By moving to a scalable and secure Cloud environment, companies can innovate faster and remain competitive. Any business that’s done its homework on Cloud migration knows that the project cannot be successful without a strategic plan. However, what many businesses don’t realize is that once the migration is complete, that strategic approach is not over. It simply shifts to strategic maintenance.
Post-migration, new challenges can arise. To prevent major disruptions, the company and the IT department should align early on. It’s important to keep communication lines open to ensure everyone is working towards the same goals. A cohesive strategic vision is key. Once the migration is running in full swing, there are new considerations to plan for. This is the time to think “bigger picture”. How will the team adapt? What kind of security protocols are in place? Do we have a plan to monitor the Cloud environment? As you navigate post-migration strategic maintenance, keep the following tips in mind:
Implement Change Management
Change management in Cloud migration is just as important as with any other technology initiative. It’s a mistake to focus exclusively on managing the technology when the processes and people will also be affected.
Applications running in the Cloud can alter the roles and responsibilities of the users. This is especially true for compliance, human resources, and legal teams. It’s also possible that some roles will need to be adjusted or added. To manage your Cloud environment, will you need architects? DevOps engineers? Cloud security analysts? Recognize where roles and responsibilities of existing team members will evolve and if any skills gap must be filled to adjust to the new normal.
The transition also requires internal leadership and the right messaging, so users understand the value of the change. Ongoing education and proper training are necessary to get users comfortable and help them adapt. According to a 2019 Forrester survey, most organizations doing Cloud migration did not realize until after the fact that their training was insufficient. Change management ensures the training plan is fully scoped, so teams won’t be left dangling.
Create a change management plan with your migration partner and build an internal team of leaders to help implement it.
Reduce Risk with Governance
A Cloud environment has a great deal of potential, but because it’s so agile, it also requires ongoing governance. Adding some control and management activities post-migration will prevent unbudgeted costs and underutilization and reduce potential risk and compliance issues.
The governance plan should continuously measure and monitor the Cloud environment. Automated application health checks are a proactive way to do this.
Historical operational data should also be maintained in case you need it for comparison or as a reference for a compliance or security issue.
Implement Testing & Security Protocols
You’re testing throughout the migration; you should also be testing after the migration. In addition to the health checks you’ll perform with your governance, re-testing should be performed any time the application is modified.
For security, start by ensuring your Cloud provider offers standard security measures like secure authentication, user identity management, and access control. If you have a hybrid Cloud environment, it’s especially crucial for IT to ensure the physical security of the database and its entire supporting environment.
Without proper testing and security protocols post-migration, data storage could be compromised, and data breaches could become a greater concern. Most data breaches are the result of poor data management and security, or human failure. Avoid both by setting a standard for testing and security that all IT staff can follow.
Use Back Ups to Prevent IT Downtime
Depending on the set up of your solution ecosystem, you may want to consider a multi-location or a multi-cloud environment as a backup. Spreading out the workloads over multiple locations reduces the risks of downtime if something fails. Whether you’re using multiple locations or Clouds to maintain this, make sure they have proper backup capabilities and disaster recovery protocols.
As the saying goes, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Don’t start any migration initiatives without a strategic plan, and don’t stop strategizing just because the migration is complete. Maintaining the momentum of your Cloud project requires attention to detail and a team effort. Keep all stakeholders involved in your migration project from beginning to end – and then-some. If you need help with a Cloud migration, contact our team today.
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