Public Cloud Migration: How to get it Right the First Time

There’s a common perception among businesses that shifting their infrastructure into the public cloud will produce immediate cost savings. It won’t.

On the journey to the public cloud, businesses need to get over three speed-bumps before they start realising a return on their investment:

  • They have to spend money before they save money. Shifting to the cloud almost always costs more than the business anticipates because there are almost always technical and business constraints.
  • The reality of doing business in South Africa means dealing with unstable electricity supply and inadequate telecommunications infrastructure to support a 100% public cloud set-up. In some instances, businesses may have to invest in other infrastructure, like a faster fibre line, before they can move workloads to the cloud.
  • Businesses often don’t take the time to understand the technical and business requirements and implications before diving in. They assume that a business case is enough. But, in truth, there’s a lot that needs to happen before they settle on a business case.

Start here

The first step in any cloud transformation journey is to move off ageing and underperforming on-premises hardware and shift to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service set-up that supports scalability. This usually happens during hardware refresh cycles or when the business mandates IT to move to the cloud. But a common mistake businesses make is to dive in without checking how deep the waters are – and many bump their heads.

But with more modern thinkers moving into the CIO role, most businesses appreciate that redeploying their operations into the cloud is the future, and so they take a ‘just do it’ approach, assuming that this is a good enough reason to shift. There is however a checklist they need to run through first. This is the journey we take our clients on, as their cloud migration partner. In planning any public cloud migration, we focus on five crucial elements:

  • Infrastructure

What are the impacts and requirements of servers, networks, identity, and security? Can your infrastructure support the move, or do you need to make additional investments first?

  • Data

Start with consolidating and converting high-yield, low-complexity workloads to Platform-as-a-Service models.

  • Compliance

Industry regulations, like those specific to financial organisations, will affect what data we can move to the cloud, how we move it, and what infrastructure, controls, and processes need to be in place.

  • Design and set up tenant

If the cloud tenant is not configured correctly, usage costs can quickly spiral out of control. Getting subscription, billing, and security configurations right is crucial to avoid cost overruns and ensure that specific departments are only billed for what they consume.

  • Due Diligence

We regularly review the pre-created tenants to ensure the business has a well-architected environment in place. We also identify areas for improvement from a business and technical point of view.