Cloud Migration Checklist: 10 questions you should ask your service provider before moving to the cloud

5 August 2021

The digital transformation era has opened the way for many new and innovative technology solutions that could redefine businesses today. One important solution amongst the lot is cloud migration – a process of moving your applications, data, and digital business components to the cloud infrastructure.

A large number of enterprises today believe that cloud migration could be the game-changer in revamping their business models and operational workflows. However, when it comes to the decision phase, there are many doubts that refrain their move to the cloud. Hence, it’s critically important to address those before you migrate to the cloud.

So, here are the ten important questions that you must ask your cloud migration partner before moving to the cloud. This would provide better clarity on your migration strategy and help decide the suitable cloud model for your business requirements.

1. What are the cloud infrastructure security best practices you follow?

Be it any new technology implementation, the first important question should always align with its security feature. So, when it comes to cloud migration, ensure that proper cloud infrastructure security measures and policies are in place to safeguard your applications and data from unauthorized access points. Here are some of the key cloud infrastructure security protocols that need to be examined before moving to the cloud.

  • Stringent user identity management protocols for strong authentication, authorization, and encryption.
  • Data centers should be under 24/7 surveillance and well secured
  • Ensure cloud compliance and governance by following the NIST protocols.
  • Cryptographic encryption & integrity protection
  • Generic security protocols (remote user authentication, single sign-on, file transfer protocol, secure sessions, cloud transmission protocol)
  • DLP solutions & regular data backups
  • HTTPS & AES-256 encryption

2. What are your cloud data storage policies?

The cloud’s data handling capability is the key reason enterprises switch to cloud infrastructure from on-premise storage. Data storage location and its maintenance activities are important factors to consider before moving to the cloud. Storing data in the cloud isn’t a big task, but what matters more is your data centers’ location & security. The data centers must align with the laws and policies of the countries they are located in. These data centers must be physically and digitally secured to ensure the complete protection of your data. Some of the other cloud data storage policies to be considered are:

  • Regular encrypted backups of data
  • Data transfer capabilities
  • Disaster recovery facilities
  • Compliance with the laws
  • Data Accessibility
  • Post-implementation portability

3. How do you plan the cloud disaster recovery?

Ensure your cloud migration partner has an effective disaster recovery plan to handle the unanticipated disasters that can pose a threat to your applications and data. A robust cloud disaster recovery plan should be flexible, efficient, and easy to implement. Moreover, the recovery plan must be in line with the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) to ensure quick data restoration. It’s also equally important to frequently test the cloud disaster recovery plan to ensure there are no execution flaws.

4. How efficiently do you handle duplicate data management in the cloud?

Data redundancy is a critical factor that can play a huge role in protecting your valuable data. Efficient handling of duplicate data in your cloud storage helps you stay confident in your data backup methods. In fact, it offers several advantages like better data security, improved data reliability, and faster access to data. Duplicate data management in the cloud can be a worrying factor if your redundancy plan is inconsistent. Hence, it’s significant to analyze the data redundancy plan before your migration process. Some of the factors that will help you decide on the efficiency of the data redundancy plan are:

  • Maintaining a master data
  • Data Normalization
  • Eliminating data duplication

5. What is your data migration strategy for cloud?

The success of your cloud migration journey greatly reflects on the efficiency of your data migration strategy. The migration must delineate the process by which the databases and applications are moved to the cloud. Hence, it is important to understand your migration partner’s plan to have complete transparency of operations. Several reports prove that lack of planning and unproven migration methodologies are the biggest challenges to cloud migration. So, it is vital to analyze the three data migration levels – extraction, transformation, and loading. Some of the key components to be assessed in the data migration strategy are:

  • Identification of data format, location, and sensitivity
  • Network utilization & security
  • Data audit & backup
  • Data migration software
  • Solution design
  • Maintenance measures

6. What is your cloud uptime guarantee?

Average uptime in cloud computing is as important as the security features of the cloud. Cloud uptime has become a critical component for enterprises that are planning for cloud migration. According to the ITIC’s survey, 80% of the businesses today require an uptime of 99.99% from their cloud service vendors. This is significant proof of the impact that it can have on your business processes. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify the average uptime promised by your migration partner to ensure uninterrupted business operations. It is also important to determine the number of “nines” promised by your migration partner in the Service Level Agreements (SLA). Ensure the average uptime is no less than 99 percent in any case.

Levels of Availability

Uptime Percentage Annual Downtime
90% 36.5 day
99% 3.65 days
99.9% 8.76 hrs.
99.99% 52.6 min.
99.999% 5.25 min.
99.9999% 31.5 sec.

7. What are the cloud maintenance & support services you provide?

The cloud migration process is a journey; it doesn’t come to a standstill right after its implementation. So, ensure your cloud migration partner offers continuous cloud support and maintenance services even after moving your applications and data to the cloud. 24/7 customer support and availability to solve any business-critical issues should be in the list of top priorities to ensure a smooth flow of operations. Constant monitoring, performance optimization, and security checks are the other important factors to be examined in the cloud support and maintenance plan.

8. What is the cost & timeline for cloud migration?

Quite often, the areas where enterprises fail in their cloud migration journey are the migration cost and timeline. It is essential to know the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and the time estimate to complete the migration process beforehand. Having a clear idea of your project requirements and budget in the first place will lower the chances of your migration bottlenecks. This is to ensure that your cloud migration process shall fall under the proposed budget and timeline. Hence, your cloud migration partner must adhere to a transparent costing model.

9. How do you handle change management in the cloud environment?

Being a part of the digital era, enterprises are now constantly modernizing and upgrading their applications and infrastructure to adapt to the latest technology changes. As you step into new technology transitions in the future, your cloud applications and infrastructure must deal with the evolving operational models – it should allow for new integrations and upgrades without causing any disruptions. Hence, your migration partner needs to have an efficient change management plan in place to facilitate future upgrades.

10. How to choose the best cloud migration service provider?

There are several cloud migration companies in town with whom you could collaborate, but the telling question would be – how long have they been into cloud migration? It is essential that your migration service provider should have impeccable experience in executing successful cloud migrations. Some of the important factors that would help you choose are – expert tech team, faster cloud ROI, frameworks, data management, time to market, and certifications.

So, if you are planning a move to the cloud, make sure your cloud migration partner is adept at meeting all the above requirements. We would also suggest you have a deeper look at your migration partner’s technical capabilities to ensure a smooth transition of operations. If you still have any doubts about moving to the cloud, you can talk to our azure cloud experts who could help you out.  Having more than two decades of experience in azure cloud migration services, we know what it takes for successful cloud migration. So, feel free to have a conversation with us anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cloud migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving your company’s digital assets, IT resources, applications, services, and databases, either partially or wholly, into the cloud from on-premises infrastructure. Cloud migration can also refer to moving from one cloud to another.

Why is cloud migration necessary?

Cloud migration allows your business to expand and scale with configurable touchpoints. It enables your business to be more agile with a lean setup and flexible to adapt to changing market trends. Cloud migration makes all your applications highly available and reliable, allowing faster deployments. Organizations vouch for cloud migration to reduce operational costs and improve IT processes.

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