to a loss of stakeholder trust. 

Bad quality data, errors in data, and sensitive information leaks are difficult to detect and can go uncovered for a long time. They can also have serious negative consequences more often than not. 

Automation and recurring reviews of manual, repeated tasks are crucial to an efficient, dependable migration. 

Stakeholder Mapping

The importance of a thorough exploration of the data assets and potential risk factors is well known. Stakeholder mapping is oftentimes not part of the critical tasks performed during discovery, yet it is key for planning our migration, establishing roles and clear communication lines, understanding the full extent of the impact of our migration, and ensuring success.

In a stakeholder mapping, we need to talk to all business units that are involved in the migration.  Depending on the expected impact of the migration, these can be only departments with direct involvement or, in larger initiatives, indirectly impacted business units, too. 

It is important to map out what data assets they use/own and their importance in terms of both business value and continuity. Moreover, we need to find DRIs in the business unit and achieve buy-in from the business units’ leaders so that time will be allocated to handle the meetings and requests. 

This is also a great opportunity for everyone to get on the same page with the impact and the value this migration will bring to the business, as well as manage unrealistic expectations. Stakeholder mapping is key to following up the migration with use cases and putting in motion the cost savings, increased efficiency, and business value the cloud-based data platform can bring.

Service Level Agreements

Moreover, the service level agreements (SLAs) our new data platform will provide to our stakeholders need to be clear. It’s paramount to define these SLAs with the business; otherwise, buy-in will be difficult to obtain. These SLAs need to be defined upfront, as these parameters influence our architecture. Different cloud services have different individual SLAs. Your technology choices could unexpectedly limit your results and operations if you don’t plan accordingly. 

On top of that, the organization needs to ensure the availability of the technical skills and the resources to deliver those SLAs, even when the number of projects, datasets, or ML models on the platform increases exponentially. It’s not uncommon to see businesses rushing to the Migration Team to add more and more use cases and source systems following initial success with a migration project and example use cases.

It’s important to understand how the load (not the engineering effort, which is out of scope) will affect our platform. Cloud services can scale to almost any load, but the right architecture and migration approach is the starting point.

Why Smart Migration Is a No-Brainer

When companies migrate to new infrastructure to reap the benefits of growth and innovation, the process can be complex and risky. 

Bottlenecks, bugs, and other obstacles can arise – which is why it is essential to use a reliable, efficient method that adapts to your needs as you go and proactively prevents and mitigates all issues.

Are you ready to discover how the above can make your data migration a resounding success? Contact DATAPAO’s team now for a free consultation.

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