Businesses understand the importance of digitization. They are quickly updating their processes and systems by modernizing them and making them future-ready. A critical part of this change is migrating their systems and processes onto the cloud. As per a forecast by Gartner, worldwide spending on public cloud services is estimated to grow by 23.1% in 2021 compared to 2020. It will be worth $332.3 billion in 2021 as compared to $270 billion in 2020. You have to choose the best way to migrate your existing systems to the cloud as a business.

This blog discusses 5 different cloud migration strategies that you may evaluate and choose the right one for your business.

1. Retire

The first strategy that you may consider is "Retire." A business performs a complete analysis of business-wide systems and processes. During the evaluation phase, it identifies the processes that no longer add much value. After the evaluation, if the businesses conclude that these processes can be eliminated without impacting the organization's efficiency, one may choose to retire them or, in simpler words, discontinue them.

It will help a business save money and the time and effort of migrating these non-critical processes onto the cloud. Later on, post the migration, as the number of these processes would be less, it will be easier to manage, maintain, and support them.

2. Retain

Many companies would have built some systems internally as per their specifications and requirements. It may be in the form of legacy systems. However, these legacy systems might be highly critical to the functioning of the system.

It may also be a case wherein the investment into the existing systems is very high, and from a financial point of view, it is not feasible to migrate these systems.

Also, it may be mandatory for businesses to store data in-house as per the local rules and regulations in specific industries. In such a scenario, you may have to "retain" these processes in-house and choose not to migrate them.

In such a scenario, the migrated processes must communicate seamlessly with the retained ones. If there are compatibility issues, then it can be a precarious proposition for the business.

3. Rehost

It is one of the most popular cloud migration strategies. It simply means that you migrate all the systems, processes, data, software, and solutions a business uses and host it on a cloud. In other words, you use the cloud service provider to host all your physical and virtual assets. In this case, the cloud service provider shares its "Infrastructure as a Service," i.e. IaaS. The rehosting strategy is also known as the "Lift and Shift" strategy.

This strategy is beneficial for growing businesses. They do not have massive databases or complex legacy systems to migrate, so migrating to the cloud can be less cumbersome and cost-effective. It requires far lesser effort to rehost the existing applications and can be executed quickly as compared to other strategies in most cases.

A limitation of this strategy is that the applications cannot be optimized as they are only hosted on the cloud infrastructure and not built to take advantage of the clouds' native features.

4. Re-platform

In this strategy, the legacy systems are tweaked and optimized to take advantage of the cloud's native features. The core architecture of the systems remains the same. Only a few aspects of the applications are changed and updated. Post-updating, the systems are deployed using virtual machines. It helps in making the legacy systems compatible with the cloud framework and architecture.

It helps businesses modernize their systems and take advantage of the cloud's native features and functionalities. It can also help overcome a significant disadvantage of legacy systems which is scalability. It can be a great strategy if you cannot move away entirely from your legacy systems yet want to make them futuristic.

It can be challenging to modernize the existing legacy systems and update them to ensure compatibility with the cloud infrastructure and framework. It requires technical expertise and can be a time-consuming and costly exercise.

5. Re-architect or Re-factor- or Rip and Replace

It involves the complete overhaul of all the systems, processes, and databases. All the aspects of the existing systems are discarded. A new environment is built from the ground up. Hence, it's known as re-architecture. This new system has similar features and functionalities as the previous system and, once ready, would ultimately replace it.

In some cases, the business migrates to the cloud and uses the native cloud application developed by the service provider. It is known as using the "Software as a Service," i.e., SaaS. The most significant advantage is that as a business, you can scale as you grow, pay-per-use, and get all the benefits of the native features that a cloud-based system offers.

It can be extremely time-consuming and the riskiest of all strategies if not implemented correctly. A business can end up with a system that may be less effective. It would mean that all the effort and monies invested would go down the drain.

Also, suppose there is a massive difference between the previous system and the new system. In that case, the employees may experience a steep learning curve and take some time to get acquainted with the new systems and processes. If the effort to adapt to this new environment is considerably high, the company may face resistance from the employees.

If you are planning for cloud migration and need assistance identifying the best cloud migration strategy for your business; you can schedule a call with Cloud Migration experts, at Direction Software.

Direction Software is a multicultural Information Technology Solutions and Business consulting company with Indo-German Management, headquartered in Mumbai, India.

We offer E-Business consulting, Back Office Support, Bespoke solutions on .Net, Java & open-source platforms, Business Intelligence, and Mobility Solutions. We are one of the earliest Microsoft partners in India and have been a leading Microsoft Gold Partner since 2002.

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