After conducting your infrastructure’s preliminary audit, your migration architect may suggest you go with application refactoring to have a solution that is more future-proof or may suggest you pick the lift-and-shift approach if you want to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. The only issue is that your know-how of the cloud migration strategies could be limited. But that’s not a problem as we are going to discuss the 6 most prevalent cloud migration strategies in this article and the factors that impact them. So, let’s walk through the article step by step.
Choosing the Right Cloud Migration Strategy
Your cloud migration strategy not only impacts the reliability and performance of your applications but also the duration and cost of your cloud migration. While some strategies perform well but could be more time-consuming, some strategies let you have a quick migration but with poor performance. Our objective is to pick one that creates a balance between performance, time, and cost.
As far as choosing the right cloud migration strategy is concerned, the best way to do it, however, is by following a discovery & assessment process. The process involves the creation of a comprehensive inventory of the current applications and systems through which the cost & effort involved is estimated based on the needs & goals of your organization. A cloud migration strategy is so imperative because outlining the entire migration process guides your executive and engineers in taking the right decision throughout the process.
The 6 Cloud Migration Strategies and Factors Impacting Them
In 2010, Gartner introduced the 5 R’s of cloud migration that were “Rehost, Refactor, Revise, Rebuild, and Replace”, on which our cloud migration strategies are commonly based. Let us go ahead and discuss each strategy in detail along with the factors that impact them.
Also, called Lift and Shift, Rehosting cloud migration strategy involves simple deployment of the applications on the cloud environment. Though it is the most cost-effective, fastest, and easiest strategy, it has a limitation too and that is the least optimization of cloud applications.
Ideally, you should opt for the rehosting strategy if your business needs a faster cloud migration or is a large-scale enterprise. You could always optimize the cloud applications later down the line even after the transition has taken place.
There isn’t much difference between rehosting and re-platforming. The basic principle is the same just that in re-platforming a few changes dedicated for compatibility and optimization are made.
Let’s take an example here. Let’s say your organization uses various third-party platforms & solutions for tracking and monitoring the usage, payment portals, artificial intelligence (AI), etc., for which you pay licensing fees. However, while moving to the cloud, you might want to save costs by making use of the equivalent tools/ services provided by the cloud service provider(CSP) for your cloud environment. This is when re-platforming takes place while a cloud migration.
Also, called Refactoring, or Rip & Replace, Re-architecting is the strategy in which the real refactoring of code takes place. It is usually implemented in a situation when the original architecture or codebase of an organization has become obsolete, and that the organization wants to capitalize on the proprietary features offered by any CSP. Here, you can take the example of a company that has a monolithic architecture and that wants to switch to a fully serverless architecture. They would need to refactor their entire code. They may also require to change their earlier development frameworks.
Also known as Drop & Shop, repurchasing is a cloud migration strategy in which an organization purchases a platform or a software license for replacing an earlier cloud-based platform or its proprietary system. This strategy is ideal in case you already have a platform with all the features your business needs. Building equivalent corporate platforms from the scratch will incur unnecessary costs.
The retiring strategy is all about eliminating obsolete applications for simplifying the future cloud ecosystem. By getting rid of such applications, you can enhance efficiency and scalability, particularly in your legacy infrastructure, which mainly uses a monolithic architecture that becomes enormously cluttered and disorganized over time. Moreover, through microservices, the obsolete application functionality could be added to another application.
The reverse of retiring, retaining is keeping the applications where they are and not moving to the cloud even if they are technologically obsolete. Here are a few reasons why you do it:
- Your application is too big to migrate in one go
- You can’t bear the lengthy downtime
- You aren’t making considerable cost savings through it
The Final Words
Cloud migration has become essential for any business and every business now if they want to overcome the challenges of the evolving technology. At the same time, it is also a matter of great accountability, and that any type of goof-up can cost you hugely instead of saving you capital. The evaluation and assessment of your business needs during the discovery phase itself are crucial to choosing the right cloud migration strategy. To do that, however, you will need a cloud expert say a migration architect who could not only conduct comprehensive audits but also create inventory, and bestow you with the right technical guidance to make informed decisions.
