Our teams have experience managing complex system integration projects and developing cloud strategies that align with our customer’s business objectives to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud.
Managed Cloud Infrastructure Services:
We have extensive experience in architecture design and provisioning for cloud infrastructure and applications, providing a full array of services in the initial planning stages, deployment, building cloud infrastructure, and to day-to-day cloud management.
- Planning and Deployment:
In the planning stage, our team learns about the customer’s business and applications. Using this information, our team designs the cloud infrastructure that supports the customer’s present and future business needs. Our Project Managers will ensure deployment is on time and of high quality using Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) industry standards.
- Building Optimal Cloud Infrastructure:
Once our team has designed the customer’s cloud infrastructure, our specialists will build the infrastructure. Our Project Management team will oversee the process to ensure transparent communication and timely completion of deliverables.
- Managing Your Cloud Infrastructure:
When the customer’s infrastructure is implemented and running, our Cloud Support Team will focus on maintaining the operation and will offer suggestions on processes and improvements to create a virtual cloud lifecycle. The Cloud Support Team consists of Cloud System Administrators, Database Administrators, Senior Support Engineers, Technical Account Managers and Project Managers.
Cloud Application Migration & Modernization Services:
IThere are plenty of reasons why this part of the digital transformation process continues to present a huge challenge for people—companies feel pressure to modernize, but they don’t always know what they’re getting into. While it’s admirable that companies are jumping into new business realities with both feet, it’s critical to consider:
- Which applications are the top migration priorities?
- What cloud service or services should we embrace?
- What does the road map look like before, during, and after migration?
- Who will implement any necessary changes systems impacted by the shift?
Without giving items like these the advanced consideration they deserve, you’re taking a big risk with your IT infrastructure.
Luckily, Intertec is here to help. From re-hosting to cloud-native development, we have developed successful strategies and playbooks that adapt to our customer needs.
We create cloud-native applications designed to embrace the most advanced and efficient cloud consumption models by leveraging microservices, containers and best-in-class PaaS, such as Azure Service Fabric and Mesosphere DC/OS.
What Defines a Successful Cloud Migration?
We’ll spend most of this article talking about what can go wrong when you’re making the shift to the cloud, but first let’s discuss what the process can look like when it goes right. Some CIO and other stakeholders tend to think of cloud services primarily in terms of cost savings, but in point of fact they’re catalysts for much larger operational changes. The trick is to keep those changes in view while you’re making the transition. In a perfect world, this might involve a few steps:
- Preparation: This could be auditing your existing servers and software licenses, preparing any operational data for transfer, assigning roles for who’ll take charge of what tasks, etc.
- Technical review: This is where you figure out which platforms actually meet your needs most effectively—whether that means relying solely on Azure for your entire migration, creating a hybrid model with AWS, etc., as well as choosing the specific applications. Here, you’ll need to get a handle on how your existing infrastructure will slot into these new environments.
- Testing: Before you go live with the new systems, you’ll need to make sure that you haven’t broken anything. As such, you’ll need a comprehensive testing plan that includes business cases relevant to your migration.
- Handover: Finally, it’s time to cut the cord and switch your business over to the new cloud-based system or systems. It might seem like the job is done at this point, but in reality, this is a crucial moment for gaining buy-in from daily software users, getting the entire relevant team or teams on the same page with regards to new best practices, and dealing with any aftercare or troubleshooting that arises.
The Cloud Migration Roadmap
Generally speaking, though, there are a few discrete steps that you’ll want to take for a successful migration:
- Designate a migration architect: This will be someone who has significant expertise in the applications or databases that are actually being migrated, such that they can see potential pitfalls and analyze the implications of different approaches. This person will set the agenda and gather the necessary resources for the project.
- Choose a cloud provider: Based on your initial discussions, you can choose a single vs. multi-cloud setup, public vs private cloud, hybrid cloud, etc. Right now, most businesses wind up deploying with multiple different cloud providers across the various touchpoints within their businesses, but the right approach will depend on the individual business.
