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By Chris Castro, Solutions Architect
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When I was about five, I remember getting some money for my birthday. My friends and I went out and immediately spent the whole amount on a ton of candy. We couldn’t wait until we got home so we could eat it all right away, which (of course) resulted in a horrible stomach ache. It was my first experience with buyer’s remorse.

Lately, I’ve spoken to many people experiencing this same thing – buyer’s remorse – with their move to the cloud. They have more cloud than they can consume or run into sticker shock from unexpected costs and fees.

Migrating to the cloud has become a pivotal decision for many businesses because of its flexibility, efficiency, and opportunity for innovation. However, the journey to the cloud requires careful planning and consideration to ensure a smooth transition and optimal results. With that in mind, here are some key points to consider to effectively navigate your cloud migration journey and help you avoid buyer’s remorse.

Carefully Plan and Assess Your Cloud Migration

Before embarking on your cloud migration journey, it’s critical to define your purpose and core objectives. Knowing what you want to accomplish sets the foundation for your migration and helps you measure success post-implementation.

Your cloud migration plan should also include evaluation and assessments of your current IT infrastructure, applications, and data. This step is critical in helping you determine your migration strategy. Not all workloads are best suited for the cloud, so make sure to factor in the costs, risks, and dependencies to determine which are best suited for the cloud and which may be better to remain on-premises.

Part of your plan should also include a detailed monthly cost estimate to avoid surprises down the line. Workloads that require scalability from month to month are often good candidates for the cloud. Leverage cloud services that enhance affordability, keeping in mind that some applications may not benefit as much from the cloud.

Design for Flexibility and Cost Efficiency

While the cloud offers unparalleled agility, careful planning is essential to manage costs effectively. Flexibility is key to maximizing the cloud, so having the ability to shift workloads between cloud providers or back on-premises is a valuable strategy for cost optimization. Be aware that some vendors charge fees for moving data in and out of the cloud, so make sure to identify this upfront.

You should also look for a provider that allows you to leverage multiple cloud services in order to prevent vendor lock-in. You may need to move workloads from one cloud provider to another to reduce costs or leverage enhanced services. A flexible contract ensures that you have the freedom to adapt as your needs and requirements evolve, including the ability to make adjustments such as mergers and acquisitions or integrating other platforms.

Rather than throwing everything into the cloud at once, you should also consider a phased approach. Applications requiring additional work can be gradually refactored to optimize timelines and costs. This ensures a smoother transition and maximizes the economic benefits of cloud services.

Finally, make sure to plan for the safe storage and destruction of your data. This is often an overlooked consideration since cloud providers may own the encryption keys if the data is on their systems. Ensure that you either own the encryption keys or use a separate key provider to ensure an agnostic approach.

In summary, a successful cloud migration involves a strategic approach, careful planning, and understanding your company’s unique goals and requirements. By following these considerations, you can ensure your satisfaction (and avoid remorse) as you navigate the complexities of cloud migration.

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“Chris is a Solutions Architect with more than 16 years of experience in the IT industry. His strengths include storage solutions, virtualization, converged stacks, and disaster recovery and business continuance planning. He works with MicroAge clients to ensure they have long-term success by meeting business objectives with the correct technology partners.”

Chris CastroSolutions Architect

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