Four themes enabling the great cloud migration of the 2020s

Sean Xu, Vice President, Data and Digital Engineering, MGM Resorts International

Sean Xu, Vice President, Data and Digital Engineering, MGM Resorts International

Since 2020, organizations have accelerated their cloud migration efforts to enable digital transformation. While the benefits of cloud migration such as an agile infrastructure and cost savings are obvious and enticing, the journey to a successful migration is often fraught with challenges and requires strong commitment. These challenges, from a misalignment of business goals to the skyrocketing costs of meeting compliance and regulatory mandates, pose significant risks capable of derailing an organization’s strategic goals. However, there are common themes to learn from organizations that have successfully migrated their platforms to the cloud; here are four things you can do to better position your organization’s next big cloud transformation.

Executive buy-in and support

Although it can often occur behind the scenes, cloud migration can often lead to profound changes in business functions and culture. Business processes and process flows are rationalized, streamlined and highly automated. An organization’s product design, customer interactions, and cross-departmental collaborations must adjust, and employees must adapt to new The IT department must adjust its organizational structure and operating model to manage IT services, applications, infrastructure, and data for a better service provider to business partners.

With such significant changes in how a business operates, executive buy-in is a must-have for cloud migration. A successful migration is often led by leaders who understand the benefits of future growth and agility, but who also recognize the potential challenges and risks that are part of the transition As delays, rising costs and changes in organizational structure occur, senior leaders’ commitment to a Successful migration is integral to bridging any conflicts between departments and ultimately driving the migration to completion.

Holistic cloud migration strategy

Today, many organizations’ business operations consist of disparate business process streams, supported by a mix of legacy applications and internal technologies that organizations have acquired and built over the past decades. With complex technology blueprints, as organizations seek to migrate to the cloud, there must be an overall strategy that identifies cloud providers, how data will be managed, and how the organization’s applications will function in a new landscape.

An effective cloud migration strategy would also clarify the key migration features/priorities and any related dependencies. It should also include a data platform modernization plan and key data capacity migration/deployment options and plan.

With the cloud migration strategy, organizations can leverage it to identify and execute the most customized transition from on-prem to cloud, lower costs, minimize disruption.

Cloud cost management

While the benefits of better scalability and agility through cloud migration are naturally appealing, poorly managing the skyrocketing costs of migrating and maintaining the cloud can erode the added value for organizations.

To maximize the cloud benefits and ensure that the benefits of migration are not mitigated by poor budget management, organizations should have a cost management system to ensure that all realized expenses are in line with the original budget or expectation.

As a starter, cloud cost management generally includes the strategies to optimize and rationalize cloud costs during the migration journey and clear KPIs to understand costs. Furthermore, organizations should negotiate with cloud service providers to clearly understand the prices and discounts before the start of the migration. As organizations migrate more workloads to the cloud, they can group their workloads based on the cloud service and adopt different service discounts (for example, DBMS or Virtual Machine can save anywhere from 15% to 65% off.

The cost management can help the organization clearly understand the costs involved in cloud migration, avoid unforeseen surprises and subsequent fact-finding exercises that often derail cloud migration initiatives.

Streamlined legacy system migration approach

Although legacy systems have a reputation for being old, inefficient and deployed on outdated infrastructure, they are undoubtedly still important to business and are the backbone of many companies. Modernization of legacy systems thus becomes a central pillar of overall cloud migration, as they are generally key to organizations’ efforts to create modern experiences for their customers and partners.

Legacy systems usually fall short of meeting ideal business needs for fitness, value and agility. A legacy system migration approach provides guidance on how to evaluate the legacy systems in addition to mapping the legacy systems to the “Replace, Rebuild, and Re-architect” mitigation options. It will also outline these choices based on cost, risk and business suitability, which will ultimately help identify the best option (minimum effort and maximum positive impact) map to the legacy system workload in the organization.

Cloud migration is a journey full of business process and technology challenges. Since Cloud is critical to your business strategy, these four approaches can help better manage and structure migration initiatives, avoid common pitfalls, and increase your likelihood of a successful migration through each step of your migration journey.

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