For many organizations, migrating data and apps to the cloud is necessary to meet customer demand, keep up with the competition, and make life easier for their staff. Of course, it’s also a major to-do that keeps CIOs up at night. Completing a successful migration from the mainframe to the cloud is a journey that takes time and resources, and requires careful planning to ensure business continues uninterrupted.
The rewards outweigh the risks, and cloud migration doesn’t have to give you nightmares (especially with a partner who has the right experience and expertise). One source of anxiety may come from the unexpected—necessary steps in the process that you may not have anticipated ahead of time. If you’re getting ready to assess your mainframe and cloud infrastructures, here’s what you need to know before embarking on your cloud migration.
Gaining a deeper understanding
Something that may help you see the value of developing and executing your cloud migration is gaining more than just apps and data in the cloud (though that is a lot in and of itself). You will gain a deep view of your organization—one you may never get otherwise.
Your IT organization probably hasn’t had the time or resources to do a level-set of your landscape: which apps are critical? Which are not? Oftentimes IT staff are so busy putting out fires that they wouldn’t otherwise make getting this data a priority. In an assessment for cloud migration, it’s an underrated part of the process that helps you know yourself better.
Get stakeholders involved from across your organization
As part of gaining this deep understanding into your organization, you will want to get to know your organization as a whole, including your different departments and their unique IT needs. This will include interviews with key stakeholders, building documentation, and minimizing impact on your business.
By learning from stakeholders and developing a greater understanding of your organization, you can plan outage windows that minimize the impact on day-to-day business and make better recommendations on what pieces to move.
If you’ve chosen to work with a managed service partner, you’ll need to give your partner more than what you think they have to know to achieve the above goals. That’s only possible with greater integration into your organization.
Think about after the migration
The work doesn’t stop when your migration is complete. This is an ongoing process as your organization and it's needs evolve.
What’s your plan for adding capacity as your organization grows? Do you have a contingency plan in case one of your environments suffers an outage? If you’re working with a managed service partner, have you thought about how your relationship with them will move forward after the migration is complete? Do they offer their own private cloud for hosting your data?
Most organizations are so focused on the actual migration that they haven’t planned further than that. It’s important to envision how your environments will be managed after the initial work is done, and if working with a partner, designating a liaison to serve as the single point of contact for your organization.
These three points all boil down to the importance of planning: to be proactive in anticipating the process and what to expect down the road as you maintain your mainframe and cloud infrastructures. These tips will help get your CIO some extra sleep and save your organization some of the headaches caused by unexpected steps in the process.