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From workload migration to workload transformation: Five ways to get your cloud ROI back on track

A version of this article was originally published in Forbes.

Remember when your business first got into the cloud, and the whole idea seemed edgy and exciting? If you’re like most organizations, some years have passed since those early days, and you may be feeling a little bogged down with workload migration. You might not be seeing the efficiencies you imagined. Your cloud ROI might even be slipping.

You can’t roll back to square one, but you can get back on track. Every journey is different, but as we’ve helped companies optimize their technology, we’ve identified five key ways to elevate your workload migration into true workload transformation.

Realign for impact.

Workload transformation can be a long game, but it doesn’t have to be a slog. Evaluating processes and mapping out potential efficiencies can help ease transition pain points and accelerate your time to proving results.

If you haven’t taken a fresh look at your cloud roadmap lately, it may be time to regroup and make sure your workload optimization strategy is still aligned with business priorities and resources.

Start with your current state. You might ask questions like:

  • What does your current workload array include?
  • How are different environments performing?
  • Which technical skillsets do you have in-house?
  • Which short- and long-term business processes are impacted by technical workloads?

Next, align your workload transformation vision with broader business goals. A short stakeholder workshop might allow you to uncover ideas such as:

  • Ways your cloud strategy could help to advance your broader business goals
  • How to prioritize your workload migration to support desired business outcomes like cost, speed, innovation, or streamlined functionality

Learn more about cloud strategy workshops >>

Zoom in before you zoom out.

Workload migration optimizes consumption to help you run leaner. But you don’t have to stop there. True workload transformation comes from maximizing efficiencies at every step.

As you consider ways to transform your workloads, it’s worth taking the time to zoom in on what those entail. If your goal is a modern architecture that allows rapid pivots and scalability, but your applications and processes need some work, you may need to start with foundational improvements before jumping into more sophisticated tools and tactics.

Make sure you’re keeping an eye on the details throughout your cloud migration journey. Some factors to keep in mind include:

  • Adopting best practices like unit testing and documentation for application development, especially as you move into microservices and connecting cloud-native apps to legacy systems.
  • Stress-testing each application or feature prior to migration to determine if it will perform as expected in a cloud environment.
  • Checking performance, reporting, and data egress needs before making placement decisions.
  • Choosing the right instance type for your migration based on the workload’s required memory, connectivity, and storage to avoid performance impact.
  • Aligning migration strategies with your security standards, including backup and business continuity requirements, access, and API requirements.

Learn more about infrastructure assessments >>

Ditch the hype.

Contrary to what you might have heard, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to workload transformation. With the digital landscape shifting faster and faster, getting sidetracked and stuck in the mud are all too easy.

Don’t buy into the hype. Joining Team AWS or Team Azure or Team Google won’t do your business any favors in the long run. That’s why many businesses move into a multicloud or hybrid cloud model, which adopts a platform-agnostic approach to workload optimization. In this framework, you might have some workloads running on-prem, while others operate in some combination of cloud options.

Learn more about cloud technology strategy >>

Be open-minded.

However, even with variable workloads, the costs and efficiencies of different cloud platforms might vary month to month or even week to week. Some organizations look at that and figure they can’t afford to build each workload four (or more) different ways, so they go all-in with one platform. That can be short-sighted.

Instead, many companies opt for some degree of containerization. Using Kubernetes and DevOps, containerizing workloads lets businesses make on-the-spot decisions about where to run a workload. Using this method, your team can essentially drag and drop a workload to the cheapest or most efficient cloud or on-prem location.

But why stop there? Once your workloads are containerized, adding automation can save you even more by establishing, testing, and refining models for workload placement without relying on time-consuming manual decisions.

Learn more about modernization roadmaps >>

Get there faster.

Done right, workload transformation eliminates overrun. When you find the right ways to combine, host, and run your workloads, your whole business benefits from the efficiency. And you don’t just save in terms of performance and scalability — you also save time and money.

Wouldn’t it be great to transform faster? Fusion helps you innovate and modernize your architecture while supporting ongoing feature development and production. True workload transformation supports your ongoing business needs while also positioning your company to win in the future. Let us know how we can help.

Assess your workload strategy >>

About the author

Steve Daly

Steve Daly is the Technology Practice Director at Fusion Alliance and specializes in cloud-native development and application modernization. He brings more than 30 years of experience providing IT solutions to start-ups, local, state, and Federal governments, Midmarket as well as Fortune 500 companies and organizations.

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