As more businesses adopt cloud services at a greater scale, the need to leverage AI and automation for cloud migration success has increased.
This article explores the move to the cloud, how businesses can leverage AI and automation to support this, while also looking at what success looks like in a cloud migration.
The move to the cloud – why?
Businesses are moving critical workloads to the cloud at an accelerated rate. This trend was sped up during the pandemic, but the dial was always moving in this direction.
The reason for this, according to Rob Duffy – head of solution development at Cloudreach – is that the move to the cloud “allows businesses to be more agile and respond faster to changing customer conditions and customer expectations.”
The cloud allows businesses to access an enormous amount of services and capabilities, which democratises information and technology across an organisation, from advanced computer services, such as AI and machine learning to data and analytics platforms. Previously, access to these services would have been prohibitivly expensive and only been available in an off-premise data centre.
“The move to the cloud enables businesses to stop focusing on the limitations of their IT infrastructures and extend their capabilities both internally and for their customers,” continues Duffy.
“It allowed businesses in sectors like retail and healthcare, especially during the pandemic, to quickly pivot their business and change the way in which they delivered their services to customers.”
Cloud migration and the challenge of data
The biggest challenge in a cloud migration process isn’t the technical process of moving the workload from an on or off-premise data centre to the cloud. Instead, the greatest challenge surrounds data and gathering all of the right information ahead of the migration.
Why is this a challenge? Data is scattered throughout organisation’s in many formats, whether it’s in a formal CMDB systems or informal spreadsheets..
To identify where the right data is and gather it from multiple sources and to bind all of it into one data model or single source of truth, organisations need to adopt automated tools.
“Using this data to inform an organisation’s migration process is crucial in its success and makes the entire process easier for customers and companies like Cloudreach, who act as a service integrator,” adds Duffy.
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Leveraging AI and automation for cloud migration
Leveraging AI and automation, and integrating these tools into the cloud migration process improves the successful adoption of business critical services to the cloud.
As Duffy highlights, AI and automation is essential in the data gathering process.
“It’s important to use automated tooling to gather data, such as our tool – Cloudamize – which gathers all the information at hundreds of data points about every piece of infrastructure and every application that a customer has in their environment,” he says.
“This is all brought back into a data model that we can then analyse and use tooling to aggregate the data into a manageable format,” he adds.
This type of automated tool allows businesses to then make informed decisions about how they’re going to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud.
In a large migration program, this process allows organisations to create a playbook of how to automatically migrate certain types of applications of workloads to the cloud, by creating a set of individual rules. For example, when migrating a production application that’s public facing, organisation’s need to apply a different set of rules and a different set of migration steps to that application, compared to something that’s in a test environment. Without using an automation tool to set these rules, the whole process would have to be done manually at a greater cost, with more errors and more time committed.
Smart Migration advantages
There are a number of advantages that customers will experience when leveraging AI and automation during the cloud migration process.
1. The migration process – the whole process runs much smoother, with greater accuracy and the automation of data gathering allows product (and application) owners to continue to focus on their roles.
“The automated process eliminates approximately 40% of the time required to commit to the migration, which allows leaders and managers to focus on delivering the strategy of the business, such as customer facing issues,” says Duffy.
2. Less risk for the customer- Using automation actually decreases risk because it takes out the element of human error in creates standardization.
3. The business strategy – by freeing up product and application owners, these individuals can continue to focus on delivering the business’ strategy.
“Our process is called Smart Migration, and we use these variety of smart automation tools to deliver the outcome of cloud migration faster for our customers. The use of these tools has mean’t we’re able to reduce the process from months to weeks, while reducing the engineering resource needed to deliver the cloud migration successfully,” adds Duffy.
What success looks like
Most cloud migrations fail because organisation’s don’t know why they’re doing one; they don’t have a plan for success and they don’t know what it looks like.
For cloud migrations to succeed, everyone needs to work towards a common goal. Organisations – from the top down – need to create a self-service data culture that brings everyone in the business on the data journey.
“At Cloudreach, what we do very early on when working with customers, is explore what success looks like for them. We build the cloud migration program around what their definition of success is for their business,” explains Duffy.
“Perhaps they want to engage with their customers in new and innovative ways, or maybe they want to unlock insights from their data in order to drive new business strategies. Whatever the aim, it’s imperative to build the cloud migration around the business’ goals to generate success,” he concludes.
This article was written as part of paid content campaign with Cloudreach