Cloud Migration

22 July, 2021

Reliable movers facilitate secure migration into the cloud

Cloud migration describes the process of transferring data, applications, and infrastructures into the cloud. It is among the most critical steps in any cloud transformation because it is accompanied by broad changes to the IT infrastructure, for business processes, and for all the affected stakeholders. Meticulous planning is indispensable in order to minimise risks such as limitations to business-critical, IT-driven processes both during and after migration.

Our experienced experts assist you in overcoming all the technical, organisational, and communicative challenges in connection with cloud migration – and therefore in creating a sound basis for the stable operation of forward-looking IT infrastructure which benefits your business objectives.

What cloud migration involves

Screening the existing application environment

Smooth cloud migration requires the detailed documentation of the properties and dependencies of all the concerned applications. In practice, this kind of documentation is not always available in the required scope and must first be prepared or broadened as part of the migration project. Without a clear and complete view of the affected application environment, there is the risk of unpleasant surprises emerging within the course of implementation. Even an overlooked or unnoticed dependency could result in substantial limitations to critical services as a consequence of migration.

Ensuring broad acceptance

The migration of data, applications, and infrastructures marks the point where all the affected stakeholders are confronted with change in practice. Depending on the configuration of the cloud project, employees, customers, and business partners could be impacted. Close communicative support is required to promote acceptance for these changes. In addition, limitations during the transition should also be kept as brief as possible. 

Following the transition, the affected services and processes should be at least as easily accessible as prior to the migration – ideally with the perspective of further improvements in the future.

Reviewing the technical prerequisites

Cloud migration is a dramatic intervention into the IT infrastructure of an organisation. The technical prerequisites must be thoroughly reviewed prior to the transition. This relates both to the data to be migrated, rights structures and accounts, and the affected applications with their interfaces, both within the IT landscape and to external systems. Careful thought must be given to the question of which migration options are worth considering for each individual application and what position they would assume within the newly organised IT landscape of your organisation.

Establishing target-group-specific change management

Many different parties are involved in cloud transformation. Depending on the nature of the cloud project, this could include the employees and management of various departments and executive management, as well as customers and business partners. A major challenge typically entails creating a common framework for communication and change management, while at the same time adequately taking the individual information needs of the various stakeholders into account.

Ensuring interaction with existing systems

In the rarest of cases, the entire system landscape is migrated all at once in the course of cloud transformation. The company IT almost always continues to operate a series of existing systems to support its central business processes. As part of the migration process, it must be ensured that these systems continue to run smoothly, including if old applications are ported on new servers, for example. For this purpose, the effects of all required modifications must be analysed prior to migration to prevent failures due to modified configurations or other modifications.

Our Services for Cloud Migration

With the broadest cloud portfolio on the market, PwC supports you at each stage along your individual pathway into the cloud. We use the following services to help you migrate your data, applications, and infrastructure securely and guarantee successful cloud transformation.

Application Assessment

A detailed and complete overview of the existing application environment is essential for successful cloud migration. By means of a comprehensive application assessment, we ensure that all the required information relating to applications, interfaces, and dependencies is available. For this purpose, we evaluate the cloud readiness of your existing applications, prepare reports regarding the application environment and its interfaces, and research how critical the individual services are for your business operations.

Migration Scoping

Cloud transformation can be organised in many different ways. To achieve the best results, companies need a migration strategy which categorises each individual application and determines a suitable migration option. Technical, organisational, business-specific, security-related, and compliance-specific aspects must be taken into account in this context. We support you here by basing the scoping on the proven approach of the “6 Rs”: rehosting, replatforming, repurchasing, re-architecturing, retiring, and retaining.

Technical Design

Proven and reliable migration methods and tools decrease the downtimes of applications and services and minimise business interruptions during transitions. PwC supports you in achieving a seamless transition into the cloud by means of tested and standardised migration templates and transition plans. In order to minimise risks, we consider all the effects on the existing IT landscape and use pilot projects to verify the selected methods in advance.

Piloting

In particular for business-critical applications with brief maintenance windows, migration must be fast and secure to minimise downtime. In this case, it is advisable to test the modified organisational processes and cloud technologies to be implemented using a pilot project. We help you define the scope for a representative pilot project and identify and include all the necessary stakeholders. During the pilot phase, we support you using customised test cases and continuous monitoring to obtain reliable results and prepare you as well as possible for the complete transformation.

Migration Management

Cloud migration is a critical transition process which requires meticulous management. We rely on our experience to ensure that your IT service provider or system integrator performs the migration in accordance with the defined requirements. Using a series of tried-and-tested migration tools, we minimise the impact on your company both during and following migration. In addition, we verify that all the compliance specifications are observed and that the migration status remains transparent throughout all the phases.

Organisational Change Management

Cloud migration is not just a technical action. It also changes the roles and responsibilities of employees and gives rise to new processes requiring increased acceptance within the company. With our extensive expertise in cloud-related change management, we help you communicate the advantages of this transition for all the affected parties, break down resistance, and enshrine a sustained understanding for the transformation within your organisation.

Decommissioning of legacy systems

The transition to forward-looking cloud solutions opens up opportunities to retire obsolete legacy systems. This results in significant savings, lower risks in connection with a lack of IT professionals for obsolete technologies, and a general dismantling of unnecessary complexity in your IT infrastructure. We collaborate with you to develop suitable plans for the decommissioning which enable legacy systems to be phased out securely.

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Hauke Schaettiger

Hauke Schaettiger

Partner, PwC Germany

Sebastian Paas

Sebastian Paas

Partner, PwC Germany

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