How to perform a cloud migration postmortem
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Performing a cloud migration is no small task. (Ask anyone who has been involved in the process and they’ll tell you as much.) And completing a cloud migration certainly calls for celebration. But often, that celebration comes too soon.
A cloud migration isn’t complete the moment you’ve moved your applications, systems, and IT processes to the cloud—there’s still a lot that can go wrong. You need an endgame. What happens after you’ve moved to the cloud?
Your cloud migration strategy should cover not only the migration itself, but also the steps after the migration—the postmortem. By reflecting on and evaluating your cloud migration process, you can help ensure your applications and systems run (and continue to run) smoothly.
A cloud assessment should take into account cost, efficiency, and security. Keep reading to learn how to perform a cloud migration postmortem that will help ensure your cloud migration process was worthwhile.
What is a cloud migration postmortem?
Before getting into anything else, let’s address an obvious question: What exactly do we mean by a cloud migration postmortem? When you perform a cloud migration, you move your applications, servers, and other IT systems to the cloud. The postmortem (or assessment) is everything immediately after—this might include cleanup, training, restructuring, and more.
If you’ve developed a cloud migration strategy, you’ve probably figured out that there are plenty of cloud migration challenges. A cloud assessment can help alleviate these challenges and, more importantly, prevent them from causing future problems. There are four main stages or areas of consideration in a cloud migration postmortem: closure, evaluation, refactoring, and your cloud center of excellence.
Remember how we mentioned cost, security, and efficiency as key areas to look at in your cloud assessment? The closure stage of your cloud migration postmortem helps improve each of those areas. So what does “closure” mean in cloud migration?
Think of closure as a kind of cleanup stage. After performing a cloud migration, your team will need to do two things to tie up any loose ends: Shut down and remove any redundant systems and sever any superfluous network connectivity. (If you’re familiar with the 6 R’s of cloud migration, closure goes hand-in-hand with the final two R’s—retire and retain.)
It’s easy to lose track of specific systems in the hustle and bustle of cloud migration—and this means you’ll have to be extra careful as you look for redundant and obsolete systems. Left unnoticed and unaddressed, these pre-cloud vestiges can continue to cost you money, as well as pose serious security liabilities.
Once you’ve gotten your systems and applications onto the cloud and closed any lingering redundancies, your team will likely take a collective sigh of relief—and you’ve earned it. But you’re not home free yet. Now it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the success of your cloud migration.
Start by asking two questions: How equipped are our employees to adapt to this new cloud-based system? And what new roles do we need to fill to continue operating smoothly from a cloud-based platform?
Cloud migration isn’t simply a change in technology—it impacts the way your employees do their jobs. Your cloud migration strategy should take this into account, outlining a plan for training, hiring, and restructuring employees as necessary.
Cloud-based systems and applications offer a lot of benefits, but they also introduce your company to new security risks. As you evaluate your migration, the next step is looking at the state of your security. As a general rule, you’ll want your cloud provider to offer secure authentication and user identity management.
And finally, consider how well-equipped your company is to handle downtime. The best defense is, in this case, planning ahead. By using a multi-location or multi-cloud approach, you can avoid ever leaving your clients high and dry.
Refactoring refers to the process of adapting, or rearchitecting, applications to make full use of cloud technologies. You might recognize refactoring as one of the 6 R’s of cloud migration, but refactoring can happen—and continue to happen—well after your initial migration.
If you don’t have the time or resources to overhaul applications during the initial migration, consider making small adjustments over time. Applications can be gradually fine tuned to help save you money and get the most out of the cloud.
Center of Excellence
At the end of a cloud migration, one thing is almost always true: You and your migration team will have learned a lot. And all of that knowledge you acquired will be valuable going forward. So how do you ensure it doesn’t go to waste? This is where a cloud center of excellence (or CCOE)luci comes in.
A cloud center of excellence is an internal team made up of individuals from across your organization. Their primary goal is to continue training, supporting, and researching to make your switch to the cloud as successful as possible. In short, they’re the in-house cloud experts—they should know the ins and outs of your company and its cloud applications and processes.
While some members of your migration team will return to their jobs after the migration is complete, consider pulling others for your own CCOE—their knowledge will be invaluable going forward.
As you build your cloud center of excellence, communication and collaboration are essential. Your cloud migration team should share their knowledge with the CCOE each step of the way to ensure an informed transition.
There’s just one problem: Collaboration is easier said than done. You’ll need a platform to help bring your migration team and CCOE together. Enter Lucidspark.
With Lucidspark, your migration team can share diagrams, whiteboard notes, and other visuals with the CCOE in real time. Both groups can access and edit to organize their thoughts simultaneously.
Preparing for a thorough cloud migration postmortem is critical to the long-term success of your cloud migration strategy. Take time to assess your goals, establish your baseline metrics, and decide how you will measure the success of your cloud migration.
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