- Set baselines and KPIs: Which business problems are you trying to solve? What metrics will tell you whether you’ve successfully solved the problem or not? How are you doing on those metrics right now? By establishing the answers to these questions up front, you’ll be in a much better position to create alignment between your plan and your actual business goals, meaning that you’re much less likely to realize after the deployment that you’ve solved the wrong problem.
- Set your migration priorities: You can think of this a little like a production plan in a factory—you need to figure out which steps logically follow from one another, such that you can establish an order of operations. This will function as your practical road map as the IT team and other stakeholders work to get the new cloud service or database up and running.
- Refactor as needed: It would be nice if everything went smoothly and your applications ported over to the cloud with minimal fuss, but in all likelihood that’s not going to be what happens. More likely, you’ll need to do some refactoring and make some other modifications to existing code on the fly in order to keep things moving—it’s best to plan for this in advance in terms of time and resources.
- Make the switch, review, and perform aftercare: Obviously, this brings us to the end goal—actually going live with your new cloud-hosted service. From there, your KPIs will help guide you as to whether it’s meeting your needs, and will point you in the right direction as you get ready to perform aftercare and make additional tweaks.
There’s plenty of depth to this topic, but this outline should give you a basic sense of what the project might look like in the abstract. The devil is the details, though; oftentimes, businesses will find that there are any number of pitfalls lurking within these steps.
Challenges in Cloud Migration
Most of the challenges that come along with these kinds of migrations revolve around two things: money and time. Cloud migrations are typically framed around ROI (return on investment) and TCO (total cost of ownership), such that any decision you make needs to square with those goals in the long, medium, and short term. As such, delays and large outlays of resources can really derail an entire migration project. That means that if you choose the wrong cloud provider and have to start the selection process over again because someone on the team failed to check whether they meet your compliance standards, your odds of achieving ROI go down. Likewise, if the migration team is strapped for resources and can’t get the project done on time, you’re once again potentially looking at a much slower turnaround for recouping your investment.
This fact is worth of special consideration precisely because the migration process is so subject to unforeseen pitfalls and hurdles. This goes beyond just delays: in one report, it was discovered that nearly two-thirds of cloud security incidents that had been disclosed publicly were the result of cloud misconfigurations during setup. This ought to give a sense of the level of complexity—and the stakes—that are involved in this process.
What Are Your Alternatives to In-House Migrations?
As you may be gathering from context clues, cloud migrations tend to go smoothest when they’re being managed and driven by experts—particularly by experts who have clear alignment with existing business goals. This means that the in-house versus outsourced debate we’ve been sketching out actually boils down to something pretty simple: if your company has expertise in managing cloud migrations, in-house is probably the way to go; if you’re not cloud experts, it’s probably not.
If you fall into the second camp, you might consider partnering with an IT services company or other migration provider to outsource your cloud migration. This can have a few distinct advantages:
- Capacity: Rather than scrambling to find resources within your own company (who might be working on other projects), you can rely on experts who are available when, where, and how you need them. If you’re working with someone who can also provide ongoing support, this means that you won’t have to make long-term capacity utilization decisions to support the migration.
- Expertise: Most companies will only develop an interest in technology like cloud computing once they’ve already decided that it’s time to modernize their applications. This means that they’re often starting from scratch, knowledge-wise, and their teams will be prone to rookie mistakes. If you partner with someone for whom this process is second nature, you won’t be subject to these same mistakes.
- Support: Rather than keeping IT staff around to manage the problems that will inevitably crop up after the initial deployment, you can continue to rely on your outsourcing partner to manage any ongoing service issues.
Two additional advantages worth noting: if you go nearshore or offshore for help, you’d potentially be looking at costs up to 30% lower than you’d pay for developers in the US. Plus, since your developers wouldn’t have to expend capacity on ongoing maintenance issues with your cloud platform, they could reap the full benefits of software modernization—meaning that their processes will all run that much more smoothly going forward.