Your employer has decided to switch to cloud hosting services, and you are in charge. Your first step should be to plan your cloud migration carefully. Often, organizations do not expect how they will migrate from on-premise servers to cloud platforms.

It is an essential step without which you will not be able to harness cloud platforms’ complete potential. If not planned carefully, the migration might require more time for successful transfer than planned originally. This is one of the common mistakes made by IT managers. The migration is usually considered a hardware change, removing the old components and replacing them with new ones. Migration to cloud hosting services is a complete redesign of your application that changes the way people, including end-users, will interact with your system.

Before making the migration, many factors should be taken into account. Some are more obvious than others. We took the liberty to compile a few guidelines to help you make your migration to cloud sweat-free.

1. Available Resources VS Usage

Most of the time, people overestimate the resource requirements of their application. The minimum specification for the system is higher than what is actual usage profile. The minimum specification is the amount required for general operating by the software vendor, without considering the particular use case. You can gain an advantage in terms of efficiency by creating the right cloud infrastructure for your application. However, it would be best to choose the right cloud environment with the availability and resource utilization according to your needs.

To be cost-effective, you need to review the CPU resource patterns for your organization to meet the required availability. Organizations do not take into account the log-on stress in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and publishing services, which causes a dissatisfaction user experience. Such minor details should be taken into consideration when constructing the cloud environment.

2. Cost-Effective Licensing Models

How will you license your application? Will it be licensed per VM/core/complete infrastructure? Choosing any of these options can cause an impact on your cost implications. If the selected licensing model requires that all available resources be considered, even if they are not allocated to the clients, you’ll have a hike in the cost. If your model includes licensing per core while the cloud service provider doesn’t offer the per core configuration environment, your price will increase. It is essential to plan your licensing model thoroughly.

3. User Access Mechanisms

Take your current user access method into consideration and how it will change after the migration. During your planning, you should check on the impact it will have on your user experience and prepare them for the change. Will the IP address of the DNS entries required to be updated as a result of the migration, affecting the end-users? Will you be migrating users in batches or take the all-in-one-shot approach? Will users need to authenticate to ensure the connection, or will there be a WAN or MPLS network?

4. Security Protocols And Policies

Security policies and protocols should be your biggest concern. You need to reinforce protocols, so the required security criteria are met. Specific decisions regarding policy relaxation or transferring particular security responsibilities to the cloud provider may be required. On the other hand, you can integrate virtual or physical appliances that harmonize with the environment while supporting the security protocols.

5. IT Service Management

Maintenance of the environment, change procedure, service desk alignment, and general overview of the ITSM makes sure that the requirements are met. While most of the environment’s areas would be outsourced, you need to check whether all the protocols and policies are according to the demand. Things can quickly go wrong when there is a communication gap and unclear responsibilities.

6. Application Dependencies and Integration

Application dependencies are critical to understand to make your systems work correctly. Planners sometimes miss this part, resulting in unplanned changes, delays, and limited system functionality, ensuring that the application requirements are planned to plan step-by-step migration to a cloud environment.

7. Data Replication

Protecting data, tracking the way and the frequency in which data replicates, and the alignment of recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) of applications concerning their business criticality. This influences the architecture design hugely. Plan and mention the solutions for any data transfer, if necessary, in cost and space.

8. Application Architecture Requirements

Reviewing the applications not only for compatibility but also ensures the optimization of your cloud environment. Systems compiled as one large chunk make it challenging to scale up or down efficiently and quick response time, compromising the cloud platform’s agility.

Moving your whole business to cloud hosting services requires carefully thought planning and changing the application space, policies, and processes. Some software vendors may recommend you the all-on-cloud approach, but it might always be compatible with your application’s nature. A carefully designed plan that takes all the IT and business factors into account may yield a hybrid solution.

Many organizations are finding an infrastructure with a cloud at its core while being able to support physical infrastructures as well could be the best possible solution.