A recent study cited by the London School of Economics found that moving business infrastructure to the cloud could boost productivity by up to 20% . Other studies have found that best-in-class cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, have an average up time of 99.9%  and in one case that cloud adopters, again of the Microsoft Azure platform, benefited from a 562% return on investment (ROI).
Impressive as these stats are, they need not be the end of the story. Because with the right approach, you can use the process of migrating to the cloud to audit, analyze and optimize your data and technology infrastructure.
And that brings potential for further gains in efficiency, responsiveness, flexibility and cost — on top of those you’d realize simply by virtue of moving to a more flexible and scalable cloud architecture.
Getting your migration off to the right start
Before leaping into cloud migration as a springboard for optimization, it’s worth pausing to consider how to avoid the pitfalls which can sometimes take the experience in the opposite direction.
No one wants migration to lead to extra cost and lots of unnecessary pain and complication. And there’s no reason it should. With the right technology, the right partner and the right approach, you can avoid pitfalls and problems which sometimes, particularly in the hands of inexperienced vendors, cause difficulties.
The first step is to understand your business drivers, requirements and expected outcomes — both as they stand now and as you expect them to be in the future. This will allow you and your cloud provider to work together, to determine exactly the resources you need in the cloud — and how much flex you need to cope with fluctuating demand.
At the same time as auditing to determine exactly the resources required, you should work with your partner to capture dependencies and linkages. This doesn’t just minimize system failures and downtime during and after the migration. It also helps to inform the migration plan, allowing services and resources to be migrated in the order that guarantees maximum efficiency, minimum disruption and the lowest possible cost.
All this should be done with a clear idea of what the future state of your infrastructure should be. This is something your cloud provider’s experts should determine with you, during a series of workshops that cover your needs, goals and plans and involve, at different points, all relevant stakeholders from the c-suite down.
To deliver the best possible migration and transformation results, your provider should be a certified expert in the cloud platform you choose. For instance, if you’re migrating to Microsoft Azure, your cloud provider should be an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP). This will guarantee that they have experience of and expertise in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.
Taking the opportunity to optimize
The series of workshops and technical consultations need not, and with the right partner will not, simply be about successfully moving your on-premises set-up to the cloud. That would be a waste of what is an extensive audit of your processes, goals, capabilities and technical infrastructure.
The right partner will help you use the exercise to find opportunities for optimization. For instance, and to take the most basic form of optimization, they can use the infrastructure audit to help find and fix broken dependencies before migration.
There may also be inefficiencies in the way systems interoperate, for instance in how data is shared, and linkages are configured between different containers, virtual machines and applications. Again, this kind of problem can and should be detected during the workshop and audit process. And it can deliver significant improvements in efficiency.
Perhaps most importantly, the right partner will be able to help you align your new cloud-infrastructure not to the history of your legacy system architecture, but to your business plans and goals.
By giving you the insights you need to align your cloud, data and application infrastructure to your company’s future rather than its past, the cloud-migration process gives you the opportunity to build cost-effective flexibility and scalability into the foundations of your business infrastructure.
Cloudreach, an Atos company, is the world’s leading multi-cloud services company and the go-to strategic partner for Microsoft Azure. Our mission is to deliver the promise of cloud and drive extraordinary value for our customers. Cloudreach helps enterprises win competitive advantage through successful cloud transformation. With more than 10 years of cloud native experience, we’ve built an unmatched depth and breadth of expertise in cloud technologies and their application to business. Cloudreach’s strategic partnership with Microsoft, our deep Azure expertise and a suite of Azure specific solutions help you leverage the power of Microsoft platforms.
Find out how Cloudreach can help you master your migration to the cloud.