1: Faster Time to Market
Rapid response is crucial irrespective of whether it is a predictable or an unpredictable event. While in the case of a predictable event you are prepared, an unpredictable one can land you in trouble if you don’t use the cloud. Your on-premises applications may be too slow for structuring, expanding, and scaling up operations. This limitation can put you at a disadvantage, especially when you compare your business with other rapidly growing businesses. However, at the same time cloud allows faster deployments with rarer work slowdowns while implementations. Moreover, with the cloud, you need not burn cash in upgrading your infrastructure. Taken together, all this helps you achieve a better bottom-line.
2: Costs Reduction
Irrespective of whether you are a large organization or an SME, on-premises IT installation can be expensive for you. The time, effort, and money that you need to put into maintaining, upgrading, and repairing the hardware can thwart you from paying attention to your core business. By leveraging the power of the cloud, however, you can get rid of all these investments & responsibilities, and can focus on improving your business bottom-line. Moreover, many studies in past have revealed that the total cost of ownership is considerably low in the case of a cloud-based ERP system than the traditional software implementations.
3: Supply Chain Integration
You usually source fabricated and raw materials from several different suppliers from across the globe. The cloud provides you with an integrated view of your network suppliers, logistics, producers, and of course the distribution channels. So, viewing, managing, and controlling of sourcing of these materials becomes quite easy with the cloud. Through the fully integrated supply chain system, manufacturing businesses can track the supplies that in turn help them in meeting manufacturing & delivery deadlines.
4: Rapid Growth
Let’s suppose you want to launch a new branch at a different location. Unlike legacy IT infrastructure, you need not make huge investments in installing expensive hardware in case of cloud deployments. With the cloud, you can easily scale up to meet the growing needs of your growing business, without needing to put much effort, time, and money.
5: Enhanced Efficiency
Since several steps of the business processes could be automated for eliminating duplicate data entry and replacing manual activities, the cloud enhances the productivity of manufacturing operations. Not just that, through a cloud-based ERP system, the collaboration between departments as well as with distributors & suppliers can be improved. Besides, the cloud enables real-time access to information related to tools, equipment, materials data, and even employees, helping you improve manufacturing efficiency even more.
6: Faster Cycle Times
Though sounds trivial, incorrectly entered data if not caught in time can not only cost you money but can also damage your reputation. It could be anything product configuration, payment information, price to quotes, delivery addresses, etc., a delay in detecting the incorrectly entered data can land you in trouble. However, through cloud-based automated customer approval workflows, quoting, and pricing, you can ensure the orders are accurate. This accuracy accelerates the cycle times.
7: Improved Customer Experience
An enriched customer experience has become quite crucial in the digital ecosystem of today. However, with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions based on the cloud, the entire customer journey can be easily and efficiently managed on a single platform. So, manufacturing companies can quickly address and resolve customer queries and issues.
The Final Words
The seven most apparent factors driving cloud adoption in the manufacturing industry are digitalization, budget constraints, skill gap, enhanced customer experience, acquisitions & divestitures, and supply chain visibility. Based on these factors, mentioned above were the top seven ways cloud computing is specifically benefitting the manufacturing businesses. There are several other benefits of the cloud in general such as improved operational resilience, security, agility, flexibility, sustainability, backup & disaster recovery, etc.
However, to reap the maximum benefit from your cloud, you must carry out thorough research and create an effective cloud migration strategy before you move to the cloud. If you think you need supplemental support you can contact an MSP as most of them provide cloud migrations for the manufacturing industry as well.
Migrate to Cloud with LogicEra!
If you are a manufacturing company looking for cloud migration services in UAE, the good news is the world leader in providing cloud services, Microsoft Azure is among many UAE Cloud Service Providers. Moreover, as discussed above, if you are finding cloud migration difficult to handle yourself, you can take help from an MSP. One of the most trusted partners of Azure and a reputed MSP in the UAE & UK is LogicEra. The MSP is renowned for accomplishing seamless migration processes within the shortest possible time. Click here to get a free POC (Proof of Concept).