Why Organizations are Migrating Systems to the AWS Cloud

Why Organizations are Migrating Systems to the AWS Cloud

Some companies, such as ecommerce businesses, are built from the ground up on the cloud, while others have a more traditional operating model, but all can benefit from using the cloud in their operations. Some of the primary reasons include:

Achieve Business GrowthBusiness growth is one of the top benefits organizations have realized as a result of cloud adoption. Cloud gives you the power to expand infrastructure quickly, test innovations faster, and accelerate technology driven go-to-market plans and potentially accelerate business growth.

Increase EfficiencyEfficiency is a top area organizations strive to improve by going to the cloud. At its core, efficiency is about removing unnecessary steps to streamline processes in order to increase productivity or deliver on customer requirements faster. As a result, increasing efficiency also supports business growth.

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Improve Customer and User ExperienceOrganizations are looking to the cloud to improve the quality of the customer experience. Customers expect and demand that the applications they use are always up and available no matter where the user is trying to access them from. Cloud adoption delivers on this promise while also allowing new channels of engagement and improved workplace productivity which all adds up to more satisfied, repeat customers who will promote your service to others.

 IT AgilityCloud technologies improve IT agility and enable IT to be more responsive to business needs and react faster to market changes. It makes responding to down services and alerting customers faster, easier, and cheaper, which leads to happy and engaged users. The user is no longer in the dark and IT is no longer consumed with traditional application and hardware management tasks. In addition, cloud technologies are easy to enhance and adapt to accommodate changing business needs.

Faster Development and QAFor organizations with developers, the cloud offers on-demand test and development environments which streamlines the development cycle into a more agile environment where changes happen faster. 

Cost ManagementThe cost driver has two sides: reducing IT expenses and restructuring these expenses to spread them out over time. Expenses shift from upfront Capital Expenses to monthly Operating Expenses.

 Assurance and ReliabilityAssurance is the idea that data is more secure in the Cloud and that organizations will attain better uptime because its solutions are maintained by AWS, which has built its business around these competencies and has shown proven success.

Steps to a Cloud Migration

1. Strategy
Organizations must have a clear strategy, map out a realistic project timeline, and limit the number of variables and dependencies for transitioning on-premises applications to the cloud.

2. Planning Steps
To ensure a smooth transition, several points should be taken into consideration including implementing a comprehensive alert management system as early in the process as possible.

Here are the five planning steps which should be in every cloud migration plan:

  1. Plan your Migration
    • Assess your current cloud operational maturity including people, process, and technology
    • Validate business cases for applications and services that can provide financial and operational benefits from migrating to AWS
    • Develop a cloud planning roadmap for getting to your desired state including procurement strategies, capacity planning, vendor management, and cloud operating models

  2. Discover your Assets
    • Build a holistic view of all your data center assets, IT portfolio, and their relationship to AWS assets and services
    • Take inventory of all of your assets before deciding what to migrate to the cloud
    • Define all dependencies to ensure that nothing breaks during or after a migration
    • Visualize assets and dependencies in a single view, whether on premises or in existing public or private cloud

  3. Forecast Your Cloud Costs
    • Understand the cost of migrating to AWS before you make the move
    • Simulate migrations to AWS services and deploy the right resources at the right cost
    • Align cloud expenses with business needs and resource costs
    • Leverage the move to find efficiencies and reduce costs
    • Review your workflows (systems and people) to determine what resources may be eliminated or repurposed

  4. Development a Monitoring and Alert Plan
    • Take a holistic approach to monitoring and managing on-premise and cloud solutions through a single pane of glass
    • Map your assets to their ideal teams and implement appropriate control and alerting
    • Implement a company-wide monitoring and alerting process – sending the right alerts to the right people at the right time
    • Include: multiple communications channels, rich Notifications, on-call schedules, detailed tracking, escalations.

  5. Ensure Compliance and Security
    • Find and fix security risks and compliance gaps
    • Verify security and policy-based compliance across AWS production environments
    • Enhance visibility of security and compliance posture within your monitoring platform

 

Next, look deeper into how you want to move your applications. Below are six strategies to move your applications:

1. Re-host - A common approach of preparing AWS resources for an application, then migrating the application, data, and track to the new application. The application is basically unchanged. This is the most common application migration strategy.

2. Re-platform - Make a few cloud optimization changes during the migration in order to achieve some tangible benefit without changing the core architecture of the application. For example, migrating from an on-premise database to an AWS managed database such as Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).

3. Repurchase - A decision to move to a different product, which likely means the organization is willing to change the existing licensing model it has been using. An example is a move from a home-grown CRM to one hosted in the cloud.

4. Refactor / Re-architect - Driven by a strong business need to add features, scale, or performance that would otherwise be difficult to achieve in the application’s existing environment. This tends to be the most expensive migration solution.

5. Retire - Identify IT assets that are no longer useful and can be turned off– helping boost your business case and direct your attention towards more widely used applications.

6. Retain - Retain portions of your IT portfolio on-premise because there are some applications that: are not ready to migrate, you feel more comfortable keeping on-premises, or you are not ready to prioritize.


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