Accelerated by the pandemic, cloud adoption has increased by 25% in the past year. Seventy-two percent of security leaders state that cloud represents a top digital transformation priority. And more than 30% of enterprises are spending over $50 million on cloud infrastructure per year. Experts expect that the continued economic, business and social impact of the pandemic will encourage further adoption and innovation around cloud services.

Benefits of cloud computing include lower operating costs, reduced business complexity, increased scalability and more advanced security. Cloud migration success stories span industries. You can find them within the government, financial services, energy, aerospace, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors.

Cloud migration success stories

Executing an effective and successful cloud migration project is tough. Without proper planning, cloud migrations can turn into complex, protracted and expensive endeavors. Poorly planned migrations can result in operational disruptions, limited employee productivity and unanticipated costs.

CISOs who have ‘been there, done that’ in terms of cloud migrations say to “keep the mission” in mind; leaders should understand the ‘why’ behind moving to the cloud.

Cloud is a cornerstone of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) IT model. Whether or not it’s the right decision for a business depends on a key question, according to IT head of the Bin Dasmal Group, Umesh Moolchandani,“How much elasticity do your operations require?”

Cloud advantages

One primary advantage associated with the cloud includes its ability to efficiently scale up or down in conjunction with demand. Scaling does not involve extra costs, or service disruptions. For organizations that want to avoid the huge CAPEX expenses associated with on-prem scaling, cloud is a perfect solution.

Cloud risk assessment

Experts attest that ahead of starting a cloud migration project, security leaders should undertake thorough risk assessments. Organizations should plan for all contingencies. Says Chief Information Technology officer at Amer Group, Mohamed Saada, “I was really playing devil’s advocate with my team, putting on a pessimistic mindset and asking all the scary questions – what if this isn’t working, what if this happens…etc.”

Risk assessment helps organizations determine what to do in the event of an unexpected misconfiguration, or other error. Rather than pressing the panic button, organizations can reset and execute pre-constructed plans.

Migrating critical systems

To ensure that you emerge with cloud migration success stories, consider taking the time to identify critical systems and developing your cloud space around these systems. Then start migrating the larger ‘automation islands’ at the same time.

“These are the ecosystems that work best when integrated together.” They complement one another. “They also tend to be the most resource intensive…it’s best to identify ‘grouped’ components of the estate to migrate,” says Moolchandani. In other words, all planning applications can be moved simultaneously – avoid handling each system or tool individually.

Companies with a higher level of data maturity may wish to pursue a ‘data first’ approach, migrating data first and using the wealth of integration tools available for temporary legacy tool continuation.

Pro tip: Don’t move systems during highly critical moments. Try to navigate around events such as product releases, quarterly financial reporting, and major projects due to go live in production environments.

Prepare for the unknown

As noted earlier, it’s worth reviewing worst-case scenarios in order to prepare for unknowns. Despite full simulations prior to migrations, certain events can still catch leaders off-guard. For example, despite bandwidth capacity, a Windows update running in the background could massively slow down migration speeds.

End-user awareness

In transitioning any application to the cloud, remember the end-user. Employees often retain their own unspoken ‘best practices’ for working quickly and productively. If the cloud migration disrupts their processes, you may unintentionally jeopardize their future engagement with and adoption of cloud services.

Cloud migration + security

Cloud migration success stories conclude with the implementation of strong security. Data from IDC and Ermetic indicates that more than 95% of organizations have experienced a cloud security breach across the past few years.

How secure is your cloud? Get cloud security resources from the pros. See these 9 best practices for cloud security and key cloud security statistics that will reshape your cloud perspectives.