Digital innovation enables organizations to deliver more value to their stakeholders than ever before. IT teams are constantly seeking ways to optimize operations, enhance scalability, and improve overall efficiency to enable and accelerate their organization’s digital initiatives. Migrating to cloud computing presents one path to achieving these outcomes. We aren’t simply referring to running workloads in a virtual computing instance or storing data in an object store. Migrating to cloud means embracing new, transformative, and sometimes disruptive operational models that may affect not only IT but also organizational stakeholders across the value chain. Navigating this journey presents some unique challenges and considerations.

A successful cloud migration journey consists of several key components and phases:

Assessment and Planning
Clients understand that a cloud migration journey requires a thorough assessment of their existing IT infrastructure and application landscape. Too often, however, clients overlook the two other key areas that must align for success: people and processes. A well-crafted cloud migration journey map assesses the specific goals of the organization to ensure its plan aligns with the organization’s business objectives. Factors such as security requirements, data sensitivity, regulatory compliance, and performance expectations must receive careful consideration. 

Cloud Service Provider Selection
Selecting an appropriate cloud provider presents a crucial decision that could significantly influence your migration journey success. A leading provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a great place to start, offering diverse services and tools tailored to various business needs. Initial considerations to help your organization determine which cloud service provider is the right fit for you should include costs, breadth of service catalog, geographic regions, and compatibility with existing technologies. 

Data Migration and Application Refactoring
Moving data and applications to the cloud requires careful planning to minimize the risk of disruption from unplanned outages, data loss, and security breaches. Data migration strategies vary depending on the nature of the data and the amount of data being migrated. Applications may need refactoring or rearchitecting to optimize their performance in the cloud. This phase demands meticulous attention to detail and rigorous testing to ensure a smooth transition.

Security and Compliance
Security remains a top concern for all organizations. That doesn’t change for a cloud migration journey. Organizations must implement robust security measures like data encryption, zero trust access, and threat detection and response mechanisms. Compliance with industry regulations and data privacy laws gets further consideration in the migration process as well. Collaborating with a cloud provider like AWS to understand their security offerings while leveraging best-in-class tools can bolster your organization's security posture in the cloud.

Monitoring and Optimization
After moving applications and data, organizations must continuously monitor and optimize their cloud environments. Cloud service providers offer tools that enable  IT teams to monitor resource usage, track performance, and identify opportunities for improvement. Scaling resources up or down as needed ensures cost-effectiveness and maintains optimal performance levels without the need to over-provision for peak demand.

Change Management and Governance
As mentioned, a successful cloud migration journey not only addresses technologies but also involves people and processes. Due to the ease and speed of provisioning new resources in the cloud, organizations need adequate change management and governance strategies to mitigate the risk of runaway costs. A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) aligns leadership, business, and IT stakeholders to balance the need for speed and agility with the need for governance and controls. A CCoE can also help employees adapt to new operational models. Offering training and support ensures your teams can fully leverage the capabilities of the cloud and align their workflows within the new ecosystem.

We offer clients services to help you in any phase of your journey. A Cloud Readiness Assessment for AWS helps clients in the planning and assessment phase align their operational and business objectives to a cloud migration journey to AWS. With a Cloud Mobilize Engagement, we help clients who have decided to undertake a migration launch a CCoE, map application dependencies, formulate a migration plan, and perform a pilot migration. This gives them the confidence to proceed to the migration phase. Of course, if a client wishes to have us perform their migration, we will tailor an individual service engagement and scope-of-work agreement to meet their objectives and timeline.

Remember, each migration presents a unique opportunity with no one-size-fits-all approach. By embracing the journey and collaborating with the AWS experts at CDW, IT organizations can unlock the potential of the cloud to drive their businesses forward in the digital age. The cloud migration journey presents organizations with a transformative opportunity to enhance their operational efficiency and scalability. With careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a keen focus on governance, we help organizations navigate this journey successfully. A carefully planned, well-executed cloud migration not only modernizes your IT infrastructure but also sets the stage for future innovations and growth.

Are you ready for a successful cloud migration?

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