Cloud Migration Roadmap

Finnair, Finland’s national airline, undertook a complex migration of its on-premise apps to the cloud to lower costs and improve efficiency. This would involve 400 servers and 70 applications that ran Finnair’s daily operations, apart from updating its infrastructure in some cases. 

While the company managed this smoothly and experienced cost benefits with the least disruption, the planning and management that went in before execution started was key to the project’s success.  

The migration partner worked with AWS under a joint governance model to ensure full transparency and build a business case. A roadmap was created for workload modernization and involved the following steps: 

  • Assessing the business for migration readiness 
  • Creating a landing zone and a migration plan 
  • Optimizing cloud infrastructure to optimize value 
  • Creating a future-ready and agile infrastructure 

What are some of the cloud migration challenges businesses face? 

One report suggests that 90% data migration projects fail or get disrupted due to the migration process being complex. The survey also revealed that only 25% of the projects are completed within and take, on an average, 12 months. 

Typically, the projects fail due to the following reasons: 

  1. Lack of Planning: While the expected end result of a cloud migration is greater efficiency and productivity, the process of migration itself can be disruptive and costly. Therefore, it needs to be planned well to avoid unforeseen errors, security gaps, performance issues, and so on. 
  1. Getting Stakeholder Buy-in: Migration projects are resource-intensive and therefore should have an organization-wide relevance. For that, cross-functional communication and collaboration are important. The buy-in of senior management to the end users is crucial for the migration to succeed.  
  1. Inability to Scale: Efficiency is crucial from the word go. Any delays at the pilot level will be amplified when the project scales up, causing massive delays and complications. Often, this is not factored in and can cause cost and time crunch, resulting in failures and abandonment. 
  1. Poor Configuration: Often, this can cause security issues and poor performance. This could also result in misalignment of workload and storage configurations, impacting the overall infrastructure and performance. 

What are some of the best practices in cloud migration to increase the chances of success? 

For a successful migration, planning, monitoring, and roadmap planning are crucial. A well-implemented cloud migration project requires the following ingredients. 

Step 1 – Preparing for Migration and Business Planning 

The preparation begins with engaged leadership, communicating the goals, responsibilities, and the objectives with the entire organization and the relevant teams. They need a clarity of purpose supported by realistic but ambitious goals and timelines that has the buy-in of the employees. Create the operational processes and form a dedicated team for mobilizing the appropriate resources, implement best practices, automation, governance standards, and drives change management. 

As a Merit expert adds, “Assess the age and architecture of the current applications, their constraints, and the objectives. This will help identify gaps and create a roadmap for the different applications – whether to refactor, recreate, retire, etc.”  

Step 2 – Discovery and Planning of Portfolio  

Perform a comprehensive analysis of the full portfolio of the existing environment, map interdependencies, and create migration strategies and priorities. Identify less critical and complex applications and begin with that.  

Quick successes create confidence and the opportunity to learn before ramping up the migration effort. This will also help assess requirements and assign responsibilities, track progress, and evaluate performance, giving time to course correct with minimum disruption. 

Step 3 – Design, Migration, and Validation of Applications  

Each application is designed, migrated, and validated based on the ‘6 R strategy’. These include: 

  • Rehosting 
  • Replatforming 
  • Refactoring/Re-architecting 
  • Retiring 
  • Retaining 
  • Repurchasing 

The option one chooses depends on how well the application will integrate with the new environment and its impact on the migration effort. This should be based on the benefits, time and cost savings. 

Step 4 – Modern Operating Model 

As the applications are migrated, shift to the modern operating model after ensuring its robustness, improve continuously, and increase its sophistication.  

Migrating to the cloud is not a one-off effort. It requires a mindset that revolves around continuous improvement and modernisation.  

Merit’s Expertise in Cloud Migration Efforts  

Merit works with a broad range of clients and industry sectors, designing and building bespoke applications and data platforms combining software engineering, AI/ML, and data analytics.  

We migrate legacy systems with re-architecture and by refactoring them to contemporary technologies on modern cloud ecosystems. Our software engineers build resilient and scalable solutions with cloud services ranging from simple internal software systems to large-scale enterprise applications.  

Our agile approach drives every stage of the customer journey; from planning to design development and implementation, delivering impactful and cost-effective digital transformations. 

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