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How to cut costs with an effective data center exit strategy

Best Practices

In 2019, Gartner perhaps optimistically predicted in its ‘The Data Center is (Almost) Dead’ article that 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers by 2025. While traditional data centers remain an ideal option for some organizations, they present high costs and inefficiencies for many IT departments — especially those seeking to evolve their IT environment.

The cloud offers a scalable, easy-to-use, and cost-effective solution for many organizations. As a result, more and more IT departments are embracing the cloud as they recognize its key role in digital transformation.

While this trend signals a positive shift toward modernization, migrating an organization’s critical workloads to the cloud is a complex undertaking that requires thorough planning and careful execution to avoid business disruption and unexpected costs. But with the right partner and a comprehensive data center exit strategy, organizations can achieve a successful migration.

Navigating data center exit complexities

A data center exit poses a number of challenges for any team, regardless of size, budget, or internal expertise. Migrating IT resources from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud demands thorough planning and careful execution to avoid setbacks that result in wasted resources.

For example, IT teams may underestimate the complexity of a data migration project, which can result in data integrity issues and technical debt — i.e., the accumulation of outdated systems and applications that hinder efficiency and innovation. Moreover, organizations that fail to adequately map out their migration may face the daunting task of data repatriation if their needs and expectations aren’t met in the cloud.

These challenges underscore the importance of having an effective data center strategy. The right approach offers various benefits that support your organization’s digital transformation, from optimized resource allocation to application modernization. But you need a partner with deep expertise in data center consolidations and exits to ensure a smooth transition.

Planning your data center exit: 4 considerations

The complexity of data center migrations requires a coordinated strategy and expertise that extend beyond the capabilities of most internal IT teams. This makes it critical to identify a proficient partner that can help you navigate the transition.

The right partner can deliver an effective data center exit strategy by helping you:

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1. Understand your current IT infrastructure

The first step in preparing to exit your data center is for you and your partner to gain a comprehensive understanding of your existing IT infrastructure. Rather than viewing your ecosystem as individual components for separate teams to migrate in silos, look at your ecosystem holistically.

This involves analyzing your infrastructure’s components, the applications that depend on those components, and the interdependency between those applications. Your partner can facilitate and document a comprehensive analysis of your infrastructure, applications, and interdependencies so you can assess the impact of a migration on your environment.

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2. Balance migration with modernization

It’s important to upgrade certain applications and components as part of your migration to avoid technical debt that hinders innovation, flexibility, and scalability. Your partner can inventory your existing resources, then help you determine which applications require modernization to optimize resource utilization.

Modernization during migration can help you stay ahead of security issues by addressing known vulnerabilities or performance issues. Additionally, investing in technologies that enhance efficiency and addressing challenges upfront allows you to operate more cost-effectively. As a result, you can reinvest those dollars into further modernization to offset migration costs.

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3. Make thoughtful decisions on workload placement

A series of issues can arise if you proceed with a data center migration without considering the implications of your workload placements. For example, lift-and-shift migrations, where applications are transferred to the cloud without modifications, may not yield cost savings or enable applications to fully leverage the cloud’s modernization potential.

Additionally, egress charges can add unexpected costs to your migration as you move data in and out of the cloud. The right partner helps you carefully evaluate workload requirements and cloud capabilities to avoid these unnecessary expenses and ensure the success of your data center exit strategy.

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4. Establish end state governance upfront

Developing policies and procedures that determine how data will be managed, accessed, used, and disposed of is critical in protecting your organization from legal and regulatory risk. It also helps ensure secure data management and minimizes data management costs.

Search for partners that can help you establish these policies and develop an organizational process that acknowledges the changing skill sets required for governance. Additionally, reflect on your current budget planning process and consider adopting a more dynamic approach. Agility in governance and cost control allows you to maintain real-time visibility into spending and react quickly to market and business changes.

Why Ensono is the right partner to deliver your data center exit strategy

Data center exits are complex. Without the right approach, it’s easy to incur unnecessary costs, disrupt business operations, compromise data security, and hinder digital transformation.

With our extensive experience in data center migrations, Ensono can help you execute a more efficient data center exit that optimizes your IT infrastructure and reduces technical debt. Our data center exit and consolidation offering provides support at every stage of your migration so you can focus on core business objectives.

Get in touch to learn more about how we can develop and execute your data center exit strategy — ahead of deadline and without the unexpected costs.

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